Manning goes to Mile-High City

Even with it being finals week, I couldn’t just let this story go without a comment. It’s Peyton Manning. After being let go by the Indianapolis Colts a little over two weeks ago,Β  Manning visited several teams to see where he might be comfortable playing next. Today, multiple news sources – ESPN first – reported that Manning had chosen the Denver Broncos. It’s going to be so weird not seeing him in a horseshoe uniform. ESPN photoshopped Manning into a Broncos jersey…and it was bizarre. Maybe I’m just not ready for it yet…but wow. It’s…different.

But I’m glad Manning found a team that he seems to really like and feel good about. I was so disappointed in the Colts for dropping him, so I’m glad he has a place in the NFL still. I understand that the Colts were looking at rebuilding the organization, and that clearly meant drafting Andrew Luck. I would have liked to see Luck be drafted but mentored by Manning – what more could you ask for? But the Colts had different ideas and let Manning go. John Elway pounced.

Denver’s been the site of Tebow-mania all year long. Everyone loves Tim Tebow. It put Elway and Coach John Fox in a tight spot, since fans were so adamant about their love for Tebow despite his questionable skills. Fox deserves a lot of credit for adapting the offense the best he could to Tebow’s skill set. But with all that said and done, how can you argue against getting Peyton Manning as your QB? Elway’s smart. This was a clever political move, and a good escape route from the Tebow saga. It’s fitting, since Elway is considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Bronco of all time. So for him to come back and turn around the organization, and then engineer the addition of Manning – well, he’ll get more love than ever. It’s impressive that he’s able to contribute to the Broncos in these two different ways – as a player and as an executive – to achieve the same goal of reaching the Super Bowl.

I did a report on Manning’s injury and surgeries for school this year. His case is sad but fascinating at the same time. His persistence and willingness to recover from multiple surgeries is really amazing, and it shows just how passionate he is about this game. I was so hoping he’d come back from this last surgery, and he seems to be on that path so far. Clearly Elway was impressed with his range of motion. One thing I’ve heard throughout all of the news reports is that Manning is the one who put extra time and effort into the process of choosing a team, and insisted on throwing in front of each team despite their assurances that his health was not a concern. He also handled the situation in Indianapolis with a lot of honesty and grace, which can’t be said about everyone there. He’s a consummate professional in everything he does, and I could definitely see him as an executive of an NFL organization in the future. I can’t see him staying away from the NFL. I hope he doesn’t.

So for now, we all get to sit back and watch as for the next step in this crazy free agent season – Tebow’s future. He’ll most likely be traded by the Broncos. But watching Manning with the Broncos…that’s going to be so much fun. I’m also interested as to what free agents will take an interest in the Broncos now that Manning is connected to them. Some of his former Colts team members are free agents. Like I said – this is going to be a lot of fun. It’s still going to be weird watching him put on the Broncos jersey, but hell, it’ll be weird seeing Luck in a Colts jersey as the primary QB of the team. So this season is going to be really interesting for a lot of people. And it’s best of all as a fan – we get to watch it all unfold without all the pressure that comes with it (well – most of the time).

Deja vu

I’m still kind of in shock. I knew the day would come when the Patriots would get a chance to exact their revenge on the Giants for ruining Super Bowl XLII and a perfect season, but I had no idea it would come this soon. Yet here we are, two weeks away from Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5, where the Patriots and Giants will face off once more, this time in Indianapolis (the hometown of Eli Manning’s older brother Peyton).

Suffice it to say, I didn’t see this coming. At all. In fact, it didn’t hit me that the potential of a rematch was even possible until I got to class on Tuesday last week and was talking about the weekend’s games. A friend of mine said, “I was rooting for the Giants to win over the Packers.” After seeing my death glare, he quickly added, “I want a rematch! I want revenge!” And then I realized: fuck. We really were one game away from potentially having a rematch Super Bowl. And I don’t know if I’m ready for it.

Thank the lord we only have basic cable, so I don’t have to see ESPN and every other sports channel recount the painful Sunday in 2008 over and over again, for TWO WHOLE WEEKS. Because that’s all they will be doing. That Super Bowl was in my senior year of high school, and should have been a crowing moment. Instead, I was devastated. My mother and I were convinced it was because we left the ChristmasΒ  lights out longer than usual that year, hoping to celebrate the Patriots’ win. Ever since, those lights and the tree come down when January hits. We don’t take any more chances.

