Conversations by Candlelight: A Monologue on New England Patriotism

By SAM MATHAI

Last week, I took a swing at some low hanging fruit. First-years are inherently easy targets. How could I find something easier to mock? Well, the universe heard me and said, “Here, look at this group of people even easier to satirize.” That was on Thursday, the first day the New England Patriots played. I watched with dedication as my target demographic grew steadily more red-faced towards the end of the game. Why weren’t they winning? They were going to come back, right?

The people I’m going to satirize are of course Pats fans, colloquially known as Massholes. We all know them. Chances are, you have one in your class. Realistically, chances are that you are one. They are not defined by their home state, because, truthfully, many of them aren’t even from Massachusetts. They are united by a singular, undying, and irrational love of all things Patriots. Which is fine.

I have to say, though, there is nothing quite as entertaining as watching the Patriots lose and listening to their unmistakably loud fan base get progressively quieter and more frustrated. Run of the mill trash talking very suddenly becomes personal. You can’t make a joke about Tom Brady’s psychotic diet (the guy doesn’t even eat tomatoes) without someone jumping down your throat and telling you about how perfect he is. “You can’t teach that kind of drive!” they’ll say, or “Tom Brady is a direct descendant of an immaculate conception!” Don’t even mention Aaron Hernandez.

Side note here: I was once accosted by a Pats fan after making a joke about Aaron Hernandez, but not because it was a wildly inappropriate joke. She yelled at me simply because he was a Patriot.

Full disclosure here: I am from San Diego so, yes, my football team has never won a Super Bowl, and, yes, I no longer have a team. The fact that I even have to make this known should tell you something though. Someone is going to be upset by this. Massholes don’t take kindly to people discussing god-emperor Belichick in a bad light. I am taking risks by writing this. Should I expect a brick thrown through my window with Bill Belichick’s likeness taped to it? Probably not, but only because I live with a Pats fan who will probably just break my window from the inside anyway.

Admittedly, the Pats are a great team. It was hard to laugh at them after the Super Bowl. It was hard to do or say anything about them, actually. In fact, many people have described hanging out with Pats fans during that time as “insufferable” and “quite possibly my least favorite time period in recent memory… including when we were worried about killer clowns roaming the streets.”

At our fine institution, landlocked as we are in the West, you might logically expect a Broncos fandom, or some other reasonable group of people. But this is not the case. Somehow everyone I talk to likes to hang out in Nantucket and lives “just outside of Boston.”

Some might argue that Boston is one of the most American cities out there, and history might back them up. In that way, slandering them feels literally unpatriotic. But would the Boston tea partiers really have supported the well-funded men clad in red and blue that seem at times impossible to defeat and glorify their leader like a king? History may have an answer there.

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