What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Friday, October 12, 2007

All Things Patriots

I am a huge New England Patriots fan. I know Tom Brady, Asante Samuel, Teddy Bruschi, Randy Moss and Lawrence Maroney by name. I regularly watch the highlights of Patriots games and am ecstatic when my team wins. I know players stats by heart and can tell you how many points per game the Pats defense has allowed since 2003 (16.5), how many consecutive seasons the Pats have won in the Playoffs (4) and the number of times Brady has lost on artificial turf (1). I know the nature of Lawrence Maroney's injury and can describe Samuel's lanky stride to a T.

I also cheer on the Patriots no matter what. When head coach Bill Belichick admitted to using illegal field level videotaping to catch opponent signal calling, I compared football to baseball, where such a practice is legal and expected. When Brady left his pregnant supermodel girlfriend to date the world's richest supermodel, I sighed and dug desperately for words of justification. When Rodney Harrison was suspended for taking Human Growth Hormone (HGH), I argued the substance, while illegal, served to help the athlete tackle his knee injury. When NFL bad boy Randy Moss was signed by the Pats, I got to my knees and prayed with all the sincerity of a teenager that Moss would become a choir boy. I am still on my knees.

And don't go thinking that I'm a late blooming band-wagon hopper. I've been rooting for the Pats since they started Brady back in 2000. I liked the mascot and I figured, even at a tender age, that I should decide which sports teams I would support for life and stand consistently by my prognostications through all weather. The fact that my football team has since won three Superbowl titles and has established itself as the class of the league is extra icing. In other sports I've been humiliated. My baseball team, for example, is the San Francisco Giants and my NBA squad is the Sacramento Kings. Neither of those teams are playoff caliber, but that doesn't keep me from ardently cheering them on.

This brings me to the recent past. I was looking around my room the other day and noticed I had no Patriots memorabilia. My wall is adorned with posters for the Sacramento Kings and the Marine Corps, a couple pieces of art, and a few maps, but nothing to commemorate my NFL team.

Using Bruce Willis' internet, I navigated to the Patriots paraphernalia and memorabilia page and looked among the Patriots stuff for what might best reflect my fanaticism. The site looks like an organized dump with all manner of useless items and hokey souvenirs listed in neat rows. The interested fan can purchase a throwback trailer hitch which allows the owner to tow a trailer while advertising his fanaticism, a Brady 16 ounce glass with Brady's number 12 emblazoned on the side or a salt and pepper shaker with the Pats logo. More usefully, you can purchase a padded folding chair, set of four placemats, BBQ set or air freshener, all plastered with the Patriots mascot.

Although not available today, I am sure the competitive market for NFL memorabilia will soon drive sports teams to produce a wider variety of trademarked goods. Anyone who wants to use Vince Willfork's deodorant, brush their teeth with the same paste as Mike Vrabel or shampoo with Troy Brown's hair wash will have a product designed just for them.

I, for one, don't want to drink Randy Moss' Kool Aid.

(Incidentally, Bob Kraft, the owner of the Patriots, also owns Kool Aid, so don't scoff.)

Anyway, all of this is making me wonder why fanaticism is OK in sports but not in religion or politics. I mean, you would have to be flat out, certifiably crazy to max out a credit card buying the emblazoned junk the Pats webpage offers. You would have to be Amy Winehouse about to go on tour in the US. You would have to be Toshikatsu Matsuoka on a Seppuku-free spending spree. But such behavior is normal. People actually wear the Bellicheck hoodie. I've seen it. And it looks awful.

Put a message about your God on your shirt and some circles call you preachie. A bumper sticker for a political candidate means you are inviting conflict and tension. But be a fan of a sports team and all manner of irrational purchases are reasonable.

I just wanted a poster, hat or T-Shirt, not a velvet winebag, steering wheel cover or beverage opener keychain. Oh well, I guess that's what it means to be a fan: put up with all the junk your team sends your way.

Regardless, you know where I'll be Sunday afternoon: Watching as the Patriots take on the NFL's top rated offense and try to remain undefeated. And I'll be wearing an unmarked shirt, sitting in a normal chair and drinking from an unemblazoned cup.


adrialien said...

Wow, you guys have been pumping out some awesome posts lately! Keep 'em coming, please!

Christopher Yerziklewski said...

Very interesting, I didn't know you were a Pat fan. Good post.

shark tooth vs unrivaled humor said...

did not read this post but l think it was good (adrialien does not say good post to every one including me)

Matthew said...

To parallel the last comment, I did read this post and did not think it was good.

Anonymous said...

I did not read this post because of its name.

Kat said...

That was awesome! After the Colts, the Patriots are my favorites! Lots of funny jokes are mixed in. Nice job, as usual. Keep 'em coming!

sniperwatchyourhead said...

I don't like the Patriots, but good post anyways. Very well written, as usual.