A curse was broken this weekend and it felt great to finally overcome the spell. For eight years an ugly history has been following my presence. The New England Patriots beat the New York Giants in epic fashion to win their 9th game of the season and stay undefeated. But most importantly, it happened while I was at my sister’s house watching with my brother-in-law.
The beginning of this story goes all the way back to 2007. The Patriots had their undefeated regular season and went to the Super Bowl with aspirations of having the first perfect season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins. My brother-in-law is a huge Patriots fan having grown up in Maine. I attended the Super Bowl party for the game at their house and it was heartbreaking and tragic. The Giants stunned the Patriots with a massive upset victory and destroyed their perfect record. It was an awful loss, but I didn’t think that I had anything to do with it. Fast forward to 2012, and the Patriots were once again in the Super Bowl facing the Giants. Like before, I attended the viewing party at my sister’s house. Unbelievably, the Giants upset the Patriots again in a controversial game. Everyone was really upset. It should have been quarterback Tom Brady’s fourth Super Bowl win. What the heck was going on? I began to dwell on this phenomenon and quickly came to the conclusion that watching the game at my sister’s house was cursing the team. I lived with this remorse for 3 years. It was so prevalent that I refused to go over there last year when the Patriots were in the Super Bowl again. I was afraid it would jinx them and they would lose.
But this weekend, everything changed. Week 10 of the NFL was in full swing and the Patriots were slated to take on the Giants in New York for a 4:25pm game. Coincidentally, it was the week of my father’s birthday and my family was having a dinner hosted at my sister’s house on Sunday night. When learning of these plans I quickly realized the dilemma. It meant that I was going to have to watch the Patriots and Giants play for a third straight time at my sister’s house which was a known cursed location. There was no way for me to get out of the dinner. I eventually accepted the situation and attempted to embrace the challenge.
I arrived at my sister’s house just after the game had begun. The Patriot’s had driven the ball down the field and scored an early touchdown to go up 7-0. This happened while I was still in my car driving over there, technically the curse was not applied yet. But when I arrived and began to watch with my family inside, things started to get rough for New England.
Drives began to stall and the Patriots defense started giving up huge flukey plays. Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman had to leave the game with a foot injury and did not return. It was a lackluster remaining first half for New England after my arrival at the dinner. I began to grow weary that the curse was grasping hold of the night again.
The second half of the game began and things started off bad for New England. The Giants got up to a 10 point lead and the Patriots were in a funk. The absence of Julian Edelman was felt and the referees were certainly not helping either. After a bad third quarter, the Patriots entered the fourth quarter trailing by 6 points. Facing adversity, Tom Brady quickly went into action and threw a 76 yard touchdown to tight end Rob Gronkowski. The score put New England up 24-23. After halting the Giant offense again, Brady drove the offense into position to score again when an errant pass sailed behind receiver Brandon LaFell and was picked off by the Giants. Time was beginning to run out and a feeling of uncertainty began to fill the air. The Giants’s offense drove the ball down field and drained much of the remaining time off of the clock. They got all the way down to the goal line and the Patriots defense clamped down and prevented the touchdown. They settled for a field goal with 1:48 left to play. The score put New York up by two and the Patriots had no timeouts left.
The Patriots received the ensuing kickoff and began their final drive of the game. Things started poorly and they quickly found themselves in a fourth and ten situation. Tom Brady was able to find Danny Amendola for the fourth down conversion and keep the chains moving. It was a great play and gave life to the Patriots. Then Brady was able to work the sidelines for a few completions and stop the clock from running. At around mid field, the Patriots were running out of time and needed a clutch play to get into field goal range. Brady was able to hit Danny Amendola for about a 12 yard gain and set New England up for a 54 yard field goal attempt with just a few seconds left on the clock. Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski came into the game having hit all 20 of his field goal attempts on the season. The field goal unit set up and snapped the ball to the holder. Gostkowski got a clean kick on the ball and sailed it just inside the left upright for the game winning score.
It was an unbelievable moment. The curse had been broken and many high fives ensued in celebration. My brother-in-law and I were nearly out of breath with excitement and satisfaction. The Patriots had beaten the Giants while I was at the forbidden location. Order had finally been restored in the universe.