Cue the Duckboats | Championship Collection for Banner 18SHOP NOW

Advertisement

Mayo and Maye Mic'd Up at OTAs is the First Patriots Porn of 2024

Boston Globe. Getty Images.

There is an immutable law of distribution known as the Pareto Principle. Otherwise known as the Rule of 80/20. It gets its name from a study conducted in 1905 by polymath Vilfredo Pareto. Essentially, it states that 80% of something tends to be found in the top 20% of the places it can be distributed. (Often referred to as "The Vital Few.") Pareto's research found that 20% of all landowners in the Kingdom of Italy possessed 80% of the land. And this applies to all things in nature.

For other examples, 20% of employees in a company tend to do half the work. 20% of the world's rivers move 80% of its river water. 20% of stars make up 80% of all stellar mass. This holds true right down to minutiae such as 20% of your rugs have to stand up to 80% of all foot traffic. A corollary of this is that the square root of a domain will produce half of it's output. Imagine if you will Barstool having 100 bloggers. This would mean that 10 get 50% of the pageviews, and so on. 

I bring this up not just because it's exactly the kind of mathematical efficiency talk that makes panties hit the floor. But also to illustrate the reality that fans of the 2024 Patriots find themselves in. For the better part of two decades, this team was in The Vital Few in all things. And it could be said, they were the Top 20% of the 20%. Responsible for generating 80% of the success, attention, hatred, TV ratings, prime time games, controversy, rules changes, fan interest, merchandise sales, sports talk conversations … name it, the Patriots created it. 

And that includes Patriots Porn. This franchise was to football pornography what fake Step-families are to actual porn. But in that respect, like in all respects, we find ourselves stuck among The Unvital Many. The grey, drab, ordinary, majority of franchises fighting for the attention that's going to the Chiefs, Niners and Eagles of the world. That's our reality, and there's no escaping it. 

But that doesn't mean we are without hope. New coaching staff. New quarterback depth chart. New receiving corps. An entirely new way of doing business. With metric tons to be fascinated by as we get into the preseason of the preseason's preseason.  So when the first day of OTAs gives us a gem like this piece of Pats Porn, it we deserve to celebrate it:

Jerod Mayo and Drake Maye, both facing the same first day of First Grade. Carrying themselves like they own the practice field. Comfortable in what they're doing. Confident in their approach. Showing the kind of natural leadership they've possessed all along or else they wouldn't be in the situation in which they find themselves. Men in their element. Each with massive shoes to fill. And with the weight of a fanbase on their broad shoulders. Which seems to be exactly how they like it. From Mayo's commanding presence to his working with the defensive line on finer points of getting off a block, to Maye bonding with his fellow rookies, Ja'Lynn Polk and Javon Baker. During and after the practice session:

Advertisement

And second year D-lineman Keion White, who admits he enjoys getting coached hard and liked Bill Belichick's approach, explained the contrast of styles:

“I mean we don’t got Bill cursing us out every play anymore, but it’s still pretty similar."

If this is life in the Pareto 80%, so be it. For now, through OTAs, mandatory minicamp and training camp, if this is our existence, I'm embracing it. The process, which will slow when it comes to Maye, apparently, since he was behind even Bailey Zappe on Day 1:

… is obviously going to be brought along slowly and methodically. But with every hope he's going to be among the 20% soon enough. And for right now, that's all any of us can ask for. 

Giphy Images.