By: Kevin Rousseau - Kevin's Articles are Sponsored by
December 14, 2006

NFL notes: Don't be surprised if Deatrich Wise Jr., Derek Rivers rise up for Patriots
New Patriots DL Danny Shelton preps to hit the hill
Patriots center David Andrews excited with his new Georgia Bulldog teammates
Patriots notebook: Patriots hold bonding time at Children’s Hospital
Guregian: Patriots Hall of Famer Matt Light says there’s more to being a successful offensive lineman than the measurables

A few weeks ago, my wife said to me ?I?ve been able to pick up a shift in the ER on the 10th.?

?Sounds good to me,? I replied. But then I did the math and figured out that the 10th was a Sunday and I would be watching our two kids, Jake (age two) and Evelyn (11 months old), by myself on a Patriots Sunday.

I figured I had to stack the deck in my favor if I wanted to have any chance of watching the game in some semblance of peace. So about 10:00 a.m., I bundled everyone up and headed outside for some fun in the fresh, sunny, wintry Maine air. After an hour or so of swinging on the swing set and having SuperDad pull them around the yard in the sled, the munchkins started to get the magical ?I?m getting tired? red cheeks. After a nice warm lunch of macaroni & cheese, the three of us retired to the big bed to see if I could catch lightning in a bottle for the 1:00 p.m. kickoff.

Well, those of you who have kids know that you just have to go with the flow and if they sense you tensing up, they?ll react to that. So as the opening Olindo Mare kickoff sailed through the air, both of them were still on the north side of a standing eight count.

As the first quarter moved along and it began to look like things weren?t going to go so well for the local eleven, Jake made his definitive statement of the afternoon. Shortly after the Daniel Graham fumble deep in New England territory, Jake voiced his apparent displeasure by going poopie in his diaper while his dad did it figuratively. ?My sentiments exactly, son,? I mused.

Shortly thereafter, Jake decided the game wasn?t going so well and went down for the count for the afternoon. In retrospect, I should have followed his lead.

In the meantime, Evelyn was doing her best Jason Taylor impression and smothering herself over me. For a 16-pound girl, she already knows how she can melt her daddy by falling asleep on his chest.

?Finally, peace and quiet,? I said myself as the second quarter began.

The trouble with Evie falling asleep on top of me is that she is a light sleeper and wakes up at the drop of hat. This became an issue as the mediocre second quarter rolled on and I realized that I had to use the john with increasing urgency. It was one of those cases of being damned if I do, damned if I don?t. If I try to make a move for the bathroom and she wakes up, I?m screwed. But if I just try to suck it up, Murphy?s Law would suggest that the next ad on TV would be for the drug that treats overactive bladders.

As halftime inched closer, I decided I had no choice but to make my move. With precision that I haven?t demonstrated since playing the board game ?Operation? as a kid, I moved off the bed while keeping her cradled in my arms. I won?t go into the details of my performance in front of the toilet but suffice to say it was a remarkable feat of balance and precision.

Evie and I moved to the living room couch for the second half and I watched the train wreck unfold in front of my eyes. As maddening as the game was, I had to have the discipline of a Buddhist monk so as to not wake her up. There was a time, not too long ago, really when maddening offensive line play, undisciplined penalties and general hopelessness on the Patriots would have lead to verbal diatribes galore. Score another one for Miss Eve.

She finally woke up crying as the game got out of hand in the latter part of the fourth quarter. Again, my kids did the talking for me.

A little bit into the Jet-Bills game, Evie and I went to check in on Jake and found him in a post-nap haze watching the game on the bedroom TV. ?Worried about the Division too, son?? I asked as I scooped him up to head back out to the living room.

With the game on in the background, the kids played in the living room and tossed toys in all directions. Now I got a Fisher Price Little People Nativity set strewn all over the place instead of beer cans, jalapeno poppers and chips. The truth is, I have a hard time remembering what my life was like before they came into it so I?ll happily take the trade off.

As we read through ?The Lady with the Alligator Purse? and ?How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms?? I said to them ?At this time of the year, you?re either getting better or worse and the Pats are getting worse.? All Jake could muster in response while pointing to a dinosaur with a broom was a definitive ?a bah.? Perspective, I suppose.

After some dinner and a third-quarter tubbie, it was back to the living room for a fourth quarter ?Baby Einstein? DVD viewing while the Bills-Jets game secretly appeared on the little TV across the half-wall in the kitchen. Halfway through the DVD, Evie crawled her way into the kitchen to see what was the distraction. As I scooped her up, I tried my best Jedi mind trick on her and told her there was no critical AFC East showdown going on in the kitchen. As for her reaction, let?s just say that she must have gotten her ability to detect my patented line of B.S. from her mother.

Fortunately, the Bills-Jets game broke the right way and Mommy strolled through the door a short time later.

I?m still trying to figure out whether Sunday was a successful day for SuperDad. Oh, one last thing. Christy just told me she picked up a shift on Sunday, January 7th. I?ll let you do the math on that one.

Idle Zinger thoughts while still getting goosebumps every time I hear Band-Aid?s ?Do They Know It?s Christmas??:

A footnote to this sordid tale is that when I sat down to write this column Sunday night, my computer acted up. But not to worry. The good folks at Comdoctor on the Cony Circle in Augusta, Maine once again rose to the occasion on Monday to save the day. Please show them your appreciation for their sponsorship of this so-called column. You?ll be glad you did, especially when you realize that they don?t mind treating you like a human being, a trait that is in short supply in the computer repair and service world.

Heading into last weekend?s action, only two teams (Detroit and Oakland) were eliminated from the playoffs.

Can you name the only player or coach in NFL history who owns six Super Bowl rings? Thanks to Mike Felger?s column last week, I learned that it is Patriots (and former Cowboys) Strength and Condition Coach Mike Woicik. You can win a lot of bar bets armed with this nugget.

How much more Michael Irvin can Tom Jackson be expected to take before he snaps?

I hope that you caught the ?Ali Rap? program on ESPN the other night. Since having the good fortune of meeting his 1960 Olympic roommate, Skeeter McClure, a month or so ago at a boxing banquet in Dorchester I have become enamored with Ali. What a joke when Michael Jordan was named the greatest athlete of the 20th century by the ?Worldwide Leader In Sports.? I will be happy to argue this point with you for as long as you want as I did a while back with my co-worker who was an unabashed Jordan apologist.

You can have all of the other Christmas party appetizers, I?ll take scallops wrapped in bacon. Forget pigs in a blanket, that indeed was the greatest appetizer of the 20th century.