This blog is for the Pats fans. I wanna talk to you guys. I wanna give you some pointers. I wanna teach you guys a little bit. Show you the ropes on how to be a football fan not at the top for a change. Think of it like you're the rich kids coming across the tracks and I'm the poor kid showing you how things going in the poor neighborhood. I'm just looking out for you.
First things first lets get a few things on the table. 1) Yes I know you've won a thousand rings, so ultimately you can decide to say "I dont care about this." You can be unbothered by the present or the future when your past (and very recent past) is still great. Sure, its your prerogative to just say, fuck it, we had a good run, I'm not gonna kill myself over this turn of events. 2) I understand that it logically makes sense that Brady was ready to move on, and that Gronk always wanted to play for only Tom, and didnt want to play under Belichick, and that these are grown men making rational, financial, and personal decisions and they are understandable and shouldnt be taken too personally by you, the fan. And 3) Tampa Bay is in the NFC and not a direct threat and therefore not something you imminently need to worry about...and if you ARE worried about them, thats a very good sign for both teams...and so you can want the best for both teams without being detrimental to the Pats.
But if those are the rules we're playing by? Is this how we're gonna play it? We're gonna be logical, and rational, and not get overexcited, and not take things personally? We're not gonna get emotional about our teams, the players we loved and the organization we're loyal towards? Now we all can just have multiple teams we root for, while we calmly and reasonably look at the big picture and understand that its all a business and not treat our sports fandom like the ridiculous, nonsensical addiction it is? If thats the case, you can X out of this blog. Its not for you. If you're now the sports fan, football fan, and Patriots fan who maintains that loyalty shouldnt be expected and/or given, you can root for multiple teams, and that all sports decisions regarding trades and free agency are nothing more than a series of logical and financial decisions that shouldnt be analyzed by your heart at all, you can go on your way and be the biggest Tompa Bay Buccanatriots fan on the planet. You're not wrong, by the way. All of that is probably "true" or "correct" and you'll probably be a very relaxed fan who enjoys the next football season, whenever it is that its played. You can leave now, this blog isnt for you.
This blog is for the Patriots fans who are completely pretzel fucked right now. The Patriots fan who, in a matter of a month, had their heart and soul walk out on them (forced out on them?) and now his sidekick - who already left you hanging once - is now joining him. I'm talking to you. Because you, in all likelihood, have no idea how to react right. You might be too young to ever even remember what it was like without Brady and copious amounts of success. You have fond, fond memories of having the best QB ever and the best TE ever and now that tandem is going to be doing what they do somewhere else, and you have no idea how to react. And maybe you're old enough to remember but after 20 years of success spoiling you, you truly dont know how to react given these circumstances. Your gut reaction is telling you to put up a front and say you're not upset. You're telling yourself that this all makes sense...that this had to happen this way. For so long you've had trolls and losers like me coming at you, praying for your downfall, rooting for all the bad things to happen, and every time you've ended up on top. Or we counted our chickens too soon. Or we made a mountain out of a molehill. We always ultimately won, so you never even had to really face these emotions. Any time you did, you just bounced right back and it was short lived. But right now you're staring down the barrel of something you've never faced before. Something that nobody has really faced before. Your two immortal players with whom New England's success is inexorably connected have more or less conspired to get out of New England and take their talents elsewhere to get away from Bill Belichick. For the first time the "Bill or Tom?" is truly being tested, and in the MOST dramatic, and unprecedented way. And you dont know what to say. Your feeling things you dont want to admit. Your biting your tongue on saying things youre feeling. And after years of rocks at the throne, and cheating scandals, and witchhunts, you're finally feeling something you havent felt in 20 years:
And I'm not saying its been ALL rainbows. Super Bowl losses hurt. A couple embarrassing moments with early exits or upsets. You've felt hurt. But as I said you always bounced right back. The pain you've felt from being on the wrong side of the scoreboard quickly gets erased when your next game, or season, or championship, you're back on the right side of the scoreboard. We're talking about real sports PAIN. The kind where you feel betrayed. Where you feel like youve been stabbed in the back. As I said at the start of this blog, these are silly emotions to have in the first place and to feel like Tom or Rob did this on purpose to harm you, the fan, is irrational. You can check out for the rest of this blog with the people who left after the first couple paragraphs.
