February 6th, 2017

So, was it the best catch ever?

Or just the best catch in Superbowl history?

The dog gets more excited here than the guy on the left of the screen. My reaction was more like the guy on the right:

Of course, these feats don’t matter so much if the timing isn’t right. This one had the right timing. In fact, I think it was the game’s turning point. And boy, did that game turn! 180 degrees.

In the comments last night, “GRA” asked the following:

Question about the New England Patriots. Do all (really in general) of New England actually support the Patriots as their football team? Say if Boston Red Sox or the Boston Bruins won their respective league would New England be celebrating or just mainly Boston, granted they don’t have the qualifier of “New England”?

My answer was that all of the Boston sports teams belong to New England, not just the Patriots. The Red Sox, the Bruins, the Celtics; everyone in New England roots for them.

There’s one exception, though. Hartford, Connecticut is the great sports dividing line. South of Hartford a lot of people are fans of the New York teams. But north of Hartford, it’s all Patriots, all Red Sox, all Bruins, all Celtics, all the time. Intensely so, rabidly so.

But “Gringo” pointed out that there’s also an east/west divide in Connecticut, with the Connecticut River being the dividing line. I agree that this divide exists, too. And in fact, I don’t think of Connecticut as part of New England at all. I think of it as New York North. And I think of Rhode Island as New York Northeast. To me, New England begins with Massachusetts.

If you look at a New England map you’ll see exactly why this sports divide exists:

18 Responses to “So, was it the best catch ever?”

  1. Physicsguy Says:

    I hate the Pats. But then I’m from Denver even though I’ve lived in CT for 35 years. Once a Broncos fan always a Broncos fan. Also have close friend living in northern New Hampshire who also hates the Pats. So much for your statement that EVERYONE in New England (as you define it) loves that team. 🙂 I also disagree with your idea of CT and RI as not being New England. RI is just Boston south. I’ll grant you Fairfield County as being more New York, but certainly not the rest of Connecticut.

  2. football maven Says:

    The guy on the right is Aaron Rodgers and why he is rooting for NE I don’t know. Just makes it harder for him to catch up to Brady.

  3. Gringo Says:

    And in fact, I don’t think of Connecticut as part of New England at all. I think of it as New York North.

    Considering all the New Yorkers who have inundated the Berkshires and Vermont, would you consider those parts of new England to belong to New York North? They certainly brought New York politics with them.

  4. Kevin Says:

    I have to agree with you on the reference to Connecticut fans and New England Sports Teams. The Rhode Island reference is not even remotely close. They are very pro NE team followers.

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    Kevin, Physicsguy:

    Oh, I didn’t mean to imply that Rhode Islanders were not New Englanders regarding sports. They are! I meant that in general I don’t consider them exactly New Englanders. I’m not even sure why. I see them as something more New Yorkish or Philadelphia-ish. Not about sports, though—that observation was limited to southern and western CT. Sorry for the confusion.

  6. neo-neocon Says:


    Yes, Vermont and the Berkshires are on their way. But not quite.

    They are to the west, and share a border with New York state. Eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine do not share that border. Maine is starting to be a bit New Yorkish, too, though.

  7. neo-neocon Says:


    I’m being somewhat hyperbolic about CT, too. But the people I know there are either from NY or commute to NY (southern part of CT). And I’ve spent a lot of time there. It just doesn’t seem New Englandy to me. This is not based on a scientific study, however!

  8. AMartel Says:

    Agree with Kevin. I lived in Providence for 4 years in the mid-80s and everyone I knew who grew up there was a Pats fan. If only because they hated the NY teams. Foxboro is not that far away. They weren’t the rabid Pats fans of today because the Pats were so not a big deal back then. It was just something to do on a Sunday-get your ass frozen to a bench in Foxboro stadium.

  9. Griffin Says:

    Don’t know about the New England fan boundaries but I do know that Boston sports fans have become the most annoying fans in the country. First they moan and groan about never winning anything for ever (which wasn’t even true because of Celtics) and were just insufferable. Then the Patriots, Red Sox and Bruins all when multiple championships and now they have become the most insufferable winners ever. Good God try attending a game where the Boston team is the visitor and put up with these people.

    OK, rant over.

