Tuesday, December 07, 2010

45 to 3

I thought the spell Tom Brady and the New England Patriots had me under for so long had finally broken when Tom took that season off to fix the torn ACL in his knee.  Finally, I was free of their influence over a sizable charge of my year.  I became a recovering Pat-a-holic while he was away.  And last year's ho hum perfomance only strengthened my resolve to not allow the damn Patriots to control as much of my attention as they had in the past.

Okay.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  So I fell off the wagon this year.  I started the season strong.  I watched none of the pre-season and only caught enough of the highlights of their first game to know they won.

Then they played the New York Jets.  Had this first meeting with the one divisional rival I hate with a passion come later in their season, you might be reading a post of an entirely different tone.  It might be the post of an ex-addict who had successfully made it through his third NFL season without so much as even knowing who was on first, nevermind second.  But those evil schedule makers knew just what buttons to push and how early when they set the Jets up as the Pats second game of the year. 

I sat down for that first of two games with the Jets telling myself I would only watch the first half.  Three hours later I was surfing the Internets looking for the re-cap of the game that made me crazy again.  There are now only 4 games left in the regular season and again I find myself totally immersed in the Pat's struggle to once more play in the Stupor Bowl.  I've hung on Coach Belichick's every word, listened to the hype of opponents, ex players, current players and the lady next door.  I have again become a regular visitor to the stats section of the NFL site hoping to see a Patriot somewhere near the top of any of the bizarre and infinitely stupid stats us football freaks love to suck up.   I have window shopped the Pats website, wondering just how I would look wearing a hooded sweatshirt just like Coach Belichick wears.  You know, like the one with the sleeves casually lopped off to reflect mine and Coach's less than fastidious nature when it comes to fashion.

How did I lose myself this way?  From where does this over the top fascination with the Patriots come from?

When I first started spending Sundays watching football there were still two leagues.   The NFL as it exists today had not been invented yet.  There was real pro football as played by the NFL at the time and then there were the wannabes who pretended to play pro ball in the American Football League.  My first memories are of wacthing the Washington Redskins quietly as my father and older brother screamed and hollered at the screen.  In the 1960s, the Redskins were a tough team to feel good about.  I can remember one ill fated day at the age of 9 or 10 when I rooted for the team wearing white. 

I had no idea that  rooting for the Dallas Cowboys over the Redskins in the Macrum household might get me tossed out of the family if I continued my errant ways.  Dallas scored and I cheered.  Silent stares bore into me.  I can still feel them to this day.  I soon learned to hate the Dallas Cowboys if for no other reason than simple survival.

As I grew older and moved out on my own and settled for a time in Baltimore I dropped the Skins in favor of the Baltimore Colts.  I still remember fondly the many home games at Memorial Stadium.  Ingrained memories of smuggled alcohol to ward off the cold and the ritual stumbling search for the car afterwards will always be some of my fondest sports memories.

In 1980 I married and moved to Maine to take over the home my father and mother lived in.  I brought my Colts with me and rooted for them until I woke up one morning in the Spring of 1984 and found out Robert Irsay had moved the Colts lock stock and equipment to Indianapolis.  The sleazy bastard  had them pack up and sneak out in dark of night.  

I was without a team to call my own.  To this day I cannot watch the Colts without hard feelings. 

By default, I gravitated to the New England Patriots.   I had to get my NFL fix somewhere and they were the regional team.  That's how I became a Pats fan.   The ensuing years up to the turn of the century were tough years.  But even though the Pats were at best mediocre, they tried hard and every once in awhile they showed sparks of what might be one day if I just kept the faith. 

Enter Belichick and then Brady.  And now a decade later, I am once again being rewarded for all those years I suffered watching a team others beat up on.  Now I get to watch them beat up on everyone else.  What goes around comes around.  But after what seems a lifetime of supporting lost football causes, I have no problem with reaping the rewards and basking in whatever glow I can from  a team that for ten years has been on top or damn near it.

Go Pats..................Give em some Wood.................................In Your Face New York.


Kulkuri said...

It's easy to hate the New York teams. All you have to do is be passing thru and catch the sports on the local news and it'll turn you against any and all New York teams.

Randal Graves said...

The Browns always win the Super Bowl when I play Tecmo Bowl.