Last Sunday afternoon, I had plans with a few of my roommates to go over to our friend’s apartment and watch some good ol’ fashioned football while tearing into a healthy four-pound platter of wings like a couple of fine, upstanding American men.
So naturally, as the game to be featured was none other than the Patriots-Texans AFC Divisional matchup, I decided to bust out my trusty Tom Brady jersey. Even though it is way too small for me, I’ll never stop wearing.
I love that jersey.
I’ve had it for a very long time, longer than I can remember.
I love it because of what it represents — pretty much the total dominance my team has had over each and every one of yours for the past 12 years.
But I won’t gloat much — that’s not really the Patriot way.
Plus I know I’ve already said enough to stir the pot of jealous rage brewing up in every single non-Pats fan who has tried to discount my team as “has-beens” for the past eight years.
Cue the 18-1 quips and the maelstrom of overzealous Giants and Steelers fans trying to bring up spygate.
Honestly, you all just sound pathetic at this point. Which reminds me, how’d you guys do in the playoffs this year?
Anyway, it actually is incredibly impressive how much pent-up hatred is sent in my direction while I stroll around in that blue and silver jersey. Many of you just can’t seem to resist giving me a cheery earful of your most heartfelt detestation as I pass by flashing #12.
Just the other day while walking to my aforementioned friends self-proclaimed “Wings Over Spectacular,” I was verbally assaulted on three separate occasions.
The first two were general, run of the mill comments. “You guys are going to get you’re a—es handed to you,” and jabs at Tom Brady.
You know, just your average, uncreative pre-game smack talk. The kind invariably slung by the small groups of snickering, high-fiving guys patrolling the sidewalks downtown.
The third comment however was one that I’ll remember for a long time, maybe just because of its shock value.
It came at me as I was unassumingly walking through Pollock commons. The man who fired it was walking directly towards my group of friends at the time of its letting.
It happened quickly, just as he passed us by. “Nice shirt,” he said pointing at my jersey. Rather caught off guard by this, I spun around fast to give him the short, universally bro-approved salutation, “Thanks man.”
However, I had to catch myself quickly once I realized he was now brandishing a fully-erect middle finger, scowling at me before he shot off his final remark: a long drawn out “jacka—.”
And let me tell you, he used a lot of emphasis on the three non-existent zzz’s at the end.
Well I must say, kudos to you no-name hater.
To be fair, I did receive one nod of approval — one without an expletive on the tail end of it — while I was on my journey to Wing-topia.
But such happenings are few and far between here in State College — the cultural melting pot for every Steelers, Eagles, Giants, and Ravens fan within 500 miles.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Even current NFL players are powerless to restrain themselves from voicing their sincere distaste for the Brady bunch. Every single week in the season some other attention starved future “what was his name again” decides to throw up a colorful tweet or two on the Patriots behalf. Looking at you, Brendon Ayanbadejo.
But it’s no matter.
Such things come with the territory and, all things considered, I actually relish these ill-contrived attacks.
It reminds me of how you all wish you could cheer for a team headed by one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game.
How you wish your team could be as perennially successful as mine.
Now I can’t get ahead of myself. To be honest, I don’t know how things will turn out Sunday night. Baltimore is a good team.
They could easily ride the Ray Lewis train straight through Foxborough to the Super Bowl. But I am confident in saying that barring any injuries or any kind of other unforeseen detours from the norm, the Patriots will have a better chance than most at being right where they are now this time next year. And that, I’d say understandably, is why I’m proud to call myself a Patriots fan, no matter where I happen to be.
So look for me this Sunday sporting my tight, blue and silver No. 12 jersey over my gray Patriots sweatshirt. If you do happen to catch a glimpse of it, feel free to express yourself any way you’d like. Believe me, I welcome your comments.
Anthony Bellafiore is a junior majoring in English and economics and is The Daily Collegian’s Thursday columnist. Email him at email@example.com.