  10. AMartel Says:

    Okay, sorry.
    RI is different from MA/NH/VT/ME New England. It’s more NY oriented if only because of it’s history as a NY outpost (Newport). Very small state but independent culturally. maybe due to it starting out as a refuge for religious tolerance. Also, first to declare independent from England. I really enjoyed my time there. The Buddy Cianci years were exciting and weird!

  11. Yancey Ward Says:

    The catch may have been a turning point, but I still think the greatest catch of all time in a Super Bowl was the one the Giants receiver made against New England about a decade ago that stopped New England from going undefeated. In that instance, the catch is either made, or the Giants lose with a 99.99% probability- it was a fourth down play on the Giant’s last drive, and if they don’t make that first down, the game is over.

  12. Griffin Says:

    As to the catch I would but the David Tyree one for the Giants ahead of it and the Lynn Swann catch from long ago also and probably the Jermaine Kearse catch from a couple years ago that is largely forgotten because of the unfortunate events at the goal line a few moments later. I would say this one had a little of the luck element whereas the other three were pure concentration and skill.

  13. Les Says:

    It wasn’t only David Tyree’s catch, but the entire play itself. It looked as if for sure Eli Manning was going to be sacked, but somehow he escaped and managed the throw.


  14. Surellin Says:

    Wait, there was a football game?

  15. wendybar Says:

    I grew up in East Windsor Ct (north of Hartford and East of the Ct River) and there is also a line of the Ct River!! The Eastern half of Ct is basically for the Boston teams, and the Western half is New York teams!!

  16. Gringo Says:

    Neo: as a native of rural CT, I very much felt being a part of New England. The old houses in my hometown were very much like the old houses I saw in MA, VT, NH, RI, & ME.

    My hometown had a typical NE combination of old Yankees, the more recent NE immigrant mix of Irish/Italian/Eastern Europe, and people from “away” whose jobs had taken them to NE. [But not from Noo Yawk City.] I went to school with a number of people whose famous CT ancestors grace our history books, including famous ancestors from that same home town. As Faulkner said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” The Yankees were unpretentious sorts who hardly ever talked about their famous ancestors and who never made non-Yankees feel inferior for not having those famous ancestors. It’s hard to be pretentious when you shovel cow manure on your family’s dairy farm, even when you are a graduate of a prestigious private college. 🙂

    At the same time, I somewhat agree with your drawing a sharp line between MA and CT. At an early age I was aware that my rural hometown was different from what I had seen in MA. As I put it when I was in elementary school, there are a MASS of people in MASS. While in my early adulthood I got to know Boston, loving its “old shoe” feel with all those old buildings, I also developed some ambivalent feelings about the place. In two words: politics and Massholes. Not to mention being the worst drivers in the US.

    As both my siblings have in-laws in MA, and my sister lived for decades in MA, some familiarity with MA has been forced upon me. My brother’s wife is from a small town in central MA- lot of similarity with my CT hometown.
    And yes, Fairfield County is a NY suburb.

  17. neo-neocon Says:


    Oh, I know there are parts of Connecticut that are classically New England. I didn’t mean to imply that there weren’t. It was really just a lighthearted remark of mine to convey the idea that (a) I think many parts are just suburbs of NY; and (b) I just get a different feeling about much of Connecticut.

    That “different feeling” is hard to pinpoint, but I think it’s a combination of the New Yorkish feel of some of the big cities in the southern tier, as well as the moneyed fanciness of some of the towns further north but not too far north, and just a general sense of more snootiness there (in some of those towns I’ve visited, that is).

  18. Gringo Says:

    Neo, I also have a “different feeling” about the NY suburb part of CT. We basically agree- just that you used some hyperbole.

    That “different feeling” also translated into politics. I did some research comparing 2012 to 2008 in CT. Overall, Hillary’s % of the CT vote was 4% less than what Obama got in 2012.

    However, there were some outliers, where Hillary’s % of the vote was greater than what Obama got in 2012. These outliers were nearly all from the wealthy NY suburb part of CT. New Caanan and Darien, which are the two wealthiest towns in CT, were also the towns where Hillary outpolled Obama by the greatest percentage. As they did well by President Goldman Sachs, they decided to vote for his heiress.

    The six towns where Hillary outpolled Obama by 10% or more -all from Fairfield County- had an average per capita income of $92,000. The 39 towns where Obama outpolled Hillary by 10% or more, including my home town, had an average per capita income of $30,000.

    Polling figures from Htfd Courant and CT Secretary of State. PC income from Wikipedia (2010)

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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