Nightshades Kill

This past Saturday morning – the day before Super Bowl LII – I think Tom Brady and his wife Gisele greeted each other in the kitchen where she was making them a hearty breakfast shake consisting of protein powder, non-dairy milk, and one blueberry. The Brady’s conversation went something like this:

Tom: Hey, Gisele, what do you think we should do this weekend?

Gisele: Don’t you have that thing this Sunday, Tom?

Tom: Oh, dang. I keep forgetting about that. And then there’s the stupid victory celebration afterwards, where BKraft takes us to a steak house. They never have avocado ice cream at Morton’s.

But then Sunday night after the Patriot’s defeat by the underdog Philadelphia Eagles, after Gisele had finished her glass of white wine in the owner’s box, and after Tom had gotten his massage and showered and dressed and made sure his hair was perfectly coiffed, they met up.

Tom: Tough night, Gisele. I don’t care what you say. I’m saying SCREW IT.  I am going to have me some NIGHTSHADES tonight. You’re not the boss of me.

Gisele: Look at me, Tom. Yes I am.

As I layed forlornly in my Lazyboy recliner covered from head to toe with an afghan despite the fact that the temperature was 80 degrees, I watched some of the pre-SuperBowl fluff. One of the things I watched was an interview with Tom Brady, during which he talked about his mother. He loves his mother. Tom talked about how much it means to him that she was there to watch him play that day. My heart softened. I, too, am a mother.

As I watched, I lazily looked at news that Google has decided I’m interested in on my iPad. One of the stories that appeared as I meandered through the information being fed me was an article in which it stated that Tom Brady has never eaten a strawberry nor drank a cup of coffee in his life.

And just like that – poof — Tom Brady annoyed me once again. I’m really glad he loves his mother, but you can’t trust a human being who has never started the morning with a cup of joe. Has the man never, EVER had a hangover?

Never mind that I’ve been sick for three days with an unending cough, chills, and aches and pains in areas I didn’t even know I had. Don’t try to make me drink a cup of green tea with rose hips and flax seeds for breakfast. And I don’t just want a strawberry. I want many strawberries served over pancakes and covered with real maple syrup. And then maybe some canned whipped cream sprayed on top for good measure. And then some more sprayed directly into my mouth.

It’s hard to argue health with a man who is 40 and still plays football like a college quarterback, and who looks like he’s ready to go through rush at the University of Michigan. Let’s face it: he looks like this…..

…..and I look like this…..

Maybe a bit better on a good day.

Okay, I’ll go along with his meat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and flour-free diet. It’s not for me, but I’ll throw him that bone. (Oh, wait, he can’t eat bones either.) But no nightshades? I had to look up what a nightshade was. Here are some nightshade fruits and vegetables: ashwagandha, capsicums, cayenne pepper, curry spice, goji berries, kutjera, tomatillos, all peppers, and most tomatoes.

Tom Brady’s health might be enviable given the fact that he and his Patriot teammates have participated in so many Super Bowls that my 8-year-old grandson Joseph – who lives with his family in Vermont – thinks Super Bowls are just the normal last game of a really long season. But you will have to rip that jalapeno pepper out of my hand before I’ll give it up. Ashwagandha and goji berries, maybe. Mexican food, never.

Football Hangover

If you had told me at the beginning of the football season (or really before or after any game during the entire season, because, you see, it’s me we’re talking about) that the Broncos would be in the Super Bowl, I would have called you C-R-A-Z-Y. No way. I’m pretty sure the only game we played this season that we didn’t have to wait until the final whistle to take a breath was against Green Bay. Meanwhile, the New England Patriots were winning handily, game after game after game.

Until they met the Denver Bronco defense the first time during the regular schedule, which presented them with their first loss of the season. And then again on Sunday afternoon when the Bronco defense sent them back to Boston to shovel snow. I’m no expert on football, but I’m telling you that Tom Brady got up Monday morning feeling out of sorts.

tom-bradyWhile I was in the hospital, my niece Maggie brought me my secret vice – entertainment magazines. I’m not sure why I enjoy them so because I probably don’t know 95 percent of the people they talk about. Still, I secretly read them in only a few places — grocery store lines, doctors’ offices, and the hospital. In one such magazine, there was a small blurb about Tom Brady and his gorgeous wife Gisele from which I learned that 80% of Tom and Gisele’s diet consists of vegetables. The perfectly splendid couple eats no white flour, no white sugar, no nightshade vegetables (??????), and no dairy. Brady proudly states that the ice cream he eats is made from avocados. Seriously. Avocados.

So he couldn’t even drown his sorrows Sunday night by eating a big bowl of Bunny Tracks ice cream drenched in hot fudge. Poor Tom. Instead of waving towels in the end zone, Bronco fans should have been waving signs depicting Big Macs.

I certainly didn’t count on a Bronco trip to the Super Bowl, but if it was to happen, I searchdreamed the opponent would be the Arizona Cardinals. I’m a Bronco supporter through and through, but Cardinals have become a team of which I’m fond. And I’m pretty sure Cardinals Coach Bruce Arian eats white flour, white sugar, and ice cream made from real cream. But alas, it was not to be. Instead, the Bronco’s opponent in a couple of weeks will be the ever-smiling Cam Newton.

Now, from what I can tell, Cam Newton is a like-him-or-hate-him kind of guy. Not being a particular follower of the SEC college football division, I don’t have a preconceived idea of the man. And since the Broncos rarely play the Carolina Panthers, I don’t have a knee-jerk negative reaction to them like I do to the Patriots.

cam-newton-86d1093fb4187b39Having said that, if you held my feet to the fire and insisted I give you a gut reaction to Cam Newton, it would be positive in nature. Sure, he’s full of himself. Sure, he does that dance in the end zone that other quarterbacks would never do. (Can you even IMAGINE Peyton Manning doing a dance in the end zone? A fist pump and a smile that looks more like he’s relieving gas pressure is about as much joy as the almost-always-serious Peyton demonstrates.) But Cam seems to be having such FUN. And, in his own words, if opponents don’t like him dancing in the end zone, they should keep him out of the end zone. I can’t say I’m very fond of the towel he seems to always wear over his head, but he has a million dollar smile, and you can take that to the bank. And you’ve got to give credit to someone who can chew gum and become the NFL Most Valuable Player at the same time.

I may or may not be paying my respects to Cam Newton and his team in a couple of weeks, but let the media blitz begin!

And to the Arizona Cardinals, you guys had a helluva season. I can’t wait ‘til next year.