Rising up in New England as a soccer fan had its ups and downs. Largely downs by way of the years till a glimmer of hope got here within the 90’s when the Patriots signed Drew Bledsoe making him a one hundred-million-dollar man. He introduced us to a brilliant bowl, however sadly it did not finish nicely. In 2000, The Patriots had a sixth. sense so to talk, to draft a quarterback within the sixth. spherical utilizing their 199th. choose in a participant from Michigan named Tom Brady. He turned their 4th. string within the depth chart and for some motive the brand new coach, Invoice Belichick, had the sense to hold on to him to finally, on the proper time, turn into the quantity 2 Quarterback in 2001. When Drew Bledsoe fell to damage, that unknown Michigan Wolverine stepped up. It was an up and down first few video games for Tom Brady, however in the long run, helped lead the staff from being a 14-point underdog towards the Rams, (who had been referred to as the Best present on turf on the time with a Corridor of Fame Quarterback named Kurt Warner by way of the 1999, 2000 and 2001 seasons profitable the massive recreation in 1999 and anticipated to win in 2001), to coming from behind to drag off a miracle victory in Tremendous bowl XXXVI. Was it a fluke? Because it turned out… hardly. With Invoice Belichick as the top coach, now selecting to stay with Tom Brady over Drew Bledsoe, having 6 extra Tremendous Bowl appearances that might garner the Patriots 4 extra Lombardi trophies for a complete of 5 for New England with all of them by the hands of what is being known as the best coach/QB tandem in NFL the historical past.
With all of the groups within the NFL, no staff can get away with being on high for very lengthy stretches of seasons with out followers from different groups arising with excuses as to why that staff is healthier than others. Like Inexperienced bay, Pittsburg, San Francisco, Dallas and now New England. All these groups discovered methods to be good and keep good for a number of years whereas many others had no success and a few, one and achieved. The true fan talks about what their staff did incorrect and what must be achieved to repair it. Bandwagoners can solely discover excuses as to what the opposite staff did illegally to get a bonus, or that the referees had been someway concerned within the final result of the sport and who ought to win. Sure, I’m from New England and I am certain there’s some bias right here, however as an actual NFL fan by way of the great and unhealthy instances, I can provide credit score the place it is due whatever the staff and the way I really feel about them. An actual fan is aware of the info that surrounded the “spy-gate” and “deflate-gate” scandals and may understand they weren’t the large points that sports activities networks and a few others made it out to be. So far as dishonest in involved, the Patriots have a a lot smaller report than most different groups. In truth, their report of any disciplinary actions on account of breaking the principles fall inside the high 5 groups with the least variety of incidents involving questionable practices. Typically, all sports activities groups and people over time, for the reason that inception of sports activities in our every day lives have achieved issues to realize the sting over their opponents. In some ways by authorized means, whereas different methods… not a lot. Just like the time Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin tried to journey Baltimore Ravens Jacoby Jones whereas returning a kickoff. He made it 73 yards from the top zone when it might have probably gone all the way in which for a landing if not for the interference. I discuss to many within the sports activities world and I can spot the bandwagoners very simply in contrast with the actual followers. Particularly now that I dwell within the Seattle space. Most followers right here appear to be largely bandwagoners now, which is a far cry from after I first got here to Seattle in 1992 when the Seahawks went 2-14 on the season and the Monday evening recreation I went to see towards the Denver Broncos had the stadium packed and the followers celebrating as if they simply received the Tremendous bowl reasonably than it being that they simply received solely their 2nd. And remaining recreation of that season. What occurred to these followers? Lots of the followers as of late give me such a tough time in regards to the accusations towards the Patriots, discovering excuses as to why the Patriots beat them in SB XLIX and by no means giving any credit score for his or her accomplishments. It was all in regards to the “unhealthy” name made by coach Pete Carroll and never the nice play in the long run zone by an unknown cornerback named Malcolm Butler. Or that the Patriots are cheaters and that is why they received the sport with out giving any examples as to what they might have achieved that illegally gained them sufficient of an edge to win the sport. When requested, they merely say, “They’re cheaters” with no data of something to again up the declare.
Then some information hits the Seattle sports activities world with shock waves of grievance when it was introduced that Seattle Seahawks former defensive sort out #96 Cortez Kennedy, a 2012 inductee to the NFL Corridor of Fame, one of many best Seahawk and NFL gamers of all time usually, all of the sudden handed away. I had a tough time discovering a single one that would share the grief-stricken sentiments with me till I talked to my brother, who is also from New England and now lives in Seattle. All of the Seahawks followers I first talked with about it might solely say… ” Who?” This got here as an enormous shock to me. To me and to the remainder of any actual fan base and for just about any staff within the NFL. Not realizing who Cortez Kennedy is could be the identical as not realizing who Steve Largent is. Not solely was Kennedy an 8-time professional bowler, however his complete 11 yr NFL profession was solely with the Seahawks. How can anybody name themselves an actual diehard Seahawks fan and never know who Cortez Kennedy is? Until you’re a younger fan to the NFL, there is no such thing as a actual excuse apart from, you’re a bandwagoner. Even some actual younger followers know who he’s and what he meant to town of Seattle. When you’ll be able to have a dialog with a 10-year-old in regards to the greatness of Cortez Kennedy, you recognize he grew up in a home raised by actual Seahawks followers. Then have a dialog with somebody of their 50’s who does nothing however bash the Patriots about profitable the Tremendous bowl who does not have a clue who Kennedy is, and you recognize you might be within the presence of an actual bandwagoner.
