Close Game.

The Kicker Saves.

Boston Goes Crazy Again.

That's it, folks--basically all you need to know about Superbowl 2004. We had a party, continuing in our grand tradition of Superbowl parties. We Replayed the game, so we could rewatch exciting parts (or commercials) in our own instant replays, and we watched it on an eight-foot-wide screen in our living room. To give you a sense of the size of the screen, here's a picture (at left below) of the screen just after it was installed, around Christmas, with Aurora, our nine-year-old niece sitting near it. Around New Year's, we installed a cornice to hide the screen when it's retracted and to mount the speakers on, giving you the effect at right below. So, Ben and Lise, Howard, Annie, Debbie, and Ghaz, Alyssa, and Alyssa's sister Christina joined us to watch the game in all its large glory.

We ate lots, of course, though I don't think Annie quite believed me when, after preparing a little at a time all week before, I explained that the Superbowl is the biggest American eating holiday after Thanksgiving (and, if you're in my family and you're used to doing the 4:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. feasting bit, New Year's Eve).

We had beer and Ben and Lise's homemade root beer chilling on the roof, since Boston had warmed up to a palatable 33 degrees or so, and we had chips and dips and crackers and cheese and crudites at first, with stuffed grape leaves, shrimp and cucumber canapes, and spicy salmon maki. Toward half-time the real food came out, and I outdid myself by planning an all-pork repast: pork and veal Swedish meatballs, molasses-glazed spare ribs, pigs in the blanket, figs in the (pork, of course) blanket, pancetta and roasted garlic tartlets, and sausage-stuffed mushrooms. Tasty and porky. Various people tried to justify it thanks to the Carolina and Texas barbeque influence, but the basic rationale was simply that I wanted to do it. Dessert, like the appetizers, had no pork at all: baklava, cranberry-topped almond shortbreads, lime and blueberry tartlets, mocha and caramel tea tarts, candy balls, and almond-butter chocolate-chip cookies.

The moment that the game ended, windows all down the street flung up, and people stuck their heads and arms out and yelled. Beer bottles, intentionally or, in the excitement of the moment, forgotten and slipping, crashed from the windows into the center of the street, and you could hear more windows slamming up and people shouting in answer. Ghaz and Annie, an unlikely couple of cheering fans, participated by sticking as much of themselves as possible out of our fourth-floor kitchen window. Ghaz remembered to put his beer bottle on the table next to them, and Annie clutched her paper cup safely inside, but at least Ghaz was yelling, and Annie was certainly watching everyone else. Annie had actually turned into quite the football fan, despite this being only her second game ever, thanks to Debbie's a) enthusiasm and b) expert tutelage during the finals a week ago. Robert was, almost hands-down, one of the least expert football people at our house: he kept coming up with questions like, "Why can't the kicker be the one to punt?" to which even Annie and I know the answer, and to which Ben, exasperated, refused to deign to reply. Debbie, Howard, Robert and I headed out in Debbie's car soon after the game ended, driving around honking and yelling like everyone else. We felt alternately like tourists and members of some peculiar in-group. We weren't sorry, though, that the police barricades kept our (completely sober and obviously very tame) group out of hotspots like Kenmore, though, since we're not all that into the spontaneous fire-and-riot scene.

Still, on Tuesday midday, with Robert coming straight from a meeting in a suit and me from office hours at BU, where were Debbie and I and Robert except watching the Pats' victory parade downtown, in the middle of it all? We went to Boylston, where we could see the parade very clearly and where we were only the second or third people deep in the crowd. Robert stuck up his (long) arm and took great pictures, Debbie filled us in on who was who as the duck boats drove by, and when it was all over, we turned and sprinted to the giant TV set up behind us at the bandstand in the Boston Common, the better to watch the rest of the parade. We gave up standing and watching just before the speeches in Government Center, though, and went to have dim sum. There, exhilerated and still on a football-and-Boston fevered high, we ate our way through several piles of steamers and brought some kind of closure to our personal 2004 football season. At right are Debbie and me waiting for the parade to start. Notice my 2002 Pats hat--no recent fan am I: my fanhood stretches back a whopping two years and a week or two.

Everybody cheers for the cops, who signal the start of the parade.

Ah, the trophy approaches! And boy does Boston like its donuts. . .

More of Brady and the trophy.

A coach or owner?

Robert thinks this is the offensive coach. . . ?

Our hero, the kicker!

Kicker again.

Football players (??) on a duckboat striking funny rap-poses for the crowd.

More football players and family (??).

A duck boat filled, as far as we can tell, with luggage

The Pats cheerleaders, remarkably cheering much more pathetically than the amateur cheerleaders in the crowd.

We stand, thrilled, in the Boston Common and stare alternately at the fans and the TV.

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Created: 02/04/04. Last Modified: 02/04/04.