Why couldn’t this writer have been a New England Patriots fan?
In these glory years of the New England Patriots, this Red Sox fan wonders why the Patriots (who will be playing in yet another AFC Championship game next weekend) could not have been good in the 1970s? You see, unlike a great portion of Red Sox fans, this writer is not a Patriots fan. This writer is a Dallas Cowboys fan.
1975 was the year yours truly became a sports fan. This was the year of Fred Lynn and Jim Rice and the incredible Red Sox season that year, captured on a new invention that arrived at my household that year. It is known as cable television. Back then cable was not the juggernaut that it is today. Back then, the people who wanted to avoid media, didn’t have a television. These days such people don’t have cable. 1975 was also the year of the Dallas Cowboys and their improbable victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game. Their quarterback was a scrambler named Roger Staubach who described his long pass to wide receiver Drew Pearson, who blatantly pushed off, and caught it for a game winning touchdown, a “Hail Mary”.
Boston sports fans are a fortunate bunch these days. In the last decade, all four of their franchises, the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, and Bruins have all brought home titles. My nephew who grew up in the town of Dedham, outside Boston, had to wait all of one year for his first Red Sox title of 2004. Now he is a fanatic Patriots fan and all the swagger that comes with it. Twitter is a great resource for fans but the idolatry of Tom Brady, perhaps the greatest of all time (or GOAT, in the most unfortunate acronym or nickname since MadBum), is overwhelming and goes well beyond ordinary fandom. Unfollowing even some members of the media was necessary in the aftermath of the Patriots last winning parade, one describing Tom Brady as the best father of all-time, the guy who had dumped the woman that eventually bore his child while she was pregnant.
At the same time as this incredible Patriots success, the last two decades have been lean times for Cowboys fans, winning just two playoff games while the Patriots are racking up four Super Bowls. My sister, who attended college in Fenway Park’s neighborhood, had considered going to Drexel University in Philadelphia, so this could have been a Phillies website in an alternate universe. Life as an Eagles fan is no picnic either as they still seek their first Super Bowl victory.
There are a few Cowboys and Red Sox fans online, well, maybe one that is known to me. Where this writer lives in New York, the Cowboys used to be public enemy number one for all their success. Now it is the Patriots who are the target of New York Giants fans hatred. Giants fans revel in the Patriots failures, few as they may be, even more now than Red Sox failures. The hatred for Tom Brady is vitriolic. They hate us ’cause they ain’t us is a phrase that comes to mind. Yankee fans have the leg up on Red Sox fans and always will with their insane number of championships. Pointing to recent history is some comfort, but the last 15 years don’t make up so much for the Yankees 75 years of dominance before that.
Patriots fans since birth, sometimes this writer thinks why couldn’t the 70’s Patriots have been better? Steve Grogan why couldn’t you have won more games and not played in that crappy stadium that one time this writer was there? Why do you get to enjoy an unflappable legend at quarterback now? It is certainly better to be a Red Sox fan than a Yankee fan right now. Though the time for me to change has passed, my Cowboys fandom has been a tough go over the last two decades, so Patriots fans, enjoy Tom Brady’s last few years. You won’t see his like again.