Dear New England,
Here you have me in my third winter ever. I am 20 years old. I spent my first 17 revolutions around the sun without one single flurry falling from the sky. Yes, I am one of those West Coast transplants prone to complaining about the crummy weather. But in this moment, wrapped in your nor’easter blanket, I come as a child of your capital in cheers of the Superbowl victory.
Nonetheless, you might be disappointed to hear that I almost missed the game. After a weekend-stupor of friends on fuzzy couches and funny conversations, I didn’t feel like watching football was the way to wrap up my first quiet Sunday evening. I was in a thick robe after a bubble bath. The brittle and bitter outdoors seemed far removed from the hiss of my radiators. I couldn’t leave my apartment. But the stakes were too high for me to slump since it was the Patriots in a controversial pit against Seattle’s Seahawks. I called Kristie to hear the status of our friend of a friend’s Superbowl party.
(She isn’t going—it’s 10 degrees with a blizzard on the way.) Not only was my Colombian-born friend disillusioned by the thought of diving headfirst into the tundra, she was also disillusioned at the championship itself.
“Babe,” she reproached, “you really want to watch football?”
“Well…yeah,” I said with little conviction. “It’s like the World Cup of American football, and our city’s going to the championship!”
For the first time in my life I stood up for a sports team—even if it was in the flattest of tone—my pride slipped off my tongue and dripped in your favor. I wanted the Pats to win. I just had to see how good your boys played out on the field.
“People are spilling out of the bars and drinking rounds of pitchers and screaming everywhere Kristie! We should watch the game.” I couldn’t find the common language between us to evoke the emotional toll this game had on Boston’s very fabric. There was no hope with the Colombian.
After a quick assessment of my Superbowl situation, I was charged with the motivation to finally escape my robe. The game was starting soon and I was still alone in my cozy apartment. I remembered the loose plans that dangled with two other friends to watch the Superbowl without a location or a mission planned. I reviewed my possessions: No beer, no food.
“Come over and watch the Superbowl?! Brews and dogs!” I texted my two girlfriends. Fifteen minutes they broke through my lie and trudged their way into my living room with Jack Daniels and icy Subway sandwiches.
The cable to my cable was missing an end-piece, and for minutes I wrestled through the right amount of pressure to pick up my reception. When Tom Brady’s chiseled chin graced the frame on my flatscreen HD TV, I knew I had arrived. Still no beer, but I had the whiskey’s tingling sensation and the putrid smell of fast food subs to appetize the entertaining festivities. We swooned over Brady. He was a Michelangelo vision; sweaty and focused for victory like New England’s, “David” warrior. Along with the players, the plays themselves were beautiful executions of a precisely eloquent rhythm. Your boys played good—I didn’t need my boyfriend there to translate how—I just watched some damn good ball. I absorbed the triumph of Malcolm Butler’s winning interception! We won!
The initial excitement from the game intensified when we discovered that school was closed Monday for a snow day. The Pats won and there would be no school. It felt like home.
When I left for college, I traded a golden winter for a frigid whiteout. But after three years of being three hours ahead and fifty degrees below my native temperament, cheering for the Pats in the Superbowl lifted my bicoastal bias. I lulled in the warmth of your hospitable spirit and found solace at the beginning of a blizzard. Or maybe it was the whiskey. Or maybe it’s because I got to see both the Patriots and the Red Sox win the championships. Or…whiskey.
Well—whatever it is that keeps me from a frozen heart, it’s not your nature.