Earlier than Tremendous bowl XLIX, I had many heated conversations with Seahawks followers about who would win. Some had been nice, typical forwards and backwards banter, whereas others had been down proper vile and as offensive as they might be. It even went as far as to have “pals” take me off their pals checklist on social media websites for the straightforward motive that I’m a Patriots fan. For one factor, I used to be born and raised in Massachusetts with my complete household as Boston/New England sports activities followers, so being a Patriots fan was inevitable. Even so, I do not, nor would I ever apologize for being a Patriots fan. I’m very proud to be a Patriots fan and I get pleasure from carrying my Pat’s apparel wherever I am going. By merely carrying my Patriots hats or shirts, I discover it an effective way to work together with different NFL followers and may simply spot the actual from the bandwagoner. The true followers normally throw a jab, which is predicted and normally turns to enjoyable banter, however then strikes on to go with the staff and their success beneath the management of Invoice Belichick with Tom Brady on the helm. The bandwagoners cannot cross up the chance to throw jabs, however these jabs do not finish with laughs and enjoyable adopted by compliments. They normally transfer into pure hate for the staff and insults in the direction of me for being a Patriots fan.
Trying on the Tremendous bowl following the 2016 NFL season, I do not assume anybody will overlook that recreation any time quickly, or reasonably ever, particularly in case you are Matt Ryan and the remainder of the Atlanta Falcons. Nonetheless, when the Patriots had been down however seeming to start a push to come back from behind, there have been Falcons on the sidelines commenting that “it’s Tom Brady” displaying the respect they’ve for him for all his accomplishments. I do not care who you might be, the success the Patriots have had during the last 16 years, put up wage cap as well, couldn’t probably proceed if it was some fluke or even when they did cheat at any time all through. Give it some thought. Since 2001, the Patriots have been to 7 out of 16 Tremendous bowls. It virtually comes out to them going each different yr. That’s insane. The 2 losses had been laborious, even being to the identical staff. Each staff has their Lex Luther staff and the Giants are the Lex to the Patriots. That does not take something away from the Giants success and two Tremendous bowl victories over that Patriots by any means. They continued on after the 2 losses, to realize two extra victories with a superb probability, on paper thus far, to return and snag one other after the 2017 season. In truth, they’re favored to repeat based mostly on off season acquisitions and new contract negotiations. Whether or not they repeat or not, it is laborious to argue in regards to the New England Dynasty and the place they are going to land in sports activities historical past. That is all achieved put up wage cap period as nicely, the place it was alleged to be designed to not have stacked groups just like the Steelers and 49ers did throughout their reign of success.
It is apparent I’m utilizing the Seahawks and Patriots to make my level about actual vs. bandwagon followers, however this goes on in each sports activities areas, nevertheless, it is extra distinguished in some areas in comparison with others. I used to be positively one of many fortunate ones to develop up in such a robust skilled sports activities space with so many championships. Though it took the Purple Sox 86 years to perform one other World sequence title in 2004, they introduced two extra to Boston after that in 2007 and 2013. And with the early Bruins and Celtics, how might anybody complain? Properly, actual followers, that is how. Actual followers will all the time complain, bandwagoners will simply rant and rave, moan and groan whereas discovering excuses for his or her staff’s downfalls by blaming different organizations. Actual followers begin trying on the rosters, coaches, administration and so forth. and start to have a look at their very own groups to see what’s incorrect and what might be achieved to repair it. Being from Chicago, LA, SF, Dallas, Pittsburgh and some different multi championship cities are lucky areas to be from as a sports activities fan. Particularly the latest Cubs of Chicago who lastly received a world sequence after ready 108 years. If Boston thought they’d an extended wait, discuss to a Cubs fan.
