i'm a patriots fan of many years. not really a bandwagoner, but i moved to boston in 2000 and they've been good since about then. so maybe people won't believe that. i didn't grow up in a place that had a local nfl team. and i grew up watching football with my great uncle, watching for good game more than rooting for any one team. so above all i love the game and i love the pats the most. but i also love the steelers and the packers and the giants to a lesser degree. i dislike a few franchises, but if they are good teams i'll still watch the games, it's bad games i can't stand. and since the browns and the jaguars are so consistently bad, i'm not forced to watch many of their games.
but loving football in this day and age requires a compromise of conscience. the nfl as an entity is power mad and greedy. it exploits it's players, first via the ncaa (its unofficial minor leagues) and then via some pretty unfavorable player policies. football is a violent sport. most football players, young black men who have been exploited via ruthless recruiting policies and football programs that value on-field performance over scholarship and then further exploited by unfavorable rookie contracts and ever shifting codes of conduct and integrity. the nfl claims to value the integrity of the game, but the reality is that all the nfl values is how much money it can gather from every available source. like blood from stone, the nfl wants only to increase its profits to line the pockets of the 32 very rich men who own the teams.
it's not the manufactured cheating scandals or #deflategate that makes it difficult to root for the patriots these days. if you read about the different scandals that have been ruled on by the league in recent years, you realize that the message about cheating and the rumors and the assumptions and insinuations spread are way worse than the reality of what happened. #spygate, #bountygate, #bullygate, #deflategate are all smoke and mirrors really.
what makes it hard to root for the patriots this year is the compromise i feel like i need to make with my principles. i mean, i was already compromising my principles about violence and against misogyny. but it feels like it's still too soon to be rooting for anyone who might have voted for president trump. even if the reality is that not all the men on the patriots voted for trump, if they even voted. and a person's political views shouldn't taint an entire entity's. but then it was easy for me to #deleteuber, granted i have only used uber when traveling to l.a. so it's not some sort of lifestyle change. i would have deleted the app anyway on my old phone that had less storage space, because i wouldn't have wanted to be taking up space with an app that i don't use often.
but i have no feelings about the falcons. they are a team i don't watch all that often. i don't love or hate any of their players. i do love the pats. i love the players i know, the ones i watch all the time. the ones who cycle on and off the team. the stalwarts. i think the team is more than a handful of guys political opinions. i don't agree with them, but i don't agree with a lot of people's. so tonight i will be sitting on the edge of my seat, on the verge of throwing up every second that is counting down because i want them to win. i want them to have a 5th championship. i want them to rub it in everyone's face. because at the end of the day, i guess i am that sort of fan.