Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ignoring the Small Black Edible Bird

Ok. I agree with some of the concerns/jokes that have been voiced to me regarding the aggressive tenor of my last post. (No, I don't.) One old friend likened it to a suicide-esque note left by trench coat wearing, high school Pats fan. Another called that post "The Football Diaries." So, I agree that perhaps its tone was a little over-the-top, but it got people talking. What I've done is going to be puzzled over and studied and followed... forever. Ok, just kidding about that last part. (No, I'm not.) Not that anyone got it anyway...

Seriously, though, I have begun to wonder how all the Sox fans in NYC do it...I've been a Pats fan in Pittsburgh for barely two months and man, it sucks. Old ladies at the grocery store will "accidentally" bang their cart into yours just because you have a Brady jersey on in the fifth week of the season. People will flip you off from behind in traffic because you have a Pats sticker in your window. As soon as people find out your a Pats fan, there's a whole change in their tone, demeanor, body language, etc. Women clutch their purses tighter when you walk by with a Flying Elvis on your cap. And everybody is so unoriginal. I've had this conversation, exactly this same conversation, about 150 times since I got here:

Them: "So, if you don't like them Stillers, who do you like?"
Me: "Ummm...actually, the Patriots..."
Them: "Serious? Shit, are you videotaping this whole conversation?"
Me: (silence)
Me: (rolls eyes)
Me: (instantly wonders how closely they're related to their wife)
Me: (starts to think about saying something like, "Yeah, I am. Just like I videotaped you having sex with your sister...")
Me: (starts to think that'd be a pretty crass, and possibly dangerous, thing for me to say)
Me: (wonders about the irony of me stereotyping them while they are stereotyping my football team)
Me: (wonders if this person staring dumbly at me knows what "irony" means)
Them: "Yeah! You probably are!"

So that conversation is getting pretty old, that's my point. And I start to think that they treat me the same way I used to treat Yankees fans. With disdain, mixed with a tinge of jealousy at their success. The Steelers, in their last three really meaningful games against the Pats, are 0-3. They hate our dominance, our ubiquitous media presence, our pretty boy superstar, our increasingly brazen and obnoxious fans, the whole shebang. Sound familiar? So from that angle, I get why some idiot announcers, writers, etc. have begun referring to the Pats as the Yankees of the NFL. (No, I don't.) I think it's a pretty baseless accusation for the most part, and see little similarity in the two teams/fanbases, but I do understand why some people might think that. After reading my last post, I'd hate me, too. (No, I wouldn't.)

So, I stand by the sentiments of my last post. Actually I stand by the bombast and exaggeration and parody of a crazy sports nut. (It wasn't parody.) I am an obnoxious sports fan. Ask my wife. Ask Big Ry about obnoxious. (He'd know.) And it's not just the winning. I've always been an obnoxious sports fan. It's just something I take way too seriously. I'm obnoxious about the Sox, Pats and Maryland basketball. I can't be rationale about it, and believe me, I've tried. I don't beat my wife when we lose, but I've been known to throw things, yell and scream, curse, spew comments in questionable taste about a person's gender, sexuality or possible Germanic relationship to the pee-hole. I'm not as superstitious as I used to be, but now I'm just superstitious about not being superstitious because I worry that by being superstitious I will fuck up the game. As my wife is forever prone to say, it's just a game. And it is. I get that. (I don't.)

Nobody likes their integrity, or that of something or someone they care deeply about, questioned. It makes you mad. And you say dumb things, and rant and rave like an idiot about something that's just a game. (It's not.) This isn't black vs. white, Arab vs. Jew, color-blind people vs. color, etc. It's Steelers vs. Patriots. Everybody just needs to calm down a notch. (I do.) That said, Fuck you, Pittsburgh. (Fuck you, Pittsburgh.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Drugs and Kittens

To the rest of the NFL and its fans:

The Patriots are not going to lose this year. They will finish the season unbeaten. Not a mark in the "L" column shall besmirch their fine name. Nary a competitor this year will walk off the gridiron with a smile upon his mud-speckled face. None's tally of points shall best that of our beloved, Flying Elvis-clad footballers. Say it as modern or old-timey as you want to, the fact remains thus: The Pats are goin' 19-0, yo.

Fate and karma and superstition be damned, I'm gonna enjoy this ride. I'm gonna tell anybody who will listen that this team ain't losing. I refuse to hide behind the cloak of sportsmanship or the guise of sports-fan-prudence on this one. I'm gonna squawk long and loud and most forcefully to those who said the Patriots' prior championships are tainted, and I'm going to root for the Pats to mercilessly and metaphorically sweep the leg of anyone who dares cross their path, either by choice or by NFL-mandated scheduling. I want to beat everybody by 50 points, not shake their hands and tell the papers later that they were the softest team we've played yet. I want Brady and Moss to own the record books and I want Coach Bill to hoist the Super Bowl trophy in his hands, turn to Phil Simms and Jim Nantz, and say, "This one's for you, you sanctimonius, Colts-ass-kissing, sons-a-bitches...this one's for all of you..."

In the words of The Beltones, "I wanna pay back all you jealous souls, and when I'm done you motherfuckers will all be through, yeah..." I want all this to happen to reward all the hypocritical teams, fans, announcers, journalists, pundits and talking heads who beat the Pats down for the videotaping while refusing to acknowledge that every team in the league cheats in some way. Dome teams pipe in noise, some teams set financial rewards for hurting opponents, some teams steal signals, some teams are steroid factories, somewhere, some way, everyone is doing something to get ahead. We got caught; the rest of you are lucky you didn't. And yet you still jumped on us, throwing fire from your igloos (I'm sick of "the people in glass houses..." bit). Well, I'm sick of listening to all of you, and everybody like you. I want the Pats to go 19-0 and grind the rest of the league into submission under the tips of our detachable cleats.

Just for the rest of this season, I'm gonna be the asshole Pats fan you don't want to meet in a bar. I'm gonna be that guy (except to my wife on December 8, 9 and 10). I'm the guy telling everybody that will listen that Chris Hanson, through 10 games, DOESN'T HAVE ENOUGH PUNTS TO QUALIFY ON THE LEAGUE LEADER BOARD. That's the stat of the day, and I've got a million more like them. I moved to Pittsburgh and I plan to make myself the most insufferable bastard my Steeler-fan co-workers have ever seen. I want them to tell their significant others, when they get home at the end of the day, about the most obnoxious fan they've ever met. Only then will they understand what I, and every Pats fan I know, has had to deal with since that story broke. Then, as Ian once said, "We'll look back and laugh." Laughing season starts February 4.

Ok. Whew. I've had that rant in me for a few months now, so it's nice to let it out. Have a nice Thanksgiving everybody!