By: Kevin Rousseau - Kevin's Articles are Sponsored by
January 31, 2010

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I. It proved to be a bad omen. My friend Dwight showed up at the seat just before the Ravens game's kickoff with a strange look on his face. Please understand Dwight is the kind of guy who has bizarre stuff occur to him. "I was sitting on the train and the guy sitting next to me says 'Holy *&^#, your pants are on fire!'" Turns out his plastic shopping bag had caught fire on a heater situated between his legs. The bag carried his good gloves, scarf and other foul weather gear.

II. He quickly extinguished the fire that could have brought the MBTA Patriot train to a screeching halt. But the damage was done. His snowpants were charred in the calf area and his gloves and scarf were toast. Literally.

III. I look up from the charred ski pants just in time to see Brandon Merriweather take a bad angle on Ray Rice and watch the Patriots season run away towards Walpole.

IV.A few thoughts on the Ravens playoff debacle…..

V. It really was no surprise at $127 a pop that many folks decided to sit this one out. It was a team with no real identity, the economy stinks, $60 parking, the weather was crummy, you name it.

VI. Maybe (unlikely really) this will humble the Patriots brass into being a little more "customer friendly." Our coach does our image no favors with his childish post-game press conferences after losses. He's a paid handsomely to act as a professional and demands that his players act as such. He should be held by the ownership to a similar standard.

VII. When the current HC of the NYJ shows some class in an interview after the AFC Championship Game, it makes the problem under discussed under item VII even more evident.

VIII. A Jets-Colts AFC Championship was the cherry on top of a nuclear playoff winter sundae for Patriots Nation. I think that was vomit in my throat as I held my breath and hoped the Jets could pull off the upset. My Football God howled with laughter as the battery in the car went dead while listening to the game in a supermarket parking lot.

IX. You know your team is in a rut when you take great joy in watching other teams share in your playoff misery.

X. Exhibit #1 is another classic San Diego Charger playoff meltdown. With Norv Turner at the helm for the foreseeable future, we can bank on another one of these in the future. Watching L.T. twist in the wind was appetizing as well.

XI.Exhibit #2 is Brett Favre returning to his patented form just in time in the NFC Championship. He cooked his goose when he told Pam Oliver in a pre-game speech that he had matured as a quarterback.

XII.Why can't the Patriots get players like Saint tight end Dave Thomas? He showed up and played very well in the NFC Championship Game.For a seventh round pick?

XIII.Seriously, we gave him away for a seventh round pick because we thought we were all set at tight end with Ben Watson and Chris Baker? Now, we don't have diddly poo at the position heading into 2010.

XIV.It comes down to bad pro player personnel decisions over the last three years coming home to roost. The drafting has been a mixed bag but the Joey Galloways, Duane Starks and Adalius Thomas-style signings have left the Patriots as an average team at best as the NFL calendar turns over to 2010.

XV.The thing about Super Bowls is that looking back they are historical bookmarks of our lives. I look back at Super Bowl XV and think of yellow ribbons for the hostages in Iran and remembering that my dad was starting a new job the next day after being laid off a few months before. I must have been about eight years old at the time.

XVI.Some people collect guns. Some people collect model railroads. I dig NFL jerseys on deep clearance. You got to figure you'll never get kicked out of a barbeque joint in Kansas City if you are there on business while wearing a Priest Holmes jersey.

XVII.So you can imagine how jazzed I am that my brother shipped up both versions of the Deuce McCallister jerseys that I bought him a few years back just in time for Super Bowl week.

XVIII.They may have some of the coolest uniforms in all the land and give credence to the fact that the older uniforms are still the best. Speaking of which…

XIX.IMHO, the best way to move on out of the previous era is to cut the cord on Flying Elvis and bring back the 1963 Pat Patriot uniforms once and for all.

XX.The thing I remember about this Super Bowl is buying all the souvenirs at Paperama the week beforehand and really having some hope for the first 10 minutes or so. Then it was over quickly and all we did was eat the rest of the game away at the DeForest's house.

XXI.On last thing on uniforms, the new Vikings uniforms are atrocious. Just what was wrong with their throwback uniforms that they trot out twice a year?

XXII.The Laurence Maroney doll with the ball already out of his hands was a huge laugh in the parking lot during our tailgate Yankee swap before the Jacksonville game but the air was let out of the balloon an hour later when the subject of the doll coughed up the ball on the goal line.

XXIII.There's something about game winning field goals in the Super Dome. More on this later in item XXXVI.

XXIV.Priority one in the offseason is to get some semblance of a pass rush on opposing quarterbacks.

XXV.After that, it's a decent tight end, another wide receiver, a shutdown corner and a run stuffer or two. That should be no problem, c'est vrai?

XXVI.Did I mention $60 to park the car?

XXVII.Following on the heels of this is Jonathan Kraft saying they are not going to increase ticket prices this year but will wait to do it with a cumulatively bigger increase every 3-4 years. "Thank you, sir. May I have another?"

XXVIII.The final night of the Winter X Games over the Pro Bowl every time.

XXIX.OK. The only cool thing about the Pro Bowl is the jersey designs. That's it.

XXX.Just when you think the Bills are going to turn the corner and start being some trouble, they run out and do something like hire Chan Gailey. Their fans deserve better.

XXXI.What a fool I was when I decided the weekend of Super Bowl XXXI would be as good of a time as any to quit smoking. Amazingly, cold turkey worked despite multiple blocks-in-the-back on the Desmond Howard kickoff return for a touchdown.

XXXII.The Doing-Bad-Things-To-My-Body Super Bowl trend continued a year later when I downed an inordinate amount of Bud Lite in our apartment on Summerhaven Lane while watching two of my least favorite teams-the Broncos and Brett Favre-lead Packers-battle it out.

XXXIII.Now that he isn't there anymore, I have no problem moderately rooting for the Packers these days.

XXXIV.That goes for the Saints, too. We'll get to them more the closer we get to item number XLIV.

XXXV.When the Ravens won this one, who would have thought a year later we would have….

XXXVI.Besides my wedding and the birth of my children, this Roman numeral amounts to the greatest moment in my life. Being able to line up the stars, grab two tickets, being there and still getting goose bumps all these years later. I never thought they would win one, never mind three.

XXXVII.And the logo from XXXVI is still my favorite.

XXXVIII.The thing about this Super Bowl was the sense of inevitability that they were going to win. First the AFC Championship game against the Colts and then Mr. Vinatieri lining up a game-winning field goal.

XXXIX.Just who appointed me some kind of football analyst and just how the hell did I end up with a credential for the media center for this one in Jacksonville? Was that Don Shula in the next urinal? Talking to Chris Mortenson one minute then wondering the next whether I should go up to Andy Rooney and ask him if he ever noticed that the coffee at these things isn't nearly as good as it used to be.

XL.Having been around two Super Bowls, the inside tip on merchandise buys is to get up early the day after the Super Bowl and find one of those temporary stores that are set up. They slash everything at least 50% the morning after.

XLI.No one ever talks about this one. It was the Colts in the rain versus a Bears team that had an awful, awful quarterback.

XLII.Enough trading around, Mr. Belichick. Stop trying to outsmart everyone and just pick some players. Depth is the issue, sir.

XLIII.Saints, Saints, Saints.

XLIV.And they'll do it by four points in a fourth quarter that will look like a track meet.