Earlier this year, the Pats had the chance to get some revenge, if not a lot. But they screwed up, despite being in Foxborough, and lost that game, too. Stupid penalties and bad defense cost them that game. I worry about their defense now, too, even with all its improvements over the postseason. But I’d like to believe they’re a different team than before. Actually, I know they are. I just don’t know if different still translates to champions. The Giants are the same scrappy Giants that came to town in 2008, and I for one want them taken down properly. I don’t know if that’ll happen. But I would be lying if I said I haven’t thought of wonderful scenarios involving just that.

I don’t really care if people don’t like the Patriots. That’s their own damn problem. We’re a happy, devoted Pats nation. And how beautiful would it be to win the Super Bowl this season for Myra Kraft. I would love that. What a testament and honor to her and Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

So here I am during my senior year, yet again, this time in college, awaiting this matchup once more. And as I sit here in my Welker jersey, I can only dream of what might happen this time.

My last first week

What a whirlwind week! It was my first week of my last term of undergrad, and it was a doozy. So many things happened and will be happening. I can’t wait. Since I don’t think I can coherently organize my thoughts, I think bullets will be perfect for this post.

  • I saw a live surgery! Two, in fact. Thanks to my wonderful roommate, I was able to contact the orthopaedics department at a nearby pediatric hospital, and the wonderful secretary of a very busy surgeon gave me clearance to come in to observe a couple times. I got to do the whole shebang – had a scrub badge, wear scrubs (nothing has ever felt so right) and put on my hat & mask. My hands were legit trembling as I tied the mask back. I didn’t know what to do with myself. But dear lord was it amazing. I saw the end of a prosthesis surgery and the beginnings of an ACL reconstruction (mostly the pre-surgical probing). But it was AMAZING STUPENDOUS FANTASTIC EVERYAWESOMEADJECTIVEYOUCANTHINKOF. And I get to do it again this Wednesday πŸ˜€
  • I started new classes! One of my favorites is, surprisingly, Microbiology. I’m really enjoying the class, largely due to the instructor and her passion for it. Lectures are super interesting and the lab is also a lot of fun, thanks to an equally awesome & fabulous TA. Genetics will be great just because I love the subject. That is my shit (along with anatomy). I’m excited to get to stuff beyond our review.
  • THREE DAY WEEKEND! Well, it’s true. And it’s the only one we’ll get all term. So I’m going to enjoy it.
  • So much English/Writing, thanks to classes & my post-bac application (I’ll get there next). I love English teachers. I really freaking do. They are just so knowledgeable and eloquent and can talk about literature in such beautiful ways. This class will be a lot of work, but it’ll be worth it. My writing class should be interesting – it’s a lot of nonfiction writing, but creatively, which is something I haven’t done a lot of. So that’ll be a fun experiment.
  • My post-bac application. UGH. So many things for that. Thankfully my writer’s block finally cleared enough last night (after a couple glasses of wine ;)) to let me actually write SOMETHING down. And I got about two pages of stuff written. Which is a nice change from the blank page that’s been staring at me for weeks. Hopefully it’s the start of something good.
  • JOB SEARCH. Need I say more? It’s a pain, especially since it’s only for a 6-month gap between graduation in April and the (hopefully) start of my post-bac in Sept. Thankfully I have a lot of intelligent & practical professors to give me advice.
  • Awards season is upon us!! Golden Globes, Grammys, Oscars, and every guild award show as well. I love awards season. I am so obsessed with TV shows/movies and the entire awards drama. It’s just so much fun. And it only happens like once a year, so I always make sure to enjoy it.
  • The playoffs are here! There are so many awesome teams (not counting the Giants. never counting them) in the playoffs this year, and this weekend is no exception. The big game for me tonight is the Broncos vs. Patriots, but I am SO interested to see how the NFC plays out. There are some freakishly good teams there, and I’m sooooo curious to see how that turns out. I’d love to see the SF 49ers make it past the Saints or Packers, just because I like rooting for the underdog and I love the way they play (aka have a defense). Although, Drew Brees is a beast so I’d be okay with either one of them. It’s such a good time for football πŸ˜€
  • I get to start a pre-med program soon at the hospital where I volunteer! We’re getting more details as the first day gets closer, so I know I’ll have more to share on that later. But I’m stoked.
  • WINTER IS HERE. It is 19 degrees outside. No snow yet 😦 but here’s hoping the next month or two will change that!
  • Game of Thrones premieres April 1!!

 

Overall, a great if crazy week that set the stage for a very interesting last term.

