February 5, 2017

Word: Why it's okay to support the Patriots anyway

Megan Carpentier, Guardian - While some voters are undoubtedly wringing their hands about having to root for the hometown heroes who rooted for Trump, the vast majority of Patriots fans who have already swallowed the dual humiliations of Spygate and Deflategate and care primarily about winning are hardly going to root for the Atlanta Falcons or turn off the television on what is normally the most-watched day of the year. The love of film that made Tom Brady a superstar Read more

(Outside the state, which voted heavily in favor of Hillary Clinton last November, the vast majority of people rooting for the Patriots on Sunday voted for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, which suggests there’s a sort of iconic stoner chic aspect to out-of-state fandom that the team has yet to tap.)

And in the naughties, it’s hard to remember the tough years of Massachusetts sports fandom in the 20th century: the Patriots, like the Red Sox, weren’t exactly the winningest team in the league. The team didn’t even get to the Super Bowl from their founding in 1960 until 1986; they didn’t go again until 1997; and they didn’t win until their third appearance in 2002. The post-Babe Ruth Sox, by comparison, made it to the World Series in 1946, 1967, 1975 and 1986, but lost every time until they made it back in 2004.

There’s nothing like a little taste of victory to make a championship-starved sports fan stop caring about the niceties like “playing by the rules” or “management helping elect a president you hate with every fiber of your being”.

Sure, Tom Brady perhaps wants to Make America Great Again and play with a slightly less-than-fully-inflated football. Sure, Bill Belichick perhaps supports both illegally spying on other teams and a president who thinks we should illegally torturing detainees abroad. Sure, Bob Kraft perhaps supports a little stretching of the rules and of America’s military might in wars not supported by the United Nations. Look, some times you need to break some eggs to make an omelette, and some times you have to support some bad hombres if you want to celebrate another Super Bowl title like you did something to achieve it.

Besides, no one wants to be the Cleveland Browns.

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