In Defense Of New England

There are some really really cute baby pictures from when my parents took me to New England Patriots Spring Training. Then there are some not so cute ones as I grew up. But the point is I was there. I didn’t buy a pink Patriots hat the first time they won a Super Bowl. I’ve been there, as has my family, through all the ups and downs. The late 80s/early 90s (1-15 in 1990, 2-14 in 1992) were less than glamorous.

Why are the Patriots the newest team to hate? Because they win games? At a restaurant last night I heard a guy say ‘Pats fans are the new Yanks fans’. If he knew anything he wouldn’t lump me with the team I hate (see here). But I’m a nice kid. Supporting a great team like I always have, through thick and thin no matter where I live. Whether we win by many points or just scrape by. A team that plays hard and just maybe has no match this year. A team that is doing what football teams are supposed to do. This same guy said nothing would make him happier than ‘the Pats making it to the Super Bowl unbeaten, then losing’. Why? ‘To shut up all the stupid fans’.

Maybe he’s a Dolphins fan. Maybe he kept betting against the Pats. I’m not stupid, I’m just like anyone else that’s seen the highs and lows of a franchise. I don’t rub it in your face, and I’ve never hated anyone because of their sports affiliation – besides the Yankees. But I feel like everyone’s out to get us, and I don’t even walk on to the field on Sundays. Can’t we all appreciate good football? That’s what it is. It’s that simple, and that hard.

the old school pats

Another thing I keep hearing: ‘It’s a great time to be a New England fan’. If you knew anything about us, you’d know timing has nothing to do with it. I’m never not a fan. That’s not an option.

Here’s a great blog: Evil Patriots

And another: Pats Pulpit

NANO TOTAL: 12614 words.
NaBlo Day 25: Check.

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14 thoughts on “In Defense Of New England

  1. Hate to say it but I agree with the statement that Pats fans are the new Yankees fans. Bear in mind, however, I say that as a Yankees fan (and proud of it).

    What I mean by it, and probably this differs from the guy in the restaurant, is you’ll now suffer the same treatment Yankees fans have gotten for years. Even the loyal ones.

    I won’t pretend to have been a born Yankee as clearly I wasn’t but I was absolutely devastated when the Red Sox came back from 3-0 down back in 2004 and went on to rub salt in the wounds by winning the World Series. It actually hurt.

    My then girlfriend (a native New Yorker) was a Yankees fan so at least I had someone to share it with. In a way perhaps that experience is what cemented my loyalty to the Yanks and now no matter what I know I’ll always be a Yankee, bad times and good (you yourself have seen me defend us against your brother after another Red Sox World Series).

    Anyway, I suppose what I’m trying to say is forget what people say. I’m also an Eagles fan and we came as close as anyone’s come to stopping the run. We played better football for the majority of the game so I could make a case for it being an undeserved defeat.

    I won’t. Football is played over four quarters and when the pressure was on, in the fourth, the Pats showed why they’re unbeaten. The better team won because the better team held their nerve. Much as it pains me to say it. I’ll cling on to the fact that I don’t see anyone else coming as close to beating the Pats this year.

    So enjoy your success. Like you said, you’ve suffered the bad times, so why not relish in the good ones? People will always hate on successful teams, it’s born of jealousy.

    You may not want to admit it but most people (I exempt Red Sox from this as that’s a proper rivalry) hate the Yankees because they’re jealous of the history and the success. Once you learn to accept that it’s other people’s problem it gets easier.

  2. Because every sportscaster has a man-crush on Tom Brady.

    Because they CHEATED, TWICE, but all the aforementioned sportscasters talk about the Patriots as if they were the victims. “It’s just amazing the heart this team has shown in the face of adversity, and blah blah blah… look at the support they have shown to their coach.” Wow, they show support to their smug jerk of a coach that CHEATED.

    Maybe has no match this year? They almost lost to the Colts. They were about to lose to the Eagles, but Feeley threw a horrible pass that got picked off at the end of the game. They won, but they were one bad pass away from being out-matched. They were definitely out-played in that game.

    You said it yourself, “I’ve never hated anyone because of their sports affiliation – besides the Yankees.” The Pats are absolutely the Yankees of the NFL.

  3. I remember going to a Pats/Chiefs preseason game in Foxboro. Joe Montana was the QB and there were a ton of fights in the stands. The Pats sucked, but since I had lived in Mass in the early 90’s, I always kinda liked them. Giants will always be #1 though.

    And I’ll always hate the Red Sox, but that’s the way it is.

    And the Pats merely got caught cheating. It doesn’t mean any other team doesn’t do the same stuff. And as they say, a win’s a win… which the damn Longhorns couldn’t seem to do this year.

  4. Mr P – That’s why I love you. There’s a fair side to it that some people miss. Now I feel your pain 🙂
    Jamie – Still don’t agree with the cheating. All teams record play calls. The Eagles did play good football, when was the last time you’ve seen a team call a flea flicker? That was fun. Close games are the good ones.
    Blindeh – Don’t even get me started on the Longhorns, how depressing was that!

