Perspective for the Older Fans from a Younger Fan

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dreighver

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I wanted to share my perspective on this Brady thing, because I hear a lot of fans who presumably are older (35-40+) who don't fully understand the impact this is having on younger people.

I was born in '95, making me 25 right now. My first memory of watching the Patriots was the 2001/2002 divisional game against Oakland, the "tuck rule" game - I was about to turn 7 at the time. My dad was happily rooting for both teams, as he is a Michigan alum and watched Brady and Woodson play in Ann Arbor. He always had a soft spot for Brady and thought highly of him at Michigan. Following the Patriots victory, he began to follow the team more closely given the Brady/Michigan connection, and gained a soft spot for Belichick and the way he ran the team. Note that we lived in (and still live in) central Virginia at the time; my dad couldn't root for the Ravens, because he grew up a Baltimore Colts fan, and he couldn't get any traction rooting for the Redskins and their awful management.

As I transitioned out of early childhood and into middle school, naturally I gained a greater interest in the Patriots, the team my dad watched as I grew up (albeit casually), and taking autonomy over my fandom, basically. It was the 2007 season that sparked my interest, as my 12 year old brain was infatuated with the Randy Moss acquisition. Beginning that season, I became a diehard Patriots fan. I watched in 2008, when Brady was out with injury. I cried after losses and rejoiced after wins. I was fully and completely invested, but as I described above, my path to becoming a fan was a bit unusual.

Fast-forward to today, and needless to say this is a challenging thing to navigate mentally. While I always identified as a Patriots fan, and loved Belichick and all the players who contributed to the team's success, naturally my identity as a Patriots fan is intrinsically tied to Brady, given my age, perspective, and the context in which I watched the team. I quite literally have ZERO memories (save for Cassell and Garappolo) of any other QB playing for this team. 20 years. From age 5 - 25, my entire childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood, all was Brady.

So when certain people (most of them younger) cannot reconcile/comprehend their allegiance and identity as a Patriots fan, this is why. There are certain fans who quite literally do not have memories of a time pre-Brady, and their identity as a Patriots fan is intrinsically tied to Brady being the Patriots' quarterback.

Will I continue to root for the Patriots? Absolutely, there's too much history and attachment not to. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Belichick and the way he runs his team, and I'm excited to see how the offense evolves with a different type of quarterback. But will I also continue to root for Brady? Of course. Who do I root for if they play head-to-head? Quite frankly, I don't know, but I think I'll find myself trying to be a captivated observer, leaning towards the Patriots.

At any rate, I wanted to try to share my perspective in the hopes it helps others understand why this is inevitably causing such cognitive dissonance for certain people, given their age, perspective, and context.
 
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Patriots1993

On the Roster
Good post. 27 here so that all hits home for me. Thank god we're quarantined because I'm too depressed to leave my house anyways
 

dustcover

Practice Squad Player
I wanted to share my perspective on this Brady thing, because I hear a lot of fans who presumably are older (35-40+) who don't fully understand the impact this is having on younger people.

I was born in '95, making me 25 right now. My first memory of watching the Patriots was the 2001/2002 divisional game against Oakland, the "tuck rule" game - I was about to turn 7 at the time. My dad was happily rooting for both teams, as he is a Michigan alum and watched Brady and Woodson play in Ann Arbor. He always had a soft spot for Brady and thought highly of him at Michigan. Following the Patriots victory, he began to follow the team more closely given the Brady/Michigan connection, and gained a soft spot for Belichick and the way he ran the team. Note that we lived in (and still live in) central Virginia at the time; my dad couldn't root for the Ravens, because he grew up a Baltimore Colts fan, and he couldn't get any traction rooting for the Redskins and their awful management.

As I transitioned out of early childhood and into middle school, naturally I gained a greater interest in the Patriots, the team my dad watched as I grew up (albeit casually), and taking autonomy over my fandom, basically. It was the 2007 season that sparked my interest, as my 12 year old brain was infatuated with the Randy Moss acquisition. Beginning that season, I became a diehard Patriots fan. I watched in 2008, when Brady was out with injury. I cried after losses and rejoiced after wins. I was fully and completely invested, but as I described above, my path to becoming a fan was a bit unusual.

Fast-forward to today, and needless to say this is a challenging thing to navigate mentally. While I always identified as a Patriots fan, and loved Belichick and all the players who contributed to the team's success, naturally my identity as a Patriots fans in intrinsically tied to Brady, given my age, perspective, and the context in which I watched the team. I quite literally have ZERO memories (save for Cassell and Garappolo) of any other QB playing for this team. 20 years. From age 5 - 25, my entire childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood, all was Brady.

So when certain people (most of them younger) cannot reconcile/comprehend their allegiance and identity as a Patriots fan, this is why. There are certain fans who quite literally do not have memories of a time pre-Brady, and their identity as a Patriots fan is intrinsically tied to Brady being the Patriots' quarterback.

Will I continue to root for the Patriots? Absolutely, there's too much history and attachment not to. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Belichick and the way he runs his team, and I'm excited to see how the offense evolves with a different type of quarterback. But will I also continue to root for Brady? Of course. Who do I root for if they play head-to-head? Quite frankly, I don't know, but I think I'll find myself trying to be a captivated observer, leaning towards the Patriots.

