Passion And Devotion! What's a Little Embarrassment?

While I love college football, it’s the pros that are my first love. I’ve told you a little about how big of a Patriots fan I am. I’m going to make it a little clearer for you (and embarrass myself in the process) just so you can all see that football is more than a game for me. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I’ve long since given up trying to be a “normal”, polite and well-behaved football fan. The people who know me best have embraced it and deal with it (my poor husband).

Confession Time. I throw things. Seriously I do. Usually it’s water bottles; but they go a flying. I punch things. When the Patriots lost the Super Bowl last year I went outside and punched my mailbox. And the closet door. I yell words I shouldn’t, I jump on my furniture, I pace and crouch on the floor and I often feel like I’m going to be sick during big games (like the playoffs). I own more Patriots stuff than anything else and yet I want more and I have a Patriots tattoo on my foot that is the coolest ever! It’s in my blood, it has rooted itself deep and I don’t foresee it leaving anytime soon.

So how does a girl from Washington who lives in Montana get to be a Patriots fan? That answer has a rather embarrassing beginning, but hey I’m not one to shy away from self-incrimination or public humiliation. There was a time when I didn’t know what the heck was going on in football (GASP!). So my method for picking the winning team was, ok here goes, who had the cutest QB. We were at my aunt and uncle’s house the year of Super Bowl 36 in 2002. Before the game, my family and I were picking winners. I looked at Brady and I looked at Kurt Warner. I  decided  Brady was much better looking and picked the Pats to win. Then, I heard Brady’s story. He was Picked 199th in the draft, rode the bench, then took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe in week 2 and led the team all the way to the Super Bowl. It’s a great story.

I got married a year later and my husband thought if he wanted to watch football he better teach his wife the game so we could enjoy it together. I wonder if he regrets it? My naturally competitive spirit took over and I was insatiable when it came to the game. I wanted to know everything about it- Offense, defense, formations, rules, who, what, where, when, and why, I was addicted. It quickly became my thing and I loved every moment of it. Naturally when I learned the game I needed a team. I remembered the Cinderella story of the 2001 season and the ’02 Super Bowl and picked the Pats for my team- not realizing the magic of Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the Patriots. It didn’t take long until I finally saw it. It may sound weird, but to me,  they were perfection in motion- like watching poetry. The rest as they say is history.

I get a lot of crap for being a Patriots fan. The Patriots inspire some pretty intense negative feelings in people. I don’t quite understand it myself. I try to take it in stride, but most of the time I end up in an argument as to why the Patriots are superior and why Tom Brady is the best QB in the league. You know what everybody undoubtedly brings up? You Pats fan will probably be able to guess, but they bring up freakin’ spy gate! Oh my gosh! If I hear about spy gate one more time…

Now that we’ve gone down memory lane (you loved it, admit it), let’s get back to the present.

The Patriots play the Texans on Sunday in Foxboro in round 2 of the playoffs. The last time these 2 teams played in Foxboro, the Pats won 42-14. By no means am I going to feel crazy confident because of that game. I’m just glad we’re playing the Texans and not the Ravens. The Ravens are like kryptonite to the Pats and I haven’t figured out why. Anyway, the week of rest was good for the injuries that keep plaguing us. I know Gronk could use an extra week to let his forearm heal up. Hernandez could use the extra week to get his head out of…the clouds. He hasn’t been playing his best and I’m hoping the dynamic duo of Gronk and Hernandez can be at their best on Sunday. Some good news is that Rob Ninkovich, who is an integral part of our defense, didn’t seriously injure his hip in week 17. He left the game and everybody in Patriots Nation feared his season was over. It looks like it was just strained muscles in his hip and there’s a good chance he can play when the Patriots open the postseason Jan. 13th.

Our defense ended regular season strong, recording a season high 7 sacks on Ryan Tannehill, they also held Reggie Bush to only 26 rushing yards. If our defense can perform like that against the Texans, we’d be sitting pretty. Our O Line did a good job of neutralizing J.J. Watt in the last game, which helped give Brady time in the pocket. If you give Brady time you’ll have TDs. As long as the Pats come out and play Patriots football I feel confident we’ll win. You may be asking yourself, why wouldn’t they play Patriots football? I don’t have an answer to that, but sometimes the Patriots come out and they look like some sucky alien race has taken over their bodies. Last year’s Super Bowl is a good example.  The 2008 Super Bowl is another good example.  And we’ve had a couple of games this season where the Patriots have all looked like pod people who don’t know how to play football. I’m confident in my Pats however and I think it’s going to be a good game. Winning would send us to the AFC Championship, one step closer to the Super Bowl!

Thanks for reading; even if you aren’t a Patriots fan I think you can identify and appreciate my devotion and passion. I think everybody has that in their life, whether it is for football or something else. The important detail is that you have it.

2 Comments on Passion And Devotion! What's a Little Embarrassment?

  1. Hi Erica,
    loved your story! I chose my team just like you chose yours back then.
    We were stationed with the Army in Oklahoma and I wanted to have “my own team” to cheer on, not just my hubbies. He was/is a Buffalo Bills Fan through thick and thin, even though he was born in Florida and raised in California and has never been to Buffalo/New York.
    Well…. I wanted my own team so I based it on uniforms and their colors and I narrowed it between the Miami Dolphins and the Cincinnati Bengals. 🙂 My team since 1991 have been the Bengals because I liked the Quarterback (David Klingler back then) and the coach (Dave Shula)…. not realizing that both were considered the worst ever. Funny also that I chose between one of the (back then) best teams (Dolphins) and worst teams (Bengals)….. Of course since I picked the Bengals I had to endure many many years of hardship and laughter from many fans (particularly Steelers Fans), but I never wavered in my loyalty to “my” team. We moved from Oklahoma to Germany, back to Oklahoma, to Texas and then to Arizona where we retired from the military.

    My screen name on game sites is “WhoDeyGal” and I get asked frequently if I am from Ohio, to which I always have to answer that “no, I am German, never been there…. I picked the Bengals as MY team 20 years ago and they will stay my team come hell or high water!”

    This year I will turn 50 in November and as a special gift my husband (still a Buffalo Bills Fan 🙂 will take me to my very first live football game. We are planning on flying to Ohio and witnessing the rivalry in a game of Steelers – Bengals live at the Jungle!

    While we were stationed in Germany for 8 years we hardly got to see ANY football on AFN, so I just heard the results most of the time. In most short excerpts they showed usually just a scoring run from the opposite team. Didn’t get to see them much on TV while we were stationed in Oklahoma and Texas either, but finally in 2009 we got the NFL Super Fan Ticket and I got to watch MY team for full games and have watched ever since.
    Our TV room is divided between the Bills and the Bengals. My side has a framed and whole team-signed jersey, along with a team-signed football from 2009 (the year I finally got to see my team every week and got to “know” them by watching the NFL network and hearing their stories.)
    Then there are a few individually signed footballs and framed prints, a team-signed helmet and a clock, along with pennants and other memorabilia.
    And of course we watch the games dressed up in our gear and while there are tons of Steelers Fans here in Arizona, I defiantly walk out into the sun dressed in Bengals gear!!!
    Sending a big “Who Dey” your way!!!

  2. Thank you for your comment Siggy. It meant a lot to me. I read it after the Pats lost on Sunday and let me tell you, you boosted my spirits. I admire the stuff you have, I wish I had signed stuff from the Patriots. Someday I hope! Good to hear somebody else knows what it means to be a fan. Thanks again for your comment and I hope you continue to visit our site!

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