They’re going to the Super Bowl, so I should be thrilled right now. But I’m feeling a little, shall I say, deflated. Anyone who’s not living under a rock knows why. Yes, it’s Deflategate. When the Patriots played their AFC Championship Game last weekend, they used under-inflated footballs during the first half of the game. It’s still unclear who deflated the balls, and who knew about it. But the bottom line is, deflated balls are a big no-no, and my Pats are about to get punished big-time.
To be clear, I think they should be punished. It’s just that I didn’t need this right now. I was counting on two weeks of pure pride and joy, following my team up until the big game. Now I’ve got endless needling by friends who never liked the Patriots in the first place. Not to mention all the deflated balls jokes coming my way.
And yet, I’m still a Pats fan. Even now. I’m not sure what that says about me. Maybe I’m a little selfish, and I’ll take joy and excitement any way I can get it–even if it’s not on the up-and-up. Or maybe it says something about loyalty. I am standing by my Patriots in good times and bad. In sickness and in health. Plump balls or squishy balls.
I’m well aware that, outside New England, the Patriots were already the most hated football team in America even before Deflategate. So, I’m used to taking some ribbing. It’s just that it’s going to be in overdrive, and it’s going to be non-stop.
And so, to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and the gang: I’m mad at you. But I can’t quit you. You’ve helped me smile even in tough times. So, I’m sticking by you, no matter what anyone says.
But I’ll say this: on Super Sunday, your balls better be perfect! No shrinkage allowed!