Shopping bonanza

I was trying to be pretty conservative while shopping this break, just because I’d recently bought so many gifts for friends & family. But when one of my best friends wanted some company while shopping for presents for the schoolkids she tutored, I figured I’d tag along. We decided to hit the massive dollar store in another town about 45 minutes away. The drive wasn’t long, since both of us were in the car and time tends to fly when we get together πŸ™‚ I’m so glad we made the trip. The store was huge, one of the bigger ones I’ve seen, and it had a plethora of cute things. While I found some additional small items for gifts & things around the house, I also picked up a couple things for myself:

This is adorable hat I found at the dollar store. I’d been looking for one less obnoxious than the neon-pink striped one I have now.Β  A lot of the cuter hats are not as warm, or at least not the ones I’ve found. Since my head is pretty sensitive to temperature change (thanks, headaches) I have to be careful. I loved everything about this hat. I saw it peeking out of the pile and grabbed it. The print and style are adorable and it’s not too snug. It’s like Goldilocks’ porridge – just right! πŸ˜€


There was a whole aisle of great frames. I saw this one and immediately knew which picture I had that would be perfect for it – a great picture from this past summer, of me and my friends at the beach. It was the perfect frame for my favorite family photo of us, and I knew it was the special frame I’d been looking for to really commemorate that beach trip. The other frame I got was two frames joined at hinges, like a book. I love these, and again, for a dollar, I was happy to have one, to put some more pictures in and sit it on my desk at school. I’m really happy with these buys.

On the way back, we stopped at Goodwill. I freakin’ love that place. I found a super-cute wrap dress for $3.75 – my favorite part about it is that it can be both casual and business/workplace-appropriate. With interviews coming up, this was a steal. The other thing I love is that my mom used to have a dress like it, which makes me a little nostalgic whenever I put it on. I couldn’t get a great picture of the dress & it’s wrap-around cuteness, but a closeup of the pattern is below:

 

Tonight, my parents and I visited some stores down near the beach, which was a lot of fun. I got to spend some fun time with my parents and shop around a little. Since they work a lot, Sundays are usually our day to enjoy some time together – usually over football πŸ˜‰ Best part of the night – we passed Reebok and and saw in the window, football jerseys for $19.99. Considering most jerseys start at about $69.99 and only go up, this was awesome. I was practically bouncing off the walls as I ran into entered the store. I went to the corner where I had seen my beloved Patriots jerseys. At first, only seeing a few players but not the one I was looking for, I turned to another rack. A minute later, my mom yelled from behind me “I found Welker!” It was an XL jersey, practically a dress on me, but hell if I cared. I finally had the jersey I’d been dreaming about for years in my hand, and I wasn’t gonna let go because it was too large.

It was a good weekend. Especially since the Pats won tonight too πŸ˜€

A brief love letter

Dear Patriots,

I had to just pause from my work to say THANK YOU for beating the Jets and giving me a brighter outlook for the week. You may have sucked last week, and the week before, but thank goodness you got your shit together and stopped the Jets. Here’s looking at you, defense (#50, especially). And Brady, thanks for stopping your pretty-boy-ness to throw some touchdowns. Much appreciated. Rob Gronkowski, you’re the man. Deion Branch, you never should have left New England. Clearly it suits you. Wes Welker, I’ll always love you.

Seriously, you guys made my day. Please, for the love of all that is holy, keep it up.

Love,

Obnoxious fan #7430968476.

I wish I could fix you

Today was supposed to be the day. The day we got to avenge our loss to the Giants in the Super Bowl, the one loss that stopped not only our perfect season but the fourth Super Bowl victory by one team in a decade. Instead, Patriots fans in Foxborough & around the country were treated to a lackluster first half, during which both offenses struggled to get anything done. We went to halftime at 0-0, thinking, “Okay, not the best, but we can pull this out still.” Even after Brady was intercepted twice, we thought, we can make it through. It’s Brady and the Pats. Right?

Maybe not.

As the Giants got on a roll and began to score, I got worried. But the Pats caught up, and scored again to even things up and eventually take the lead. At one point, I worried the score would be stuck exactly where we ended three years ago. While that changed, it wasn’t in the way I’d hoped. Once again, we lost by a margin of three points. Three freakin’ points. 1:36 was all Eli Manning needed to take his team down the field, not just for a field goal to tie the game, but a touchdown to win. It was pretty reminiscent of what Brady, and the elder Peyton Manning, have done in the past.

I’m a vocal believer that Eli Manning did not deserve that Super Bowl ring. Three years ago, it was the Pats’ game to lose, and they did. Today, maybe the field was a bit more even, but I still thought the Pats had the edge. And yet again, today, we saw nothing different. A Patriots team that should have soundly defeated the Giants got hung up on bad offensive starts and horrendous penalties that gave the Giants major advantages. I still don’t think Eli is an “elite” quarterback, despite the last drive. Has he improved? Of course. But in my eyes, he’s still nowhere near the best.

I just hope the team I consider one of the best starts playing like it again soon, or it’s going to be a rough season for everyone.