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

Patriots undrafted free agent signing Josh Augusta cut out pizza and lost a lot of weight

Patriots undrafted free agent signing Josh Augusta cut out pizza and lost a lot of weight

FOXBORO -- There are a lot of things in Josh Augusta’s past in football that makes him an intriguing player as the undrafted defensive tackle enters his pro career. Among them: a high-school career as a 320-pound receiver and fullback reps in college. 

Also in his past: About 50 pounds. 

That’s how much weight the Missouri product says he has lost since the end of last season, when he began slimming down from 390 pounds to where he is now with the Patriots. 

How did he do it? Cutting out pizza, for one. 

“I cut out all the fast food, late-night eating, cut out all that,” Augusta said Tuesday at Gillette Stadium. 

There were ample reasons to lose the weight. He’s had asthma all his life and has also dealt with sleep apnea and a thyroid condition in recent years. He wanted to be able to not only move better, but breathe better. 

Now in the 340s as he nears what he previously set as a 335-pound target weight, Augusta’s body is getting closer to what it was when he arrived at Missouri. 

“I feel faster. My breathing’s getting better, just because I lost the weight,” he said. “Just stay on track and hopefully everything still goes right.”

For Augusta, everything going right would entail him enjoying a long NFL career. For all the potential versatility with Augusta -- he says he could still see himself playing some fullback for the Pats if they wanted -- there was little surprise when he went undrafted given that he was not a consistent starter throughout his college career, which he finished as a second-stringer. There were also questions of his stamina, which he feels the weight loss has helped.

Yet the Patriots have done plenty with works in progress, particularly ones who can be used in multiple spots. As he looks to shape his professional career, Augusta thinks New England is the best-case scenario. 

“I feel great here,” he said. “I know I know I’m in good hands, just because of the history they have.” 
 

Quick Slants The Podcast: Arkansas coach discusses his Patriots pipeline

Quick Slants The Podcast: Arkansas coach discusses his Patriots pipeline

Listen to Phil Perry’s interview with Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, who has funneled his college players — James White, Trey Flowers, and others — to the Patriots in this edition of Quick Slants The Podcast.