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I am a Patriots fan, and I am BARELY HANGING ON. I know we Pats fans are not generally sympathetic characters, so I invite you to take some enjoyment from my pain, knowing that Super Bowl LV, will likely be an emotional torture rack.

For the uninitiated, Sunday’s big game is between the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs, led by Patrick Mahomes, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by New England’s scorned ex, Tom Brady. For years I minimized the sympathies of Bridget Moynahan, not realizing I would be her gridiron analog. So here I sit pondering who I want to win the Super Bowl and what outcomes could actually make me happy.

Happy OutcomeTom Brady leads the Buccaneers to a fourth quarter comeback despite massive screw ups from his coaching staff.

This acknowledges that Tom Brady still had enough in the tank and the Patriots screwed up by not appeasing him, but also that the Bucs coach—a 1970s Bond villain five decades too late—didn’t do anything that Bill Belichick couldn’t have done. (Aside from being congenial.)

Happy Outcome: The Bucs punt the ball away instead of letting Brady go for it, late in the fourth, and the Chiefs win.

Again, I am clearly feeling vindictive about the Bucs coach talking shit about how the Patriots managed Tom Brady. It would be wildly ironic if the Bucs—who signed everyone Tom Brady wanted, and let him do whatever he wanted—took the ball out of his hands with the game on the line.

A Happy Outcome: Tom Brady throws the game winning touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski.

Again, accepting that 2020’s bizzaro-reality could have been us if we’d just not succumbed to dick measuring contests. But seeing Gronk happy and celebrating is better than all of the bad feelings of watching an ex win the breakup.

Happy Outcome: Anything where Antonio Brown massively blows it or is a complete non-factor.

Sure, the Bucs lured Brady away by offering him all the things he couldn’t have in Boston, including very loose mask wearing laws. But signing Antonio Brown—who is an objectively awful human being, SO BAD THAT THE PATRIOTS OWNER AND HEAD COACH BOTH AGREED TO CUT HIM—shows how little Brady and the Bucs care about morality. People who give money and opportunities to bad humans—who prove it time and time again—should lose.

Sad Outcome: Patrick Mahomes destroys the Bucs in magnificent fashion, and Tom Brady plays like an actual 43 year-old man.

Sad for a few reasons. The Patriots were the last team to win back-to-back Super Bowls, and losing records stinks. Patrick Mahomes would be a third of the way to Tom Brady’s Super Bowl rings in essentially three seasons. Watching a mopey Tom Brady is not fun.

Happy Outcome: Tom Brady gets food poisoning from eating his first strawberry, and Bucs backup Blaine Gabbert wins Super Bowl.

Honestly, who—outside of Kansas slash Missouri—wouldn’t enjoy this outcome? It would be an undeniably awesome sports movie.

Sad Outcome: A low scoring game.

I am still a football fan, and this is likely the best quarterback matchup we’ve had in anyone’s lifetime. If it fizzles, we all lose. We endured 2020, have to watch the Super Bowl with only our immediate families, so please just give us a points-a-palooza.

Happy Outcome: Tom Brady kneels before the game, then wins the Super Bowl, and then goes to Joe Biden’s White House.

Meanwhile twice-impeached Donald Trump tries to sign up for Twitter as @realBaronTrump to insult Brady, but fools no one because he spelled his son’s name wrong.

Josh Bard

Josh Bard is a guy. A sports guy, an ideas guy, a wise guy, a funny guy, a Boston guy, and sometimes THAT guy. Never been a Guy Fieri guy, though.

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