Of close-run things

Trump lied. He predicted the Patriots would win by eight. They only won by six. And anyway the result of the game should be overturned by the courts, for the Falcons clearly won on yards rushing. (I stole this from some Comments thread somewhere.) And Brady, the Patriots’ quarterback, is a friend of Trump’s. He should never have been allowed to play. And Edelman’s pass reception should not have counted, because it was too good to be true. Ditto for White’s final touchdown. Or his previous one. Or the one before that.

Notwithstanding, the Patriots won.

Yes, I was watching the game, having found a livestream that worked on my laptop, though not until late in the third quarter, when the score was New England 3, Atlanta 28. I don’t usually watch American football; or any other kind of football; or any other professional sports. I especially don’t watch a game that’s not close. I can’t exactly say what glued me. My prejudice on behalf of the Patriots was mild, founded in a long dislike for the city of Atlanta, going back half a century to my hitchhiking days. Too, in my belief that of the two sides, the Patriots were less politically correct. But Sherman burnt it down once, and now Brady has burnt it down again. (Sorry gentle reader in Atlanta; the rest of Georgia I adore.)

I am wilfully biased by nature; I don’t need much to get me started. By the beginning of the fourth quarter, I was a New England Patriots fanatic; and by the time the score was 20 to 28, I was muttering prayers and reaching for my Rosary.

According to an American proverb, it ain’t over till the fat lady sings. (And this Gaga lady wasn’t fat enough.) To other counsels against ever giving up, I now add Tom Brady.

As he said himself, after the game, there were thirty plays that could have gone either way. If even one of them had not gone right, the result would have been different. That’s what Wellington noted after Waterloo: that it had been a close-run thing, “the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life.”

Should we ever be saved, gentle reader — you or even me — I think it might be a close-run thing. And as the next lap could be our last, remember to ask for divine assistance.

Nothing in this world is perfect (except Our Lord and Our Lady). But we wouldn’t even be here today, were it not for many million close-run things.