To the rest of you still remaining, you're an idiot like me. An overly loyal, dumb ass puppy dog fan who always plays with its owner and fetches the paper and sits at the foot of the bed. One who gets irrationally high and unfathomably low. And now that I've explained, in a very long winded manner, that I understand your plight, I understand all the reasons why you are the way that you are, and that I totally get why you're pretzeled...I'm hear to tell you, as fans cut from the same cloth, its OK TO JUST SAY "WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON??? THIS SUCKS." I know between Spygate and Deflategate and everything else you've had to argue your way out of everything. Spin it or dominate it and end up on top of all arguments and so you're not programmed to say "Holy shit this fucking sucks. I am devastated." You're not programmed to ever lose. To ever let another fan come out on top. You're essentially sore winners feeling loss for the first time. And I say to you - Welcome. Welcome to the group. The first step is admitting it.
ADMIT that you're sad. Admit that you're mad. You SHOULD BE! Gronk retired. He left you hanging by retiring after free agency the first time. He told you it was his body and he couldnt sleep and didnt want to grind anymore. Now hes coming back and willing to go through it all for a different team. Admit that for the first time, you're feeling Anti-Tom Brady feelings. Maybe not outright hatred. Maybe not venom. Maybe not vitriol. Not rooting for injury type hate. But for the first time in your life or in your last 20 years, you want to say "Hey what the fuck Tom Brady? Hey, what the FUCK Rob Gronkowski?? Fuck you man. That was pretty shitty." Thats what you SHOULD be saying. You shouldnt be a hybrid fan. You shouldnt be OK with the Brady grabbing the Bucs and orchestrating this mini coup. You shouldnt be feeling totally fine that he's trying to install Patriots South. You should HATE that. You should resent that. You should be pissed off that the guy who was supposed to come out of retirement for you is doing it for someone else. Or if you are still loyal to Brady, you should be feeling anger and displeasure towards Belichick. You should be annoyed that he Jerry Kraused this shit. That he could have had Brady and Gronk back in New England if he just managed his ego. You can feel angry that it looks like Belichick drove Brady and Gronk out of town and the Dynasty might be ending with the cupboard being bare.
But you should be feeling SOMETHING like that. This whole "Well I root for both teams." "I wish them well" "It had to happen this way and I'm ok with that." is not what sports fandom is all about. Its about your team vs the rest of the world. When guys are on your team, you root for them. When they're not, you dont. And when they're not because they basically orchestrated a way to not being a Patriot anymore while still playing together, you should motherfuck them! Tell me they're old and washed up even though you were just sucking their dick and planning your own parade had the unretirement announcement been to New England! Feed me that irrational hypocrisy! Thats what sports is all about. If they are on my team? "Hes a 43 year old ageless immortal and his partner is the best Tight end of all time who's had a couple years to rest his body." If they are on another team? And secretly planned a party and forgot to invite me? Then its "These guys are washed up, old, and desperate to try recapture their success elsewhere. And guess what? They aint gonna find it without Belichick!" Thats the loyalty you should be showing towards your guy, because your two favorite players didnt.
I'd love for you to go all in. Tell me its In Belichick We Trust. That Brady and Gronk just placed the biggest bet of their lives and its gonna back fire immensely. But dont tell me you dont care. Dont tell me its fine that this happened. Dont tell me you're still a big Brady guy while clowning him:
Dont tell me you're unbothered and unaffected and this doesnt hurt you when your face looks like this:
Its ON now. This is sports, man. Its your team vs all the teams that are NOT yours. Its you rooting for the guys in your uniform and rooting against the guys who arent. And double rooting against for the guys who went out of their way to not be in your uniform. Give me SOMETHIN, New England. Show me you still know how to be sports fans. Show me you know how to take it as much as you can dish it. Dare I say, show me you still know how to lose? Or tell me that you havent lost yet because you're comfortable that Belichick is a genius and Brady and Gronk fucked up, and they are idiots and assholes for this attempt at building the Patriots without the life force of Patriots, BILL BELICHICK. Look, I'm fucking doing it for you! I'm writing the script for you! Be an irrational, emotional asshole fan. No half measures. No hedging. All in on your hometown, and FUCK the Steven Cheahs and all 10 people who root for Tampa Bay. Thats much more fun, and MUCH more believable than telling me you like both teams equally and its OK that Brady is installing a puppet regime in a town where you can fucking finger strippers, for fuck's sake. Have some pride and show it! Thats what Tom Brady would do.