I grew up in New England and went to college there, so I was in Patriots country for about 22 years. However, I was not a football fan. I didn’t understand the game and I had no interest in watching it from growing up in a non-football household. But I did wish the Patriots well because I had a die-hard Pats fan Uncle.
A strange journey has led me to be a Saints Fan. My husband is from New Orleans and while living in San Francisco we became regulars at the Saints Bar there, starting with just a couple people to the overflowing bar that they are today. The first season I watched was 2006-2007, Payton and Brees’s first season as well. I was slow to warm up to Football. It’s complicated, there’s a lot of starts and stops, and so so many commercials. At the Black Magic Voodoo Lounge the commercials (and inane commentary on occasion) is muted and New Orleans music is blasted, ranging from oldies to crunk. It’s tailored to how the game is going too, so we’ve got brush it off music, celebration music, shut up music, and oh well music. There’s also often food brought, ranging from Popeyes to homemade New Orleans classics like Jambalaya. Some of us have been watching the games for 7 seasons together, so it’s a family, especially when most people there are far from home for various reasons. If you’re going to learn to love football later in life, you couldn’t pick a better setting than this. I started out going to keep A. company and now I’ve got my Colston jersey on and am screaming and swearing with the best of them (fuck a fucking Falcon!)
I recently moved to New Orleans, but we went back to San Francisco for a wedding and made time to watch a game at the bar with our crew. Even when they’re breaking our hearts, we’re in it.
So during this football timeline, I was a fan when we lost our defensive coordinator and had our coach benched. A “Free Sean Payton” t-shirt is hanging in my closet. I cheer for Goodell’s resignation/firing every appropriate chance I get (this season looks promising). However I feel about the punishment, I do agree that the Saints did something wrong, especially in light of how concussions are now being recognized in the league. Football is a dangerous sport and no one should be trying to make it even more dangerous for the players (unless it’s Cam Newton).
So let’s talk about the Patriots. First off, the only regular commentary I see on Facebook is from Pats fans telling us all to stop talking about it. This is a bit of an oxymoron because posting about something on social media is continuing to make it a topic. Seriously, that’s how things end up trending and being made into a bigger deal.
Second, they cheated. The NFL has confirmed this. There is also absolutely no way that Brady didn’t know this. He is one of the leagues best quarterbacks and you’re telling me that someone intercepting the ball on the other team could tell right away that the ball was too light, but Brady couldn’t tell when he handled the ball every single play? Impossible. He also knew before hand. Try and explain to me who would lighten the balls significantly and not check with the quarterback who will be handling the ball every play on the game that decides whether or not they go to the Super Bowl. I welcome the conspiracy theories.
Third, it doesn’t matter that they won the game outright. They shouldn’t be going to the Super Bowl. If the game had been close, like the Packers game, everyone would be calling foul. The fact that they won the game by a significant amount just makes them idiots. They went into the game intending to cheat to make sure they won and that taints the entire game. That’s the issue at hand, not that they cheated and didn’t need to (that’s just sad). If you’re going to make rules, there have to be consequences when they get broken, especially when the intention is to alter the outcome of a game. Fining isn’t good enough.
Fourth, this isn’t the first time with Brady or Belichick. Obviously the first time around didn’t send a strong enough message so time to send the message home.
The Saints didn’t even cheat or alter a game outcome and lost their coaches, this is the second time the Patriots have been caught cheating so let’s try and act like we care NFL.
Either way, this ends my good feelings and cheering for the Pats.