tl;dr - i don't know why i ended up writing so much (sorry). basically, when sherman tipped that last ball, did anyone flash back to super bowl 43 and wonder what if ben's pass to santonio was just a little short and ended up being picked?
i didn't want to watch the game yesterday. i've hardly watched any football since the chiefs lost that stupid game in week 17. but living in the bay area, most of my family and friends here are niners "fans" in the sense that, "oh hey, the niners are still playing? let's watch... because it's dark outside..."
anyway, i sit and watch this nfc championship game with much more interest in the delicious seven layer dip (have you ever eaten 7 layer dip with doritos? decadent and awesome!). play goes on and the niners "fans" around me are saying horrifying things that i try to ignore:
- i don't like the seahawks uniform colors
- wait, where is the super bowl?
- is this game the super bowl?
- mike iupati is the niners fullback
- man, the seahawks cheat because they are getting all the calls (this one made me laugh and want to punch a stuffed animal).
anyway, it's football, and the game is getting intense, and i allow myself to flow in the river-like current of the drama. everyone in the room wants to quit and expects to lose constantly in the 4th quarter. i have to reassure them that everything is fine. as stiller fans, we've seen big ben pull out these games constantly.
then, in that last drive, i'm taken back to super bowl 43. the raw emotions of that last drive are brought back and i catch myself enjoying yesterday championship. kaep is looking great and i really believe he's going to pull this off. 30 seconds to go and kaepernick let's fly his last, fatal pass to the corner of the end zone.
in these final seconds, it's horrifying as i'm transported to some evil, darker parallel timeline. it's the same pass that launches, to the back corner of the end zone to the right (on your tv screen). it's the same pass as in super bowl 43. i still remember ben's quote after the super bowl.
when it left my hand, i thought it was going to be intercepted and i thought i just lost the super bowl.
as yesterday's play unfolded in front of my eyes, i was horrified as i entered this false reality where the pass to santonio was tipped and picked just like the seahawks in yesterday's game. i was haunted by this what-if game for the next couple of hours. several times, i had to reassure myself that, no, it wasn't picked and yes, the stillers did win super bowl 43. i did actually pull out my super bowl 43 shirt and hold it, just like when you pinch yourself to make sure you aren't in a dream.
but still, the chill of what-if haunted me until i went to sleep. usually i mostly remember grabbing my baby child when santonio made that catch and running around the house and screaming. what i usually forget is the play before where santonio pulled a limas sweed and dropped the td pass in the other corner. what i usually forget is the kemo holding penalty as the last drive began. what i usually forget is the emptiness in my soul watching larry fitzgerald streak toward the end zone...
big ben's throw was just barely over the outstretched arm of the DB. kaepernick's throw was 8 inches short.
- 8 inches higher of loft and the niners are headed to the super bowl.
- 8 inches lower of loft and big ben is picked (just like he was in super bowl 40) and who knows where we are.
for a few horrifying hours, my soul was crushed as i wallowed in the emotions of this terrible alternate reality. this morning, slightly refreshed, i'm sure that we won super bowl 43, but there horror is right there still, like a freshly bandaged wound.
dang it, i knew i didn't want to watch that game yesterday.
in rooney's i trust.