Friday, September 6, 2013

Pats Nation: The Decision

I tend to overthink almost every decision I have to make, including trivial ones like which sports teams I'll follow. Granted, not all "my" teams; I found the Braves at the tender age of 9 and never looked back. Both my parents are diehard New Jersey Devils fans, so I never had much of a choice when it came to hockey. I'm still a proud member of the Devils Army, though, with a framed picture of Marty Brodeur on my bedroom wall to prove it.

Pro football is another story altogether. 5 days ago, I was left wondering yet again where to place my loyalties after a severe disappointment. I've thought long and hard about it and decided that I will be maintaining my citizenship in Pats Nation for the following reasons:

1. Family. I always say I'm Southern merely by accident of birth. My relatives are all from various places in the Northeast: Brooklyn, Massachusetts, upstate New York, and New Jersey. My favorite baseball team (Braves) and favorite college team (Gators) are from the Deep South, so this kind of balances things out.

2. Bill Belichick. I don't know why, but I've always had a thing about crotchety old coaches/managers. This is probably because the majority of my life as a Braves fan was during Bobby Cox's tenure as manger. He was just fun to watch; you never knew when he'd start ranting and raving at the umpires. He had a record-breaking number of ejections. Say what you will about Bobby; the man was passionate about his job and knew how to field a winning team. Although, personally, I think Bill should've taken a page out of Bobby's book and knocked down Brady's ego several pegs a long time ago.

3. Rob Gronkowski. No pun intended, but Gronk is my biggest reason for sticking around. I've always had a weakness for large, bearlike men and Gronk makes me swoon. I've watched and read several interviews with him and there's just something about his personality that I love; he reminds me of about 70% of my guy friends from college. Sure, he's made some questionable decisions this off-season, like riding roller coasters and slam-dancing while in a cast. But hey, at least he's not currently on trial for murder.

Watch the infamous "Yo soy fiesta" interview and tell me the big guy doesn't have a certain charm.

Party on, Gronk!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pats Nation: To Defect or Not to Defect?

Early yesterday morning, I woke up to find my phone flooded with headlines courtesy of my SportsCenter app. One of these did not bear good news: Tim Tebow had been released at the very last minute by the Patriots. To quote a very dear friend of mine, seeing that "hurt my heart." Tebow gives himself wholly to every team he's a part of, only to have his dreams slip through his fingers (his playoff season with Denver being the exception). He's tweeted that he refuses to give up on being an NFL quarterback.

I deeply respect and admire him as a person, but I can't help but think that's not the best of ideas. For whatever reason, no team seems to want to touch him (even his hometown of Jacksonville...traitors). He has been screwed over time and time again. Tim still thinking there's a team that will appreciate what he has to offer rides that thin line between optimism and delusion. However, I tend to root for the underdogs, so I really hope someone picks him up.

I have to commend Tim for always looking on the bright side of things and continuing to try; I took his example to heart. If I had seen my lack of physical endurance as an insurmountable obstacle and given up exercise, I wouldn't have been the first-ever female on my college firefighter combat challenge team. (I didn't make the competition squad, but I packed on about 5-10 pounds of muscle that semester and almost never missed practice). And I most certainly wouldn't be just over a month and a half into my probationary period as a volunteer firefighter.

The unexpected removal of Tim from the roster has left me in a bit of a situation. First of all, over the summer, I bought tickets to a Patriots/Bengals game in October. Far from the best seats in the house, but I was worried that having Tebow on the roster would make the game sell out even faster. Honestly, his signing was the main reason I wanted to go to the game in the first place. My extreme dislike of Tom Brady has me debating on still attending. I could probably offload the tickets pretty easily, either via the Internet or in person. My best friend loves the Patriots and I have several friends in Who Dey Nation. Also, it's a Sunday afternoon game, so nobody will be in class.

The second issue concerns the number of different loyalties I've had in the last 23 years: gold and red, green and yellow. Green and white put a dent in my bank account last season: keychain, purse, ballcap, and 2 different T-shirts (not to mention the Tebow jersey my mom paid a chunk for as one of my Christmas presents). I'm just grateful at this point that I didn't go ahead and get a Jets sorority letter shirt because those definitely aren't cheap and I wouldn't have been able to wear it much. I'm ready for a monogamous relationship with an NFL because switching all the time A) has me feeling like a bandwagon jumper and I don't especially like that feeling and B) is expensive.

I guess the best thing to do is take a few days to think things over and also feel out whether anyone I know might be in the market for upper-deck tickets on the visitors' side of Paul Brown Stadium. Thoughts, anyone?