January 25, 2005

I can't wait for the Super Bowl to be over with

Son of Nixon is gloating over the Pats going to the Super Bowl.

I just can't get excited about this for a couple of reasons.

First of all, my father-in-law, who has known me (allegedly) for 13 years now keeps asking my wife if I'm excited, since I grew up in Connecticut and was never able to successfully give up rooting for the Sawx. It's hilarious, listening to her end of the conversation on the phone. So right there that's enough to want me to get things over with.

I never liked the Pats growing up because basically they stunk. Not that they were bad on the field--I mean, they were. But the organization as a whole really bugged me---just really lacked class. Plus, both my brothers were big Miami Dolphins fans (or Dolfans, as that peculiar form of obsessive-compulsive disorder is known), as the Fins were going through their period of arete under Shula, Griese, Csonka, etc. Needless to say, as the middle child, this made me a natural Raiders fan as the Raiders of that era (almost) always had Miami's number. Plus, as my dad liked the Redskins, it was a natural piss everybody off move, so it had that going for it.

Growing up in a conservative Catholic parish and as a faculty brat at a military academy in the early 1970s, I had to look far afield for heroes, and for whatever reason settled on the Holy Trinity of Muhammad Ali, Evel Knievel, and the dirt-bag looking Oakland Raiders of Ken "the Snake" Stabler et al. I guess it was my eight year old way of giving the bird to the world, my way of saying "how-dee-doo" to Richard Nixon, William Westmoreland, Pat Boone and Frank Gifford all at once. Fortunately, over time, it didn't take, and I settled down to more reasonable heroes: Margaret Thatcher, Pope Jay-Pee Deux, Reagan, and, of course, Snake Plissken. I think my Kurt Russell fetish was a way to keep hold to my roots, while my embrace of Thatcher/Reagan and the Pershing Missles was a way to stick it hard to the uber-commies in college.

Needless to say I fit in quite well at a small southern women's college.

Anyhoo, I have to confess I liked watching the Pats beat the Steelers because of the thorough beating it was---and when I mean beating, I mean beat down, as in take the guy out in the alley and kick the crap out of him while he was down. I mean, the state of Bill Cowher's comb-over was just deplorable. I mean, football, when you can see the proverbial teeth flying out of the guy's mouth, is a thing of beauty.

And the fact that they get to lay the smack down on the Eagles---easily the lowest class organization in professional sports (and by professional sports I include the NBA Pistons as well as Notre Dame football). Basically, Andy Reid is going to be served up like Michael Moore, in a g-string, to a convention of the American Association of Turkey Carvers. And this will be a good thing.

Yet, I can't get excited for them at all, even though I'd like to see Bill Belichick in a game of one on one with Andrew Sullivan. I mean, the humanity of it all! (And by the way, do you think it's dawned on Jerry Jones that Bill Parcells has one zero Super Bowls without Belichick on his coaching staff? Mmmmm, yep.)

For one reason, my brothers have both become Pats fans.

I'm sorry, you just can't do that.

You can't switch professional sport team allegiances but once after age 10. It's kind of like that once-in-a-lifetime capital gains tax exemption you can take for selling a house. You can do it once, fine, but after that you're a ho. As a kid, fine, but you'll learn your lesson well (as all those seventeen year old Chicago Bulls fans are learning about now). You can ally with a team as a kid that's local, or you can ally with one somewhere else because they're good and you're a kid and you really don't understand what loyalty means, and that's okay because you'll learn soon enough. (You can also ally with a team out of spite, as I did with the Raiders, but that's a Fish of an entirely different color). But if you switch as an adult (and by this I mean over the age of 13) you can only switch to a team that is currently in a state of suckage. Otherwise, you are nothing but a dirty rotten bandwagon jumper, and really only worthy of citizenship in your natural home, the Republic of France. And switching to another team in the same conference?

Perfidy does not begin to describe it. I don't even think the French have done that (would switching over to the Nazi side count as rooting for another team in the same conference? I need some clarification on this one.)

So them's the stakes. If you were a Pats fan when they sucked, if you got arrested throwing wing nuts at real NFL teams coming out of the visitor's clubhouse at Schaeffer Stadium, enjoy the party for the next two weeks. I'm sure Son of Nixon, the Irish Elk and others fit into this category, and I wish them well in their well deserved period of annoying gloating.

But otherwise, stuff a sock in it.

(And I'm not saying that just because I had to convert to being a Redskins fan as a condition of marriage)

Posted by Steve at January 25, 2005 11:51 AM

Michael Moore in a g-string? Shame on you for even bringing up that image.
Being a Giants fan I can't root for Philly (or the Redskins), so I'll have to kinda like settle for the Patriots; mostly though I'll root for the ads.
What bugged me about New England during the 70s was the shortened name "Pats". Ugh. "Hi, we're a football team, but you can call us the Pats, or Patsies."

Posted by: Robert at January 25, 2005 12:45 PM

I was a Cowboys fan as a kid, mostly because of Tom Landry and Roger Staubach. I stopped rooting for them after they screwed Landry over, and I've never had a favorite team since. I'll kinda root for certain teams in certain situations, and always enjoy any GOOD game, but I just can't put my heart into it for anyone.

Posted by: Brian B at January 25, 2005 01:01 PM

Lifelong Pats fan.

Never got arrested (or as the Massachusetts State Police euphemism has it, "Placed in protective custody") at Schaefer stadium, but I did have my Steve Grogan #14 jersey on in college when the Bears put a beating on them in the Super Bowl.

John Hannah. Steve Nelson. Andre Tippett. Steve Grogan. Mosi Tatupu. Stanley Morgan. Craig James.

Those guys. The guys with the minuteman hiking the football on the helmet. Those were my Patriots.

I opposed the whole Elvis logo makeover. And I thought Kraft was a vile cad when he played the city of Hartford and the state of Connecticut like a fiddle in order to get a new stadium.

But they do grow on you. And I have to say, Kraft did save the franchise from the otherwise inevitable relocation to somewhere warm and sunny, saving New England from the fate of reverting to Giants fans. Kraft has made it a winning organization -- a great organization.

And Bill Belichick. He rocks.

Posted by: The Colossus at January 25, 2005 02:07 PM

Although I will say that when I've nothing better to do, I'll root for teams from Boston just to piss off New Yorkers.

Posted by: Brian B at January 25, 2005 02:31 PM

I grew up a Vikings fan...Alan Page, Fran Tarkenton, Mick Tinglehoff, Carl Eller...

And I'm still a Vikings fan, but I can't really root for them while Randy Moss is there. I'll sit on my hands until he's traded, arrested, or dead.

Doesn't matter to me which.

Posted by: Vic Barry (former regional rock star) at January 26, 2005 09:10 AM

I watched an NFL films biopic on Fran recently. He seems like a standup human being.

Posted by: Brian B at January 26, 2005 11:55 AM

I'm to be the one to say this but... you've all been fooled. New evidence shows what was unheard of before. Look for yourself: Purist Evil

Posted by: Paladin at January 26, 2005 04:54 PM

the bandwagon is filling up. Hurry aboard or you won't receive a commemorative Sports Illustrated Patriots phone.

Posted by: sonofnixon at January 27, 2005 02:26 PM
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