6:30 am. Monday. Sun's coming up and it's Super Bowl time! GOOD MORNING, VIETNAAAM!
Yes, it's wicked weird but with wings and Coca Cola, feels just like 'Merica. Kinda. To use a common Asian quote: "same same but different".
I arrived at the Guru Sports Bar about one drive into the game. The bar was packed inside, but thankfully I spotted a table with a great TV view outside. Sat next to Vietnamese couples on both sides --- Atlanta fans. Or, probably just Patriots haters.
The bar had some western style breakfast specials going on, but I opted for the wing platter. To my surprise, it did NOT disappoint! I dissected it like Matt Ryan did to the Patriots D in the first half.
Everyone was rooting for the Falcons. Couple Pats fans inside but outside was all Hotlanta. No surprise. I’m used to the haters by now.
The first half was depressing. I was texting with Stevo, and we kept saying things like “lotta football left to play”, even though things were lookin' bleak.
On top of that, watching it on Sky Sports was annoying. (Sorry Jena) No ads. During commercial breaks they went back to the booth with 3 British announcers and Ndamukong Suh, a dubious choice at best. Suh is the Bill Laimbeer of the NFL, and has the personality of a Keanu Reeves or Vin Diesel. (More Suh dirt here)
My sis and I texted at halftime.
Sis: “Yes!!! Soooo disappointed. :[”
Me: “Ain’t over yet tho.”
The halftime show was the highlight of the day for me. I thought Lady Gaga was spectacular! She is a phenomenal performer! And she actually sings and plays music instead of lip synching. Loved it.
People on social media started ripping into the Pats. Nasty stuff, calling out Pats fans, ripping Brady, etc. I’m used to it. But, I'm also tired and cranky. (And also sick with a nasty cough)
One of my friends posted: “I don't even like football, but... GO FALCONS! Beat the cheaters!”
I felt like this was a good time to pick a fight with her. I messaged her and asked her if she was aware that the Falcons got caught cheating two years ago? She was unaware. Or that the Giants got caught cheating this year? She was unaware.
Of course she was not aware. Cuz no one cares if other teams get caught in scandals only the Patriots. This led to a healthy political debate, which strangely momentarily made me feel better. Guess I needed to blow off some steam. Ok, back to the game.
Watching the second half was SURREAL. I felt like we had a chance to come back but assumed we might fall up short. 28-3 is a big hole to dig out of. And especially when they got a beast like Julio Jones, and the MVP Matty Ice.
But, Brady is the GOAT. And Belichek is the GOAT.
Funny thing happened. When they started coming back, ALL of the people outside the bar switched sides. Slowly but surely, everyone started rooting for the PATRIOTS. Whaaaaaa!?!?!?
This was a fascinating turn of events. It proved to me that people just like the underdog. All of a sudden, the Pats were the underdogs. And, no one wants to see a blowout.
It was an incredible moment in sports history. Greatest comeback of all time.
We are so lucky in New England.
I wish people didn’t hate the Patriots so much, because we are witnessing greatness in the NFL the likes of which we may never see again. I never liked the Yankees, but I appreciated when Derek Jeter retired because he was GREAT and he was humble and classy. Brady is classier than anyone and always takes the high road. So happy for him. Maybe people will come around on Brady n Belichek? Not holding my breath.
I did shed a tear when the Patriots won. I didn’t cheer and scream and yell when they won. It was just a moment of elation, and relief after gritting my teeth, clenching my fists with a nervous leg twitch for 3 hours. I got handshakes from the Vietnamese couples next to me. And took some selfies with an Australian guy and a British guy.
I'll leave the celebration up to my boy Mike Bracco, who recorded this raw, unfiltered reaction to the end of the game (NSFW): Click to watch here
And then I scowled when Goodell gave the most inauthentic presentation of the trophy to Robert Kraft.
And then I hopped on a motorbike home with “Son”. Rode through the streets of Saigon, Vietnam back to my home.
Just your typical Super Bowl Monday morning.
Well, same same but different.