I don’t believe in many things. Love, diets, and certainly not myself. But it’s no longer in my hands whether or not I believe I am personally responsible for the success of the New England Patriots.
For a long time I believed strongly in my own jersey curse. Every time I bought a new jersey something bad happened. Shortly after I got my Wes Welker jersey, he tore his ACL. Wes never won a Super Bowl despite being on some of the best Patriots teams of all time, partly because of individual plays he missed. In 2011 I bought an Aaron Hernandez jersey and bought probably 3 more. Still holding out to make some money on it.
Whenever Nike took over as the jersey sponsor of the NFL, my dad sifted through the bargain bin at a Dick’s Black Friday sale and stumbled upon a men’s XL Reebok Rob Gronkowski jersey. Like a treasure buried in the wallboards of an old house, there was no way of predicting the power this jersey would hold.
The first big game I wore the jersey at was the AFC Divisional Game in 2015 against the Baltimore Ravens. You might know it was the game the Patriots came back from being down 14 points twice. Edelman to Amendola TD, you know the one. It’s impossible to see from this photo of me blacked out in the 300s level of the game because it was -15 degrees, but it was in the building that day.
Then came the jerseys biggest test of its life. Super Bowl 49. We were on a 2 game winning streak with the Ravens and then the Colts. But when the Seahawks lined up at the 1 yard line at the end of the 4th quarter, I was doing dishes in the kitchen. Couldn’t bear to look on and have my heart ripped out again. Remember this was before the second installment of the Patriots dynasty. And when I laid on the floor hyperventilating a Malcolm Butler interception, the jersey was right there with me.
It carried on with me into the next season and at that point it was a trend. I felt like washing it might strip it of its powers, so I just didn’t. The jersey worked all of its magic in the 2015-2016 playoffs against the Chiefs while my friends enjoyed a leisurely day at a brewery but it wasn’t enough up against the NFL fixing it so Peyton Manning would go out with a ring.
During the 2016-2017 season I continued the tradition and didn’t wear the jersey for 2 games that year because I was traveling. Week 4 and week 10, the Patriots only 2 losses that year.
And yes, I know what you’re thinking. The jersey was a huge factor in Super Bowl 51’s comeback against the Falcons. There’s no way I could wash it now.
In a rough end to the 2017-18 season, Nick Foles magic overpowered the mystique of the jersey. That year only the jersey remembers the second half of the AFC Divisional round game against the Titans. I certainly don’t.
2018-19 was another monster season for the jersey. That is until the Miami Miracle game which at the time seemed like it may be the beginning of the end for us. I was disappointed in it’s performance, but even the jersey couldn’t thwart off the weirdness that happens to the Patriots in Miami.
Since December 16th, 2018 the jersey is 10-0. None of this was a problem until the Patriots decided to release the 90s throwback jerseys for a limited run. I fucking love the 90s throwback jerseys. #1 alternate Pats jersey right above the red throwbacks. My thought process was that I can’t jinx a player that doesn’t even play on the team anymore so I woke up at dawn to guarantee I’d get my hands on a throwback 90s Bruschi jersey.
And that’s where I admit my wrongdoings. I got caught up in the flashy royal blue colors. What was I thinking all these years? A jersey couldn’t possibly have that much power on the result of what happens with the New England Patriots.
I put the new jersey on at the start of the week 4 matchup between the Patriots and the Buffalo Bills and I will say it–I looked cute. It is exactly the look I’m going for heading into Hot Girl Fall. People will be jealous I got one before they sold out and maybe, just maybe it was time to give the Gronk Reebok jersey its first wash.
By halftime I threw in the white towel. If we were going to be missing extra points and being in a close game at the half, I needed all the good juju I could get. The Patriots squeaked by and the jersey added another win to the list.
This week I visited Chicago for the weekend and wanted to look cute in the hopes of meeting a tall midwestern guy with good values and a good paying job. I ventured out to a fucking awesome Patriots bar in Chicago, because who are we kidding I couldn’t date a Bears fan. Things didn’t start out too great against arguably the worst team in the NFL, the Washington Redskins. Deep down I always knew this would happen. I packed both jerseys for the trip, taking up a lot of precious real estate in my carry on. I wore the Bruschi jersey to the bar, but had backup with me in my purse. Many girls carry a big purse filled with underwear for their one night stands, 6 months worth of receipts from the grocery store and half empty packets of gum. But my bag held way something way more powerful than eating Wintermint gum and drinking a cold sip of water.
After Tom Brady threw an awful interception in the Red Zone I started dropping seeds of doubt.
Tell me when to change my jersey
— BadGalAli (@aliweitz) October 6, 2019
The responses flooded in. People begged me to change. The results of this poll finished at an unprecedented 100%.
At halftime I changed and the rest is history. The Patriots steamrolled the Redskins, Jay Gruden didn’t make it through the night. He can probably blame the jersey for that one. If I had just kept on the other jersey he might still have a job. But I take my responsibility seriously as a Patriots fan. I do my job with no days off. Sacrifice my romantic future for a chance at a 7th Super Bowl ring and it’s so worth it.
So I can solemnly swear to my fellow Patriots fans that I will literally never wash this jersey. If you invite me to a wedding in January on a Sunday I’ll be wearing it as a black tie gown. Until the wheels fall off..