Rationally, of course, you know that there is nothing that you, as fan watching at home, can do to affect the outcome of a game. That it doesn’t matter, for example, that you wore your Red Sox hoodie over your Patriots hawaiian shirt for the first time this entire playoffs, even though you’d previously only worn said shirt with your Patriots “Give Blood” t-shirt (a freebie from the blood drive at work three years ago), your Patriots socks and Patriots boxers (neither of which you’d washed this post-season, but which totally isn’t gross because you really only wore them during the games themselves, so that’s like, what, eight hours max? so get over yourselves), and the faux Patriots bling you bought for $10 (plus shipping) on eBay back in college. And you know that it wouldn’t have made a difference if you’d forced the cat to suffer a little longer in his undersized Patriots pet jersey — supposedly made for a “medium dog,” but somehow hilariously tight on your wife’s overweight Maine Coon — especially since you’d promised she could take it off of him after the Pats’ first offensive series, which ended after one play on a MOTHERFUCKINGSAFETYHOLYSHITAREYOUMOTHERFUCKINGKIDDINGMEBRADY!?!!11? And the fact that you sat down during halftime after forgetting about your promise to stand the entire game, because halftime doesn’t count as the game game, right? and your legs were cramping a little, so who cares if you take a load off for a few minutes while Madonna whores it up with a bunch of parkour dudes? besides which, you were feeling a little weak because all you’d had for dinner was appetizers because there was no way you were gonna be able to eat any of the three-bean turkey chili bubbling away on the stove — not with the football-sized knot in your stomach — but the point being, you understand intellectually that there was no cosmic disturbance resulting from your moment of weakness, that four minutes on your great-grandfather’s naugahyde easy chair had nothing to do with the eventual outcome. And whether you placed your autographed Patriots cheerleaders banner on top of or in front of your Patriots cooler was completely irrelevant, as was the exact angle and orientation of your Patriots Beanie Baby with comically large Patriots tie (which is only comically large on the small stuffed animal but is, in truth, normal-sized on the human being for whom it was intended) and the old-fashioned faux-leather Patriots helmet with the original Pat Patriot logo, which maybe you should have been wearing, but which you also wore four years ago during the last Superbowl That Shall Remain Nameless and look how that turned out. And you comprehend that the cardboard Patriots coasters on your coffee table would have been equally useless even if you’d kept your frosty-mugged grape juice on there as well instead of keeping it on the other coffee table because the first one was crowded.
You know, deep down and not so deep down, that none of these actions and baubles, taken either singularly or in combination, has ever made a difference, will ever make a difference, could ever make a difference. And still you think…fuck…if only I hadn’t laid out my Patriots pajama bottoms on the bed before the game began. YOU ARROGANT ASSHOLE!!! IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!@!!!!!!!!!!3234!3245890&$*)%&(*!
…pitchers and catchers report in two weeks…