  5. Just because everyone cheats, doesn’t make it okay. I’ve had to hear that from everyone about the Tour de France the last few years. It’s about time football and baseball players start hearing it. The press gave Belichick a pass, and now you hardly hear anything about it. If it were any other coach, you wouldn’t hear the end of it until the coach was fired.
    Plus, whatever it is they were taping had to be pretty serious. It can’t just be something that every team does if they fined him a half million dollars and took away their first round draft pick.

    Since my Bengals can’t get their act together, I’ll just have to wait for the Colts to take down the Pats in the playoffs. We’ll rumble, Cat. The Bengals did beat up Vince Young pretty good this week though… hee hee hee.

  6. I agree. They shouldn’t get away with anything just because everyone else did. But I do think they were made an example of, Belichick just wouldn’t talk about it, which is what the press wanted. I still think for the most part the players are good guys and they’re doing their best. I think they’ll beat the Colts again, I think that’s played out. I still love you even if you won’t wear a Brady jersey. But don’t pick on my Vince. Poor baby.

  7. I agree with what you say, Mr. President. It’s an unpleasant happening with any successful team.

    Also, I agree that wearing your harsh memories on your sleeve shows your loyalty to a team as much as celebrating the successes. Just look at how few true Red Sox fans refer to BF Dent without mentioning his “middle” name. Or Aaron F. Boone, for that matter.

    I wouldn’t say it’s an “undeserved defeat”, but the players did not deserve it. They played very well, and the game plan was excellent. The defeat was deserving of how management failed to fill the Eagles’ roster with enough talent to defeat the Patriots when the Eagles play that well.

  8. Jamie: that’s the funny thing. They were caught doing what everyone else does after 8 minutes in the first quarter of the first game of the year. The fact that they could be so dominant while being under the scrutiny that they are shows just how good they are.

    And for you to say that they are being called victims is incredibly ignorant. Everywhere in the media is “Belicheat” this and “asterisk” that. It’s not like the Colts, who obviously pumped crowd noise into the RCA Dome to directly affect the outcome of the game they were playing (Yahoo Sports had an article stating how observers at the game heard the noise).

    And they were not outplayed that game. They were bending a lot, but they outplayed the Eagles at the crucial points, and the final score is a direct reflection of that.

  9. If it’s something that everyone does all the time, why were they fined $750,000 and their first draft pick? They got the largest fine ever in the NFL for something that everyone does all the time? And the RCA Dome/Noise complaint has been around for years and it’s never turned out to be true. The NFL officially refuted the Yahoo story. Speaking of ignorant…

    Now find me one single instance of Belichick being referred to as “Belicheat” anywhere in the mainstream media. One single instance. How about this one from Boston.com-

    “Underneath the hoodie of Bill Belichick beats a human heart, and it was touched Sunday by the show of support he received from players and fans in the wake of his videotaping vice and subsequent penalty from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.”

    Awww, what a touching story of fans and players showing support for their arrogant, cheating coach. Call me ignorant if it makes you feel better, but I’ve watched plenty of football this season and heard plenty of stories from sportscasters about the impressive courage of the Patriots in such a tough time and their touching shows of support for that poor, poor cheater.

    Those poor, poor Patriots who win lots of games and lots of Super Bowls. Don’t get mad when people don’t like them.

  10. Because Bill Polian, the President of the Colts, is on the NFL competition committee, and has Goodell in his pocket. He’s pretty much the de facto commissioner. The only thing Goodell can do is harshly fine the Patriots at any given chance in the interest of competition, to even out the league. If the same thing happened to the 49ers or Raiders, no one would care.

    http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=&ie=UTF-8&q=belicheat&btnG=Search
    http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=&ie=UTF-8&q=colts+patriots+good+evil&btnG=Search

  11. How does a $750,000 fine even out the league? Has it affected their ability to play at all? That’s pocket change to these guys. And you don’t think Robert Kraft, a billionaire, has any kind of pull in the NFL?

    Did you even read any of the search results you posted? On the first page, the top link goes to an obscure op-ed, and the rest of them actually defend Belichick!

    What exactly are you trying to accomplish here? This all started because Cat wanted to know why someone would hate the Patriots and compare them to the Yankees- you have done a perfect job of showing us why. Your team is worshiped in the media and they are undefeated, yet you are still crying that someone called your head coach a name. They have won 3 Super Bowls in the last 5 years- they are the Yankees! When your team is that good, people are going to hate them. It comes with the territory. Get over it.

  12. You’re forgetting about the draft picks.
    Not as much as Polian.

    You must be reading different articles than I am.

    And I don’t care how good my team is, I’m going to defend them. That’s the same regardless of whether they’re 16-0 or 1-15. If that makes me similar to Yankee fans, then all non-bandwagon fans are like Yankee fans, and your argument doesn’t say much.

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