This past Sunday, I spent my evening watching the New England Patriots walk all over the Indianapolis Colts with a few of my closest guy friends. As the game wore on – and we waited 2 hours and 37 minutes for our Domino’s delivery – I began chatting with one of my friends who just so happened to be a Masshole like myself. We gazed at the undersized TV screen in his dorm room, looking warmly upon Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, two men that are especially close to our hearts. Yes, the Patriots won the game, and we cannot wait to see them play in the Super Bowl this Sunday. But for us native Pats fans, the team means much more than that.
In the past decade, give or take a few years, Tom Brady has surpassed most, if not all, other national football players in this country with his football skills, home-grown appeal, and his dashing good looks. His perfection is almost too much sometimes; what kind of person wins three Super Bowls AND marries a supermodel? Not many. To people around the country, he is one of the best quarterbacks in history, though he is much more than a pretty face with a solid arm.
Bill Belichick has spent all his time in New England creating a winning team, one that takes no bulls–t and wins or loses as a united front. He doesn’t tell you what he’s really thinking, giving reporters absolutely nothing to work with in post-game interviews, and will rarely admit that a player is injured. He wears sweatshirts without sleeves in the winter, tucks his socks into his pants, and is admittedly out of his mind.
As these quirks prove, the Patriots are more than just a winning football team, and Boston sports in general have always meant more to their fans. Growing up just south of here, I reveled in the fact that I lived in Title Town. Being outnumbered by boys in my house, sports were always being watched and played, and even though I often chose dolls over games, sports are in my blood.
Moving to Chestnut Hill last August, sports remained my security blanket, and my transition from home to school was mirrored by my metamorphosis into a true BC Superfan. The day we beat USC was arguably the best day of my life, and marked the first moment I felt like Boston College was where I belonged. To this day, sports like the ones I grew up watching make me feel comfortable, and its like I never left home.
As something so ingrained in my childhood, I don’t know where I would be without the sports that I have played and grown up with. More than just exercise and excessive competition, sports have taught me how to play well with others, how to compromise and how to trust. Major league sports are no different. While normal folk may not be on the roster themselves, supporting a common effort is a uniting factor that is undeniable.
After the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, nothing brought Boston closer in the following months than the Red Sox, and the bonds that had been created through such a terrible tragedy. The following October, the Boston Red Sox were crowned World Series Champs, a feat that they attributed to their immense fan base, united as one during this strenuous year.
In my opinion, though biased, Boston sports are unlike anything else. It is not about the wins or losses (though us fans are quite unforgiving) – its about the ties that bond the teams to Massholes like myself. Whether it be the Bruins, Patriots, Red Sox, or Celtics, Boston teams are not comprised of unfamiliar athletes, but family. We laugh, cry, and shed blood with our teams, for better or for worse, rain or shine.
It’s emotions like this that bind the city, and the surrounding communities, so close together year after year. Come Sunday at 6:30 PM, the Patriots are in for their last test of this season, one that has the potential to define them as Champions, yet again, or leave them rebuilding for next year. At the end of the day, Title Town will still be Title Town, but here we never give up. So, from our family to yours, happy Super Bowl XLIX.