Justin LaBarge Producer, Legacy Magazine
When in your life have you ever had to deal with fraught failure? Ignominious defeat? Certainly you have. (If not, get off the couch and go be somebody.)
Bring yourself to the moments where you had to cope with failure. How did you deal with the devastating impact? Did you dust yourself off and recommit to getting back in the saddle? Or did you do any of the following: mope, droop, pine, whine, brood, sulk, fret, or despair? Did you LANGUISH? Maybe you had qualms. Or compunction?
Think about it. Did you get on your horse and take the high road? Or did you ride your emotions down a path of self-absorbed morass of self pity?
Now let’s flip the coin. How do you deal with unprecedented success? Success which is so successful, one must re-scale how to measure how successful your success has succeeded. I’m talking (with a bostonian accent) ‘Wicked’ successful.
If you have either inkling or semblance of what I’m talking about, chances are you are a fan of the New England Patriots. And if you’re not, you’re welcome to go back to the beginning of this article and start again.
I assume we all know what I mean by “Patriot’s fans,” those hard, outspoken, self-righteous, vitriolic ass-whipe cunt know-it-alls who always make their opinions known. Those victims of Spygate, Deflategate, “you hate us cause you ain’t us” fucktards. Patriots fans.
I am not a Patriots fan. As a life-long (so far) New Englander, it’s ingrained in my culture. “Fan” or fanatic is way too “johnny-come-lately.” I’ve been following the Patriots since the coaching days of Chuck Fairbanks. Since my father’s Sunday ritual of cussing out Steve Grogan.
And these fans have never known the franchise as the fluky blunderbuss from yesteryear. These fans were not part of the 2-14 Patriots of 1981 (where they won the FIRST two games), or felt the pain of the phantom roughing the passer call on Ray Sugarbear Hamilton while he sacked Raiders quarterback Kenny Stabler during the AFC Divisional Round of 1976. A call that changed the outcome of that game.
No sir, “Pats fans” haven’t been on this earth long enough to have known such misery. They don’t have mud on their boots. They’ve only known the golden road of success. Unfettered success. A success so successful, it has succeeded in superseding our measures for success. You get the point.
Irrespective of astute failure or unmitigated success, petulant behavior is pretty easy to recognize.
The Patriots’ level of success deserves respect. This level of success comes at the cost of higher devotion. A price paid in advance of any football game. A price for which most malcontent could understand.
I am grateful, and stand in awe of the staggering accomplishments the Patriots have achieved. And I wonder how others cannot. There’s not a piece within me that comprehends the impulse to denigrate, or the desire to diminish great works. I’m not suggesting we must all support it – only that respect is due to the success that has been earned.
Some superlatives. In the 17 years of Tom Brady’s career as a starter, he has eight Super Bowl appearances, eight Conference Titles and four (so far) Super Bowl MVPs. Oh, and five Super Bowl Championships. In the postseason, Brady has 27 playoff wins with 68 post-season touchdowns, throwing for 9,721 yards. Head and shoulders above the next football great.
Cheatriots. Cheaters. They cheat. Utter petulance.
You can hate on our crotchety cantankerous coach Bill Belichick. Or you may feel uncomfortably mortal in the presence of “Golden Boy” Tom Brady. The buffoon antics of Rob Gronkowski might downright piss you off. There’s a whole cast of characters to hate on who are part of the Patriots team.
And from you, dear reader, I expect one of two things: either your respect or your petulance.