You may remember the one episode renaissance "The Simpsons" enjoyed back in 2016, with the instantly legendary Boston-based Episode 3 of their 28th season, "The Town." That was the one where the Simpson family moves to Boston because, as Marge put it, "It's the wish of every parent to make a better life for their children." To which Homer adds, "Something I've never done!"
It was the one where the Boston Americans football team cheats all the time and their No. 78 is a drooling moron named Bonkowski. Michael Chiklis is the voice of "The Handome Quarterback." There's a championship parade where the crowd includes Steven Wright, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Conan O'Brien, the cast of Cheers, Mark Wahlberg, Steven Tyler, Sam Adams' ghost and New Kids on the Block. There's a Statue of Liberty-sized Larry Bird statue in the harbor. And where Bill Burr had three cameos. Including one of the great Masshole lines ever delivered, "Move your garbage car! I've got to get the packie before the B's drop puck!" and then throws a full cup of Dunks through Homer's window.
It's on Disney+ right now and still well worth a watch.
I bring it up today because Patriots site Pats Pulpit just broke my brain with this claim.
And … my brain is broken.
Either I completely missed this or I knew it and forgot about it. And I don't know which is worse. I've spent the last half hour this morning in a text thread with friends who grew up on the show and the football team and none of us had the first clue. In fact, there was some debate over whether this is fake news, so I checked the Trivia section of the episode's IMDB page. That myth is: Confirmed.
As a tribute to the New England Patriots' 34-28 OT win over Atlanta in Super Bowl LI, the show changed the graphics for the score of a playoff win by the "Boston Americans" over the Springfield Atoms to 34-28 as a one-time only repeat gift to Patriot fans.
Son of a bitch. Mind. Blown. I know this aired about three-and-a-half years ago. But the fact it happened and nobody I know was aware of it is really troubling to me in a weird way. It's like waking up in the morning hungover and discovering the texts you wrote the night before that you were too drunk to remember. Only this particular text is actually pretty damned nice.
It's hard to fathom that there was once a time when a major pop culture institution in America would throw a bone to this team and this fan base. It was short-lived. And 12 months later the Pats lost to Philly and the country feasted on an all-you-can-eat buffet of our misery. But in those long ago days in early 2017, all was right with the world.
And this officially makes this the best episode of an animated Fox Sunday night show that featured the Patriots. Narrowly beating out the "Family Guy" when Peter played for the Pats and Tom Brady stayed with the Griffins and they all took turns watching him in the shower.
The ball is in your court, "Bob's Burgers."