THE PATS, FANDOM AND CHECKMATE

I have not come to bury the Patriots, or to praise them. Nor have I come here to boast.

The Patriots have been in 10 Super Bowl’s.

TEN!

The most appearances of any team in the league.

I am clearly not a Patriots fan, but the fact that I know more about this team and its history than many of their so-called fans is one of the things that irks me. There have been 52 Super Bowl’s. The Patriots have been in this “rare” event game nearly 20% of the time–a gratuity/commission that most people would find generous.

I don’t like the team, but I certainly respect what they have done, especially from a business perspective. Anyone who ever sat in “Schaefer/Sullivan” Stadium (in the rain) and sees what was built on that Route 1 parcel, knows that had to be accomplished by an impressive business person.

Pro sports is all about ownership and how they manage their organization, and that is why I am so hard on the ownership of the teams I root for…they continually fail to understand how to manage an organization.

The Pats are 5-5 in Super Bowls and obviously, I have never rooted for them in this game. But I have had to ask myself if I would trade off watching five Super Bowl wins for being tormented five times?

I honestly don’t know. But, damn FIVE CHAMPIONSHIPS!

Hey, Dynasties are hard!!!

Dynasties are NOT popular (except for that one teams fans!) and…

Dynasties are NOT good for their sport. (Note the lowest rated Super Bowl in nine years).

The Pats are tied with Dallas and the 49ers for second most wins behind the Steelers who have six Lombardi Trophies. They are also tied with the Denver Broncos for most losses in a Super Bowl….but it still means they were the best team in the AFC.

The Bengals, Bills, Browns, Cardinals, Chargers, Falcons, Jaguars, Lions, Panthers, Texans, Titans and Vikings have not won a Super Bowl in their histories. Both the Bills and Vikings are 0-4 in the title game (ouch). There are four current NFL teams who have never played in a Super Bowl: the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Houston and Jacksonville franchises are not that old, but Cleveland and Detroit have been around forever. No offense, but those are “fans” no one can question!

To put it in perspective, for me, one of my teams, the New York Islanders, won four consecutive Stanley Cups….(they also sandwiched those four with losses in the Stanley Cup Finals and in my opinion it should have been six Cup victories!)

After the fourth Cup I said to myself, “I will never, ever complain about this team.” And I never have…although that is getting harder as the years go along.

Truth be told I have lived in New England most of my life; I love everything about it and the city of Boston (sans its teams). Don’t ask me why. It is part of my DNA…growing up on Long Island until I was 15, I experienced a Jets Super Bowl victory, a Mets World Series win, and a loss, two Knicks Championships and before I left, became a fan of the New York Islanders—thankfully, trading in my Rangers hat, as I could not root for both. I did beg my son, Jarrett, years ago NOT to root for my teams—but alas, he followed his old man’s footsteps and I hope he gets to experience some of the joy that I have (many years ago).

Yes, I am happy the Patriots lost, borderline ecstatic, and I have always defended Tom Brady as a great QB, NOT the greatest ever, because it is a different game…go watch highlights of Archie Manning getting hit, or others from that era–think that might change the way a QB approaches a game? I was also VERY disappointed he left the field without congratulating his opponent–there is absolutely NO excuse for that!

If you tell me you are a Pats fan, then please know more than “Brady and Gronk!” If you don’t know players who were on that team like Jim Plunkett, Steve Grogan, John Hannah and Andre Tippett, then you are more of a front-runner than a fan. All great players!

If you do not know that Darryl Stingley was hit by Jack Tatum (in a pre-season game!) and paralyzed and that Tatum not only never apologized, but also wrote a book (“They Call Me Assassin” which practically glorified his hit) then in MY book,…you are not a true fan.

However, I get it.

It is why there were so many Chicago Bulls fans in the ‘80’s and now you cannot find them outside of that city. (Name me one Golden State Warriors fan you knew before five years ago?)

Frankly, I would rather be a true fan of a lousy team than a fraudulent front-runner. People say to me that I should root for the Pats…really? Why, because they win?…How shallow would that make me? The fact is they need the other teams in the league and for the league to work those lousy teams need fans! And I know the Pats have many, many long time, true and loyal fans and I am friends with many of them.

I love football. I also love the game of chess. As the West Gates Elementary School Champion (it was 6th grade and I have not gotten any better), I find numerous analogies:

There are 32 pieces in chess.

There are 32 teams in the NFL.

A chess piece is any of the 32 movable objects deployed on a chessboard used to play the game. Each player begins a game with the following 16 pieces: Eight pawns. Two Rooks. Two Knights, Two Bishops, One King. One Queen.

Some teams have been to the Super Bowl and won…they are powerful and stand on the back line with the King and Queen. (Ravens, Colts, Bucs etc.) Others are more powerful and have multiple Champiosnhips, the 49ers, Cowboys and others are mere pawns…the Browns, Lions, etc. They are necessary to the rest of the game, but they have no power and are expendable. The greatest thing a pawn can do is make it to the opponents end and become the most powerful piece on the board—the Queen (these are the Pats, Steelers, etc.)  You really don’t want to be the King on the chessboard–it is the weakest and most defenseless piece! I am sure many wives will make another analogy, but lets stay away from that. The traditional pawns (Cleveland, Detroit) are teams that really and truly want to make it to the big game, but who knows if they ever will?

So, I want to congratulate the Eagles and their fans. I just hope the few whacky fans don’t destroy their city.

I also want to say to the Pats fan: Man, you have had it good. It will not last forever, but like me, you should make a vow to never complain.

Let’s Go Mets…UGH. (Oh, that complaining thing ONLY applies to the Islanders!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s