Followers from the sports activities cities just like the 49ers of San Francisco, Steelers of Pittsburgh and Cowboys of Dallas generally, know what Patriot followers are going by way of. There are positively exceptions, however usually, they know. The Steelers of the 70’s with Bradshaw, Swan, Harris and so forth. in addition to the unbelievable “Metal Curtain” with the likes of Imply Joe Inexperienced and firm are blamed for the beginning of steroids within the NFL. Some say an asterisk must be subsequent to their titles simply as they do with the Patriots. Are there any deserves to these claims? Personally, I do not really feel that in any respect. Not as a result of I’m a Patriots fan, however as a result of I’m an NFL fan. There was no staff that would have probably gone by way of the Metal Curtain on a constant foundation throughout that interval and there’s a report variety of gamers from that very same time interval which have gone on to be inducted into the NFL Corridor of Fame in Canton Ohio. Can there be arguments made that some might not have been pretty much as good if not for steroid use? Positive, however the backside line is that if these gamers had no expertise, there should not sufficient steroids round to offer somebody expertise. Both you’ve got expertise or you do not. Positive it could actually improve some skills within the space of endurance and energy, however if you cannot throw, catch, run with a ball or watch a ball whereas watching the participant you might be designated to cowl on the similar time, it does not matter how robust you might be or how briskly you’ll be able to run.
So, the principle level right here is easy. Are you an actual NFL fan or are you only a bandwagoner? There’s nothing incorrect with being a bandwagoner in some methods. There are positively those that can solely get into their staff and get excited when they’re profitable. Many will even admit this with no disgrace and it is nothing actually to be ashamed about in case you’re keen to confess and settle for it, however most will not and wish to faux to be followers whereas irritating everybody round them with know all of it ignorance. Personally, as a lifelong fan of Boston space sports activities, no actual fan is a bandwagoner. If you wish to help the staff when they’re doing good, you need to have been there after they wanted you essentially the most. Positive, it is irritating, however as an actual fan, it is a part of the thrill to get entangled as in case you even have some affect that may assist your staff win. Clearly being a Boston fan, we now have the privilege to be a part of the best rivalry in sports activities historical past. The traditional Purple Sox / Yankees rivalry. Right here it will get a bit sophisticated. This rivalry can get downright soiled. The language shared between these two fan bases geared in the direction of getting the bottom you’ll be able to probably go with a view to shred the opposing followers higher than they’ll shred you. Nonetheless, in contrast to the newly developed rivalry with the Seahawks / Patriots, in the long run, New York and Boston followers know when to point out respect and when to hold on. With this rivalry, it is enjoyable, and in an odd means, respectful even at its worst. When “pals” un-friend me on social media simply because I’m a Purple Sox fan, that borders on pathetic, however in actuality, it is unhappy. This can be a recreation, not some life or demise scenario that impacts our lives.
After I meet a Yankee fan, generally, it is a enjoyable alternate and I’ve turn into pals with some individuals due to it. When a participant with the stature of these like Jeter and Ortiz, each groups honor these as in the event that they had been a part of their very own respective organizations. That my pals, is what actual true sports activities followers are and must be in each metropolis in each scenario.
Now it is time to search inside your self and ask these easy questions. Do you dislike a specific participant from a rival staff that’s an apparent star, and deal with it like that participant will not be that good, or do you dislike them as a result of they’re that good and do not play to your staff? The apparent one is the Tom Brady debates. For any fan from any staff to say Brady is not that good after taking a look at his stats and data, then you might be a bandwagoner. Feels like one thing from Jeff Foxworthy however it suits. There are some who declare Peyton Manning wasn’t that good. However 10-1 these are followers from groups that rival the Bronco’s and/or the Colts. I might go on and on, however the backside line is that this. Should you assume you are an actual fan versus a bandwagoner, begin to do some private analysis on issues that you just really feel are issues that upset you. Issues comparable to the largest difficulty as of late. The controversy surrounding the Patriots. Learn from as many sources as doable together with the info involving “spy-gate” and “deflate-gate”. What you may discover is technicalities in spy-gate that present the Patriots did not even break an official rule they usually did what each different staff has achieved, simply at a unique time, and that rule they supposedly broke to begin the entire cheaters controversy wasn’t even within the rule books as an official rule till the next yr. As for deflate-gate, in case you had been to learn the Wells report, you may discover no actual proof that any guidelines had been damaged and that the telephone incident with Brady and throwing it away ought to by no means have come into the dialog within the first place since Brady had been knowledgeable that his telephone wasn’t wanted by Wells himself earlier than he destroyed it and the truth that he destroyed it’s nothing greater than what he does with each previous telephone. Like many celebrities, telephones can comprise delicate, non-public information they do not need others to realize entry to and promote to some information or leisure journal so their non-public lives might be splashed far and wide. It is smart and it wasn’t one thing he simply determined to begin doing. It is one thing he is all the time achieved up to now and had no motive to alter as soon as he was advised that his telephone wasn’t wanted anymore for the investigation. After his telephone was gone, it was then plastered throughout as if it was achieved in an try to cover one thing.
This simply exhibits what data might be gained by being an actual fan and educating your self whereas additionally realizing that that is solely a recreation that’s supposed to be enjoyable to observe and observe. If it consumes you with hatred in the direction of somebody or some groups as an entire, then you need to take into consideration leaving the band, leaping off the wagon all collectively and simply take a practice as an alternative to the loony bin for assist.