Patriots fans, I stand humbly before you, begging forgiveness. The debacle was my fault.
It was late in the first half of yesterday’s AFC championship game, just after the Patriots sacked Peyton Manning on a second consecutive play. They led the Colts 21-3. Manning looked pathetic, totally dejected, with that “Here we go again” look we Pats fans are so accustomed to seeing on his face. And that’s when I did it. I didn’t mean to, but I couldn’t help myself.
I felt sorry for Peyton Manning.
OK, so it wasn’t only me. Two co-workers admitted it they did too. My brother, the consummate Patriots fan, admitted it. Even WEEI sports radio’s Gerry Callahan admitted this morning that at that moment, he too felt sorry for Manning.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t that we didn’t want Manning to lose; we just got no joy from seeing him humiliated. We’re generally nice person, after all, and we recognize the difference between beating someone and beating him down. So we had sympathy.
It must have been that collective cosmic sympathy that snatched Manning from the precipice of perpetual futility and gave him a second wind when even a stadium full of his own azure-clad fans were powerless to help.
For my small part in such misplaced compassion, I apologize to the New England Patriots. Please forgive me.