Listening to these idiots about birth certificates, fake deaths of the most evil man since Hitler, and a reality show star with awful hair, I wanted to reflect a minute on the game we have all come to love. With all of the hate and negative things going on in today’s world, people need something positive, something they can all share, and something they can all have agreement on even if it is for a few hours a week. Regardless of race, gender, orientation, or religious belief thousands of people flock together in one place once a week with the same common purpose.
While this is going on, millions of other “followers” are joining that same weekly rally with the same end goal in mind. Football has become a way of life in this country. Baseball has taken a backseat to the NFL. Debate it all you want, this NFL is America’s game now. From September until February, Sunday afternoons have become a bookend in American culture and our economy. Your supermarkets, casinos, liquor stores, and bar rooms all reap the rewards of the NFL. It has also become part of our culture as individuals.
I challenge each one of you to tell me they aren’t constantly checking their fantasy teams when their significant other has dragged them to some pointless baby shower, children’s birthday party, or in-laws house. We’ve also gotten the phone call at 12:30 on a Sunday to pick up some milk, eggs, or some other God forsaken item we’ll never use. Then we come to notice while in the supermarket, we see a dozen other fans just like us waiting in the express line with those God forsaken items we’ll never use wearing a wrinkled Ben Coates or Vincent Brown jersey checking their watch KNOWING kickoff is moments away. When I eventually take the plunge into wedlock, it will be understood that Sunday obligations outside of FOX, CBS, NBC, and ESPN will be few and far between.
Honey, if you are reading this, I’m dead serious.
Tom Brady has definitely given us some great moments since taking over for Drew Bledsoe back in 2001. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
We are lucky enough here in the New England area to have been spoiled in the last decade. Having four Super Bowl visits, two World Series wins, 2 NBA Finals appearances, and multiple Final Four finishes, we have seen more in these past ten years than other cities have had …. EVER. For the younger folks in this region, this “feeling” started back in 2000. Mo Lewis graced us with a brutal hit on Droopy Dog Drew while galloping towards the sidelines over a decade ago. Everyone remembers the Bledsoe gallop right? Watching him run was worse than witness Brady on the move.
It isn’t as painful as Bledsoe pulling his Brett Favre moments and just heaving the ball into no man’s land, or him holding onto the ball Tony Romo style and getting crunched, but it was bad, real bad. So Brady came in and eventually led this team to three Super Bowl titles and the greatest regular season in NFL history.
From there we met Bernard Pollard and Brady’s knee massacre in the season opener in 2008. By the way, we can thank Lil Wayne for the Brady injury just as much as Pollard. Kevin Faulk decided to go get stoned at the Weezy Young Baby concert and was suspended for that first game. Having him in that backfield most likely would have knocked Pollard on his ass rather than on his stomach for the patented “leg lunge” which ended Brady’s season and some thought his career. Tom rehabbed and has had one amazing season and one “Brady-like” season since his return.
Two early playoff exits still sting, especially in the manner which they went down. Though extremely disappointing and discouraging, here we are, wanting another helping of this sport we have all come to grow and love. The day after Aaron Rodgers hoisted the Lombardi trophy above his head, folks here in New England were talking about the draft, the combine, what we did wrong having a 14-2 season.
Think about that for a second. A 14-2 season and as fans were disappointed. Anything short of a Super Bowl with TB12 and BB running the show is a failure here. We have become extremely spoiled in this area by the success of the Celtics, Red Sox, Patriots, and fingers crossed Bruins, that the bar is set incredibly high. The bar is set that high, because the players and coaches have put it there. That is where my fondness of these teams comes from. How each of these teams, players, and coaching staffs make winning a priority and losing is not an option. The competitive spirit of each member of these teams has transcended to the public and why it has become a way of life for some people.
You may say that this is just sports, with guys making millions of dollars for suiting up to entertain us, but we as a society have become so inebriated with the success and failures of our teams that it seems to be more than that. Some people are self starters and don’t need motivation to succeed, but the fire and tenacity that is shown from these athletes and coaches alike are a great message for everyone, especially our younger generation.
Now if the owners and players can play nice and stop acting like toddlers we could start talking about real football related topics.