A Super Bowl party without the Patriots

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A Super Bowl party without the Patriots

When your teams playing for the Lombardi Trophy, a Super Bowl party is not a party. Its an event. Sure, an event at which you drink a ton and eat your weight in queso dip while in the company of friends but still, its not a party.

Its business.

When your teams playing for a title, the frivolities of a stereotypical Super Bowl party are more a pain in the ass than anything. Commercial breaks arent for laughing at slightly funny ads that youll be sick of in two days. Theyre for sprinting to the bathroom, or rocking gently in the corner like a mental patient, freaking out over everything thats happened and whats about to happen next. Theres nothing more annoying than the dude whos way too obsessed with his squares Oh man. This is crazy, guys! If the Pats score here and miss the extra point . . . (flying beer bottle cracks him in the head)." The halftime show isn't entertainment, it sucks the life out of the real entertainment unless you're fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of Janet Jackson's right boob.

If your team wins, then the party starts, and will be remembered as one of the greatest nights of everyones life. It becomes a part of history. If your team loses, the night no longer exists. Its stricken from memory like a bad relationship in Eternal Sunshine. That time spent drinking and watching football with friends is filed away in the same corner of your brain that stores the day your parents told you they were getting a divorce and the time you pooped your pants at recess.

But anyway, that's obviously not something that Pats fans have to worry about this year. In fact, I'm sure a lot of folks will go out of their way to ignore the game all together. After all, no amount of alcohol and chicken wings can numb the aggravation of watching Ray Lewis dance and cry and pray and molest an innocent deer on international TV, while Jim Nantz and Phil Simms fawn over him like he just discovered the cure for HIV, cancer and ALS.

Why go through the trouble of cleaning your apartment, spending a ton of money on food and struggling through a vicious Monday hangover, when there's a chance that all you'll have to show for it is the memory of Bernard Pollard and Terrell Suggs raising the trophy, while undoubtedly taking a moment to call Tom Brady the p-word? Or the sound of Joe Flacco smugly declaring himself the best quarterback in the NFL? Or the vision of God parting the Superdome roof and raising Lewis up to Heaven?

Yeah, it's understandable if you take a pass this year. Or if not, if you choose to sit tight during the commercial breaks, hoping to steal a few laughs. If you care far more about the numbers that make up the score at the end of every quarter instead of the score itself. If you spend halftime glued to the TV, praying for a Beyonce wardrobe malfunction instead of a second half miracle.

Or maybe you just use the game as an excuse to get out of the house? To hang out with friends you haven't seen in a while? To escape the sad reality of winter in New England?

I don't know. But whatever you do, it won't be the same.

A Super Bowl party is never as fun when it's only a party.

And what's a party anyway if there's nothing to celebrate?

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Curran's Sunday 4-pack: So, what HAS Tom Brady been up to?

Curran's Sunday 4-pack: So, what HAS Tom Brady been up to?

Six days – four quarters of football – remain in Tom Brady’s four-game suspension.
 
The fact is the Patriots are 3-0 and have gotten a long – and enjoyable – look at their quarterback depth behind Brady. Brady, meanwhile, has gotten a chance to shave one-quarter off the season-long wear-and-tear he takes.
 
But highlighting silver linings and pointing out there’s not much sand left in the suspension hourglass is no real consolation. Said one team source Thursday night, “It’s never going to go away.”
 
What’s Brady been up to? Mixing family time and working out. He’s routinely spent four hours a day training, I’m told, presumably with his body coach Alex Guerrero at TB12 Sports Performance at Patriot Place. Also, aside from his Sunday session with Wes Welker, Brady’s been throwing to young college players at undisclosed locations, eschewing the opportunity to bring in some of the “name” former players who’ve reached out and offered their services.
 
Spotted in Italy with wife Gisele Bundchen last week, Brady’s also been back home in San Mateo visiting with his family.
 
Speaking to two people close to him, I was told he succeeded in making peace with the time off and avoiding the creep of too much bitterness. I was also told he’s unbelievably motivated to return at a high level and wants his transition back to be seamless in terms of performance and conditioning. That last part is, of course, to be expected. But it will be interesting to see how Brady does perform out of the gates after a month’s forced exile.
 
NINKOVICH RETURNS, TOO

The lesser of the two suspended prodigal sons set to return next week – Rob Ninkovich – is no doubt going to benefit physically from the quarter-season vacation as well. And the defensive ends who’ve performed well in his absence – Jabaal Sheard and especially Chris Long – will do well to have Ninkovich back in the mix. Mention should also be made of Trey Flowers who has shown up in opponent’s backfields on a weekly basis. It depends on what your personal cup of tea might be, but through three games, Long seems to me a much better defensive fit for this team than Chandler Jones. Jones was the more explosive pass-rusher but Long’s ability in the running game, and his play-in, play-out impact in applying pressure on the tackle in front of him makes it seem so far as if he’s an upgrade.
 
NEW DEALS AHEAD?
 
Still no word on which Patriot may be in line for a new deal since the team restructured Devin McCourty and freed up some cap space.

Donta Hightower, Malcolm Butler and Jamie Collins have been seen as the most likely targets for extensions and a redo of Hightower at this point would whittle down his $7M cap number and possibly allow another extension to be executed for either Collins or Butler, as our Phil Perry pointed out.  Jabaal Sheard, meanwhile, is the Patriot who flies under the radar when extension talk starts. He may be every bit as important to the success of the Patriots defense as the other three.
 
REX WRECKS
 
The Bills are 0-2, the natives are beyond restless in Buffalo and the Cardinals are in Western New York on Sunday. The Bills are expected to play without wide receiver Sammy Watkins and are a team staring into the esophagus of 0-3 with a visit to the Patriots coming next week. Have a gander at the Bills Mailbag in the Buffalo News.  Seems like years since Rex was all giddy about the paint job on his new truck. It was less than 19 months ago.