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.