Disclaimer: If you aren’t interested in conceited sports rants, navigate off the page…
Okay, so here at Branded, I’m one of the few bloggers who root for New England sports, and although our fan base experiences its fair share of criticism (emphasis on “fair”), I have no problem asserting that our antics manifest from a genuine place.
You can say we’re insufferable assholes, but you can’t say we don’t care. And although a lot of people like to insinuate this infatuation directly corresponds with the fact we’ve seen roughly 20,000 parades roll down Boylston street in the past two decades, it’s just not true. For as long as I’ve lived here, it’s always been death, taxes, and “How bout’ that game last night, huh?”
There are a number of cities in America with incredible fan bases—Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago, Pittsburgh, etc.—but in Boston, our sports franchises are literally the primary vehicle through which we express our pride. It’s borderline pathetic. They serve as more of an identity than anything else, and without them, we’d be stuck beating our chests over Plymouth Rock, clam chowder, and a few Matt Damon movies (Honorable Mention: the Revolutionary War).
So yeah, as an entity, we spend an unreasonable amount of time scrutinizing a flock of multimillionaires we’ve never met who compete in games we haven’t played since high school. Given the mutual exclusivity of it all, that sort of a relationship breeds a familiarity that can’t be replicated.
In other words, there are just some things I inexplicably “know” about my sports teams that those outside the velvet rope can never comprehend.
It’s like that famous Robin Williams monologue from the park bench scene in Good Will Hunting: “You can furnish the most comprehensive statistical breakdown on the planet to alleviate my anxiety concerning a particular opponent… but you can’t tell me what it feels like to look at a remarkably unexceptional, 9-7 Giants team and feel totally vulnerable.”
Anyway, here’s what I “know” about the Patriots: I know nothing, and I know that anyone who asserts otherwise is either a.) a liar; b.) a fool; c.) an employee at ESPN; or d.) probably all of the above.
At one point during this season, I’m sure you or someone you know has contended something to the likes of “I know I say this every year, but this year just feels different.” And although that may be true, people contend that every year.
The only constant with this team over the last two decades is that everyone’s wrong. When there’s no chance they can beat The Greatest Show on Turf, they do. When there’s no chance they lose against the Giants, they do. When there’s no chance a sixth-year quarterback could knock up Bridget Moynahan, he does…
During an on-field, post game interview following yesterday’s game, Brady—in a shockingly rare stroke of transparency—suggested that “everyone thinks we suck” and well, he’s not wrong.
It’s certainly been a “unique” year (Brady’s words, not mine) in Foxborough. Between the head-scratching losses to Detroit/Tennessee, the Josh Gordon era, Gronk degenerating into the Tin Man and the Miami Miracle, things haven’t necessarily been par for the course down in Gillette.
As for next week, the lines are out and the desert’s spotting Brady & Co three on the road. That line will most likely look a bit different come Sunday, but more importantly, the Patriots will too.
If everything holds, New England will step off the team plane as postseason dogs for only the seventh time in team history, and the first time since the 2013 AFC Championship—that one at Mile High where Manning dusted our secondary for 400 yards.
So yeah, Vegas knows their shit so I’m not a paragon of optimism right now. That said, I don’t know dude, this year feels different—and when I say “different,” I don’t mean it the way I said it two or three weeks ago…
In other words, I’m done being skeptical about this team. I need Kansas City right now like I need water and that’s something I “know.”
Load the GOD DAMN MUSKETS!!!
– Joey Boats (@joey_boats)