It’s hard to believe that I- former Patriots fans antagonist, vocal Tom Brady “hater” (I even wrote a post about why I disliked him and the team six or seven years ago on my old blog), and New York Jets enthusiast- have since hung up my anti-Belichick banner and have joined and embraced “The Dark Side”, as I formerly called it. Yes, world- I am a fan of the New England Patriots- and I want them to win the Super Bowl this year.
While I’ve been given a good amount of grief (and rightfully so) over my past ways from longtime friends and fans of the team I used to rag on all the time during playoffs- many people in my neighborhood seem pretty thrilled that I’m finally showing a little support for Brady and the boys.
It didn’t happen overnight, of course- and I don’t consider myself to be what some may perceive as a “bandwagon fan.” It comes down to my simply having to give credit where credit is due. The Patriots are a good team. Tom Brady is hands down one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. I want to party with Rob Gronkowski- and Julian Edelman’s very obvious “Single White Female” man-crush on Tom makes for some pretty funny early morning sports radio conversation the day after a game.
The team’s charitable side is both touching and entertaining (HERE, HERE, and HERE– just to name a few instances for any skeptics out there)– and last year’s ‘Deflategate’ and how blown out of proportion things got as Tom Brady got dragged through the mud by the league and other teams- including my former favorites, The Jets- was really the final push I needed to see that I had been pretty wrong about a very talented group of guys for a long time.
Sure, I still stand by my statement that some Patriots’ fans can be downright obnoxious and off-putting (as is the case with pretty much any team’s fan bases)– but the majority of Pats’ fans I’ve encountered since cautiously edging my way into local sports bars and tailgating parties have been beyond welcoming, fun, and informative- filling me in on things and stats I might not have known otherwise.
Of course, with being a fan of any sports team- you have to be able to show your support in some way, shape or form for when you’re cheering your favorite team on at the stadium (I have yet to make it to a home game at Gillette- but here’s hoping I can pull it off next season!) or watching the big game with friends at the local sports bar or house party. The good folks over at TickPick.com recently asked how I show my new found Patriots pride as they continue on their Revenge Tour 2015-2016- all the way to the AFC Championship this coming weekend- and while my collection is still growing- I’ve got a few fun pieces I stick to.
For those not familiar with TickPick, it’s a site where fans can buy, trade, or bid on tickets for NFL games and other sporting events, concerts, and anything in-between. If you ever need a last minute ticket to an event you didn’t know about, unexpectedly found the time to attend- or if you ever find yourself with a spare ticket to an event you’re looking to sell through a trusted (see: not Craigslist) avenue- TickPick has you covered.
Every Friday at work, from now until the Super Bowl- we have “Football Fridays” where our staff is encouraged to wear their favorite team’s jerseys, t-shirts, etc. Although I adore my Gronkowski t-shirt (which I’ll get to in a second)– it’s not exactly practical for an office that occasionally gets a draft. For that reason, I typically sport this long-sleeved navy Pats shirt with jeans and my knee-high black boots to look chic and sporty- but still stay warm and comfortable all day while I process paperwork and take phone calls.
For those sporting get togethers I attend with friends that are outside an office setting- I always, ALWAYS- sport my semi-weathered Gronkowski t-shirt with some jeans and sneakers (and if we’re going to be outdoors for any length of time- I throw on a white or blue long-sleeved thermal shirt underneath and a down vest over everything to keep warm.) I know so many people love their TB12 shirts and jerseys- but Rob is my boy- and his shirt is actually the first piece of Patriots merchandise I ever bought. THAT MEANS SOMETHING, OKAY?
Also- every single time I’ve worn this shirt on game day- The Patriots have won. If I don’t wear it? They lose. I’m not saying I’m some kind of lucky charm or anything, but…
… Okay, maybe I am. I’m also a little superstitious. I’ll be wearing this on Sunday. Just in case.
And of course by now we’re all familiar with my love of berets and beanies in the Fall & Winter- so regardless of what I wear and what I pair it with- I always have my Patriots poof-ball hat pulled tightly over my ears (even if I’m indoors. It’s so comfortable!) It’s fun when I get together with my family- most of whom are avid sports fans and football followers- because my cousins and uncles have the same hat. It’s like being in a bizzaro world where everyone matches for a season.
Those three pieces are my favorites- apart from some ridiculously cozy fleece Patriots pajamas that are currently in my dryer and ready to be worn after this weekend’s game- and are the things I’ve been getting the most wear out of this past season. I’m hoping to add some new Super Bowl 50 championship memorabilia to my collection in the coming weeks.
And I could really go for a Patriots’ thermos to hold my coffee/cocoa in lately. It’s freezing out!
Thanks for opening up this can of worms and letting me show off some of my sports stuff, TickPick! Oh, how the times have changed and how far I’ve come these past few years…
Do you have any special outfits/items that you wear to show your support for your favorite team? Any pre-game rituals (the weirder, the better!) that you want to share? I’d love to hear them!