The media spots are over. The final wave of "who is Malcolm Butler?" has died down. The Winter of Gronk is currently on ice. Bill Belichick has moved on to the combine, letting his staff take the time off to recuperate after a long postseason.
I kind of feel like I'm part of the team.
I've just recently been able to come to terms with the result of the Super Bowl, that New England was the better Team that day, and that no matter what happens, no one can take the headrush and stars from the final interception away from me.
I'm turning my focus towards whether or not Darrelle Revis and/or Devin McCourty will return for the next couple of seasons. I'm nervous about whether Jerod Mayo and/or Vince Wilfork have a future with this team. I'm excited about free agency and draft prospects and the hope for a new season where the AFC doesn't look to have a challenger in the waiting.
My victory lap from their postseason is now over and it's time to buckle down for the 2015 year, and I think I'm ready.
I spent so long after the final whistle just feeling numb to the situation. As fans, we had to face ridicule for our support of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady during the nonsense that was DeflateGate, and it made the journey tiring. When the Super Bowl festivities began, it didn't feel like a celebration of the Patriots success, so much as an opportunity to put the franchise in the stocks, with tomatoes launched from all sides.
The Patriots went down big, and their fourth quarter was probably the greatest in NFL history, with respect to the gravity of the situation and weightlessness of the result. The Jermaine Kearse Catch fueled the torrent of emotions and made it all the more difficult to continue on to next season. I couldn't comprehend the magnitude of what the final sequence meant. I just had to marinate in the tomato juice.
My friend, Jets Fan Dave, said that when the Seahawks had the ball on the goal line, it was the first time in a Patriots Super Bowl that he had felt as if New England were down and out. In the past, he always felt there was a chance Brady would pull a stupid throw out of who-knows-where in the final seconds to save the day. This was the first time he let go and exhaled, ready to enjoy a Patriots loss.
And then the Patriots ripped his guts out. Belichick, Brady, and Butler removed Jets Fan Dave's ability to digest what had happened and forced him to sit in his own guts.
He couldn't process what happened. I didn't want to.
New England has started to dust off the confetti and move their sights into 2015, and I'm right there in mental lockstep with them. I'm ready to move on.