There are two sides to me.
One is the wildly superstitious side, the side that avoids cracks in the sidewalks and wears the same Patriots' shirt on game day as long as they keep winning.
The other side is the rational side of me, that realizes that Bill Belichick doesn't know I exist and that the earth does not spin off its axis because of inconsequential decisions on my part.
The Two Sides Of Phil will collide head-on later tonight, when the Patriots play the Broncos in an AFC Divisional Playoff game. My tentative plans are to go to my friend Dianne's house for a cookout, the same house in which I watched the Patriots lose to the Jets in last year's playoffs.
The one side of me is apoplectic. "Why are you doing this, Phil. YOU IDIOT," it tells me. "You remember what happened last year. In fact, in your lifetime you've watched the Patriots lose three playoff games there. Dianne's house is a curse."
The other side of me refuses to get sucked into talk of jinxes and curses. "Phil, don't listen to this kook," the other side says. "First of all, the Patriots are 2-3 in playoff games at Dianne's house -- remember the 24-21 upset of top-seeded San Diego in the 2007 playoffs? Yeah, you saw that at Dianne's too. So it's not like they ALWAYS lose here. Secondly, if the Patriots lose, it will be because their 31st-ranked defense let them down, or because they only played two teams with a winning record all year and lost to both of them, or because Tom Brady played like shit, or because Bill Belichick got outcoached and didn't run the ball enough and lost his fourth consecutive playoff game to a team the Pats were favored to beat. You will not miss a single tackle, drop a single pass, or fumble a single ball, just like you won't score a touchdown or intercept a pass if they win. Whatever happens it is NOT YOUR FAULT. Thirdly, in order for the Patriots to break the jinx and win the Super Bowl again you have to face this head-on. It wouldn't be the same. The Red Sox had to beat the Yankees before winning the World Series. The Bruins had to beat the Canadiens en route to winning the Stanley Cup. And lastly, Dianne's pretty good on the grill."
The rational side of me is beginning to take over. I will face The Curse of Dianne's House.
Though, it's 1:30 a.m. I have 18 hours to change my mind.