Disclaimers first. I grew up a Green Bay Packers fan — in Connecticut. Yes, the Patriots existed, but they were just some rogue minor league football team known as the “Boston Patriots” at the time. Thus, while I can’t help but show an interest in Patriots goings-on as a New England native, I’m not as highly invested as the rabid fan base around me.
And, thanks to Deflategate, rabid they are. In fact, the rabies are getting worse by the day. Verily, living in Massachusetts is like living in a State of Denial.
True. It’s shifted some. Since the Wells Report broke, many have switched from outright denial to comparative complaints: E.g. “How is it that Tom gets banned for four games and the team gets fined a million and docked two draft picks when x only gets y punishment for being guilty of (fill in the blank) rape, murder, grand theft auto?”
And one more admission before I say my piece: I’m not even a big fan of Brady’s. As a quarterback, he is worthy of praise. Hats off. Talented guy. But he’s also a publicity hound. He loves to use social media to post pictures of his favorite person. Himself. Sometimes Gisele and kids are included as props, but mostly, it’s all about Tom.
So my heart does not bleed any to see him squirm, though it’s notably in private. No more Facebook posts. No more Tweets. No more videos of Tom leaping off of cliffs into the pristine waters of Costa Rica (wow — what a guy).
Do you want to know the worst part about living in this Commonwealth of Denial? Some people have lost complete touch with reality. I just read in the Boston Globe that fans have started a GoFundMe account to pay the team’s $1 million dollar fine.
Excuse me, but are you kidding? One million to an NFL team is like a lousy dollar to you and me. What’s more, the million they pay will be off the fans’ backs anyway — either from direct ticket sales, NFL merchandise sales, or (indirectly) cable television costs (which are astronomical mostly because of sports deals). So the notion that Joe Fanbase should pony up even a penny for any Boss Tweed NFL owner like Robert Kraft is laughably misdirected.
But that’s what it’s come to. I try to redirect a few fellow workers who are frothing at the mouth over the unconscionable attacks on Mount Tom. I say things like, “You want to punish the NFL? Stop going to games at Gillette. Stop watching NFL games on television. The only language they speak is the language of money. Yours translated to theirs.”
But the reaction is glassy-eyed wonder. The expression is a big, “Huh?” Never and happen, in other words. The addiction is complete.
And so, what we have here is a tempest in a teapot. Much ado in the Commonwealth over what eventually will amount to nothing. The first non-Brady game of the year next fall will be nationally televised and garner top ratings (ka-ching!). Then the first Brady game, especially if the four-game ban holds and it remains against the Judas team, the Indianapolis Colts, will also be nationally televised. It will probably eke out the ratings record of Opening Day.
Which is why the GoFundMe effort should be redirected to starving bloggers like me. Guys whose blogs get maybe three hits a day. Guys who get “likes” and “follows” from other WordPress bloggers on the same day their blog receives zero views — meaning the “liker slash follower” hasn’t read a word and is just fishing for looks on HIS or HER blog (and where is Ted Wells when you need him?).
Deflating? Try depressing.
Now Go, Pack, Go!