I just returned from Sun Life Stadium having witnessed one of the greatest exhibitions of the quarterback science in NFL history. I saw two fights, one between a man and a woman. I saw parachuters and a stealth bomber.
And I finally saw NFL football in person.
The 9/11 tribute was great to see in person. And the stealth bomber flew directly over my head. (I was high up there.) Stealth is a good word for it. I didn't hear it coming. There are motorcycles and scooters louder than that fine piece of American weaponry.
The game started inauspiciously with Chad Henne turning into Michael Vick. But then Tom Brady came out and showed that the Dolphins couldn't do much to stop him. Seeing him play on TV is one thing. Seeing him in person is another.
I had a nice coach's tape eye-view from my seat next to the moon. The plays develop in flash. Four or five guys running routes with only three seconds to decide where to throw it. And when he does throw, the space available is tiny. And he just zipped pass after pass after pass into those tiny spaces.
Surgical is a word used often to describe Brady, and it's damn appropriate. That first bomb he threw to Matthew Slater ... his back was to me so I sort of saw what he saw. There was a sliver of space and he zoomed a perfect dart.
Then there's one of my favorite live sporting moments I have ever seen live. The Pats were at the half-yard line driving toward my section behind the end zone. Brady was barely visible behind all the lineman buried deep in New England territory. He throws a seam route to Wes Welker. I couldn't tell if he caught it. Then he's running in my direction and I lost it.
I was quietly rooting for the Home 11, but I could not help myself on that play. Just awesome. That sent whatever remaining Dolphins fans home for the evening.
The game was far from the only interesting thing I witnessed. In the second half the people in my section started to get rowdy. There was this one female Dolphins fan who was cussing at every Pats fans walking up the aisle. "Suck my d&%$!" Or "Suck his d%^#!" while pointing to whom I suppose was her boyfriend.
A trio of Pats fans just laughed it off. But seconds later, the Patriots scored. I believe it was the Aaron Hernandez touchdown. That trio came back down to talk some trash to this lady. There were words exchanged. Another Patriots fan sitting across the aisle from me started to horn in on the action, using naughty words to describe this fine lady.
So one of this lady's friends approaches him and they jaw at each other until she splashes beer in his face. That involved the Pats fan's girlfriend and the lady's boyfriend. Some shoving, pointing fingers, all egged on by the crowd of course.
"Control your bitch," the Pats' fan said to the boyfriend. That only escalated matters. The girls started shoving a bit, but at that moment, the authorities intervened. They were just about to the eject the Pats fan but, shocking, Dolphins fans came to his defense and he was allowed to stay.
Later on, there was another fracas seven or eight rows up. A Pats fan was ejected for this one. Seems the police have a little bias, but then, Miami fans have to win at something, right?
I stayed until the final whistle. I wanted to soak it all in -- the half-empty stadium now taken over by Pats fans, who already had represented themselves in impressive numbers. I exited on the opposite end of the stadium from where I parked (my sense of direction failing me again) but I did happen to drop by a fleet of buses that were taking the victors to the airport.
This blog makes adding photo difficult, though my photos aren't great anyway, but I did see some Patriots board the buses and talk to family and friends. There was Chad Ochocinco. Nate Solder. Julian Edleman. BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Deion Branch. Vince Wilfork. Albert Haynesworth. And Bill Belichick himself. No Tom Brady, unfortunately.
But he made up for it on the field, don't you think?