It's days like today that remind me that no matter how bad things get, you can't keep a good American down.
Times are tough. The economy is still in the crapper. Jobs are hard to come by. Coaches at every level of sport, professional and otherwise, are dropping like flies from some scandal or other. Watching Real Housewives throw each other parties and throw crying fits over the quality of the shrimp still garners infinitely more attention than the upcoming Presidential election. Nobody has taken any initiative to ensure that Kim Kardashian keeps getting flour bombed everywhere she goes. The guy that makes my breakfast sandwich every morning has moved on and his replacement doesn't know how to get the eggs all fluffy the way I like it. It's enough to make you want to just give up.
But as the legendary John "Bluto" Blutarsky once said, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And that's exactly what Patriots fans everywhere have done. Courtesy of the best fans in the NFL, Calvin Johnson now joins Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, and Patrick Willis in the Final Four of the Madden Cover Tournament after beating Rob Gronkowski with a whopping 67% of the vote. And while I'd like to think that my incessant and borderline insufferable campaign to get Gronk the hell out of this tourney had something to do with today's celebration, I know that, more than anything, this was a group effort. The chips were down, our backs were against the wall, and Patriots Nation banded together and did what we had to do. The ways that we can help this team as fans are very limited; you can only yell so loud and buy so many 8 dollar beers at home games. So when the opportunity to really make a difference came, you can bet we all jumped on it. Yes, Megatron is insanely talented and the best receiver in the league. Yes, he is a high profile player that was likely to get a lot of votes regardless of his opponent. But is he 67% better than Gronk? Is he that much more of a personality? I don't think so. The numbers don't lie; Patriots fans simply wanted it more.
Am I blowing this absurdly out of proportion? Is comparing getting Gronk off the Madden Cover to the plight of the American economy one of the most ludicrous, pigheaded statements I've ever made? Is this article a bit dramatic, even for me? I guess we'll never know for sure. But one thing I do know is that I feel like a weight has been lifted from my brawny, perfectly sculpted shoulders today. The dark clouds have parted, and I know that there won't be any added stressors to my autumn Sundays in 2012. My irrational and all-encompassing obsession with the Patriots makes watching games traumatic enough for me as it is; can you imagine what this season would have been like for me if Gronk had won the Madden Tournament? Do you have any idea what it would have been like cringing in sheer terror every single time Tommy B dropped back to throw, knowing it was just a matter of time before Gronk made the catch that would ultimately end his season? Do you know what that would have done to my already fragile psyche? It would be like spending six months stuck in the Tower of Terror, knowing that godawful drop is coming any second, and there's nothing I can do about it. No thanks.
But luckily for all of us, the Madden Curse isn't something we have to worry about anymore. Now we can shift our full attention back to the upcoming draft and the rest of free agency. Let Packers, Lions, 49ers, and Panthers fans worry about that now. Our work here is done.
As always, more than ever, I'm proud to call myself a Pats fan. We did it, everyone. We did it.