At any rate, I wanted to try to share my perspective in the hopes it helps others understand why this is inevitably causing such cognitive dissonance for certain people, given their age, perspective, and context.
Dreighver, thanks for sharing. And yes indeed there is some cognitive dissonance. As a septuagenarian, my perspective is quite different. I won't bore you with all the details, but I'll share with you how I abandon my Giants fandom identity in 1960 when running back out of Syracuse Gerhard Schwedes became the Patriots first draft pick. Seems like eons ago! And when the Patriots acquired QB Babe Parilli in 1961, this cemented my devotion to the Patriots through thick and thin. And now, after appreciating the past 20 years of greatness by the GOAT and the overall success of the TEAM as a whole, all I can say is 'it's been one hell of a ride.'

BUT:
 

lancerman

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
I’m 28. The man started and won his first SB when I was 10 and in elementary school. Won two more when I was in Middle school. Had the 16-0 season in the middle of High school. Had the 2010 MVP year in my freshman and sophomore years of college. Then won my first full year in the workforce, then went to three more when I finally moved out of my home state and moved across country. My last in person Pats game with him at QB will be him thrashing the hell out of the Broncos in 2017. **** I’ll miss him
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

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Brady will always be the face of the Patriots just like Jordan is the face of the Bulls. Rooting for Brady is nothing to be ashamed of; he likely just has a few years left.

There are a heck of a lot of idiots who think they have a bigger d1ck because they have no sentimental attachment and really want to prove they’re “real fans”and that this news doesn’t bother them. They’re also called idiots. They’ll be the first ones to bail when they realize what they’ve lost because they’re too dumb to grasp that right now, whereas others will be better prepared for what’s coming.
 

maust1013

Just Another Guy
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(somebody had to do it)
 

dreighver

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I'm 66. I cant see how anyone thats in their 20's can possibly have the appreciation we geezers have.

A different perspective /=/ greater or less appreciation. A different perspective simply results in a different form of appreciation.
 

Doctor DDS

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
Brady is the greatest player in the history of the league and just led "our team" to more success in a 20 year period than has ever been done. Even if you think his leaving was best for the team it is hard not to be melancholy about this news.

Am a 53 year old fan. Was sad when Larry Bird left but he was clearly done physically and it was understandable. Would have liked another year from Big Papi but he was in serious pain.

Neither compare to Brady. No player in the history of sports has had more big moments while leading the most popular sport in the country. And he was ours. I'll still be a fan and watch all the games but am certainly saddened by the end of this era. Hope Pats will be fine moving forward but we'll never experience the past 20 years again.
 

PatsWSB47

Pro Bowl Player
A different perspective /=/ greater or less appreciation. A different perspective simply results in a different form of appreciation.
Okay they cant possibly have the perspective we have. How old are you? See a young person can theorize about whether or not they can have more or less or a different form of a lot of things. But having been young, then middle aged and now getting pretty old I can tell you only know this as fact by living it. Its ever evolving.
 

Elijah

The Tom Brady Of Not Having A Gf
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Okay they cant possibly have the perspective we have. How old are you? See a young person can theorize about whether or not they can have more or less or a different form of a lot of things. But having been young, then middle aged and now getting pretty old I can tell you only know this as fact by living it. Its ever evolving.

I think the only person speaking in absolutes in this thread is you.
 

Jimke

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
I went to the first Boston Patriot's game on 9/9/1960 at the age of 28. I had to park in
Kenmore Square and walk briskly to Boston University Field. On bowling Friday's, I
drove my uncle nutty listing to the Patriot's game instead of concentrating on the bowling.
I had my first set of season tickets during the Fairbank's era but gave them up in 1976 when
I moved to Maine.
When I retired at the end of 2002, I did two things. I bought a computer so I could
print draft information and joined the waiting list. At the ripe old age of 78, the
tickets finally arrived. My original intent was to keep the tickets for a year or two but
I kept them for 8 years and missed only 1 game. Boy, what a time to have season tickets.
During that time I have enjoyed watching perhaps the best football player of all time. I
will miss seeing him and his family.
 

dreighver

PatsFans.com Supporter
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Okay they cant possibly have the perspective we have. How old are you? See a young person can theorize about whether or not they can have more or less or a different form of a lot of things. But having been young, then middle aged and now getting pretty old I can tell you only know this as fact by living it. Its ever evolving.

The fact that you asked my age indicates that you didn't put in much (if any) effort when reading my post.
 

aluminum seats

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
Brady will always be the face of the Patriots just like Jordan is the face of the Bulls. Rooting for Brady is nothing to be ashamed of; he likely just has a few years left.

There are a heck of a lot of idiots who think they have a bigger d1ck because they have no sentimental attachment and really want to prove they’re “real fans”and that this news doesn’t bother them. They’re also called idiots. They’ll be the first ones to bail when they realize what they’ve lost because they’re too dumb to grasp that right now, whereas others will be better prepared for what’s coming.
Well. To me, it’s not about having a bigger d1ck or anything else, it’s just that realistically he was playing another year or two at most anyway. And the overall football fan in me thinks it will be interesting to see what he can do somewhere else to be honest. If it was five or 10 years ago, then yeah, absolutely it would be a real ****ty day. As it is it was coming soon anyway, and it’s been 20 years of good times, so I’m not trying to be a tough guy when I say I don’t feel sad about it.
 
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