Tom Brady, Fandom and Priorities

If you are a sports nut you probably came across an ESPN Boston poll in which 20% of the respondents stated that the judicial decision to throw out the four game suspension of Tom Brady was ” The Best Day of My Life” or as Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy mused, as better than their engagement or wedding, the birth of their child or years of friendship with their “bestie.” Whoa! Now that’s a statistic to ponder for a bit.

The whole Deflategate was a childish sideline to punish the Patriots for cheating (which still may be justified) instead of concentrating on concussion compensation, spousal abuse, performing enhancing drugs and general criminal behavior. But when 20%. of the fans equate the decision to ” Free Brady” with the signature events in most people’s lives that says something about how screwed up football aficionados have become in these parts. Boston was recently named the “best” sports town in America and perhaps this poll gives credence to that status- “best” perhaps meaning misplaced priorities.

The Patriots season starts tomorrow and if the team, the coach and the owner aren’t embroiled in another distracting scandal, the Pats should be headed to the Superbowl again. But as they move toward another championship it would be nice, or more to the point, mature, if the fandom recognized the obvious – football is a game played by men who make a lot of money and really don’t care too much about the adoring fans. Patriots football is not war, anti-terrorism, resettling thousands of sad people or police being executed; no, it is a game.

Changing the sporting habits of the ” Get a Lifers” in the stands and in front of the flat screen television is not in the cards – wives have given in to Sunday afternoons with the boys in their man caves sucking down beers and family time whenever a game is on has become Patriots time. It used to be the phrase most remembered by families on Sunday was, ” The family that prays together, stays together.” That wise proclamation has now been replaced by ” The family that worships the Patriots, rarely talk to each other.” If we could only get our priorities straight.

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