A Veteran, the Patriots, and Changing the World…
by Bryan Meyers
We get it; you hate the New England Patriots. As a die-hard fan, it comes as no surprise to me the number of people rooting against them during the last Super Bowl. Even knowing this, I still hosted a large party where I was one of two people cheering for the Pat’s. As a born and raised Texan, it shocks most people that I am not a Cowboys fan. What they don’t understand is that I remain a Cowboys fan but have my reasons for loving the Pat’s. Even more so, is the reason that it get’s me down when they lose.
I am not some random bandwagon fan. I didn’t look for a new team to call my own while the Cowboys ‘rebuilt’ year after year. To be honest, for the longest time, I didn’t even follow professional football. However, this all changed my first year of hanging out in the New England area. It didn’t take long for the fantastic people of Boston to win me over. From my first St. Patty’s day in Boston to my first Pat’s game at Dino’s in Falmouth, MA; they set their hooks. Having Wes Welker on the team didn’t hurt me coming over to the ‘dark side.’
I still remember that game. As an ‘outsider’ just grabbing a beer and a game, I was met with questioning eyes and literal questions at first. However, the people in Dino’s didn’t take long to come around and accept me as one of their own which led me to spend more time there. It was during these day’s that the hooks sank deep and pulled me in. It was at those tables the fans won me over. The pure love of their sports teams was unlike anything I had ever witnessed, and this was coming from a Texan. With the passing seasons, I went from half-assed New England enthusiast to a full-blown Patriots fan, tried and true. Such a fan I all but sold a kidney to go with beloved friends to the disaster of a game in Super Bowl XLVI. Such a fan that sat and watched, in agony then euphoria, the entire Super Bowl LI, never once losing hope (I have witnesses).
But what would make me come to love the Patriots so much? It can’t be solely the fans, can it? Is it a, “Face it, we are the best” mentality? To both of these, it is an emphatic no. I do love the incredible people in Boston and the Cape areas. If I ever moved away from Texas, the people in this area make it worth dealing with the ridiculous laws of Massachusetts. From P-town to Charlestown, I love it all. And to the “being the best,” this couldn’t be further from the truth as to why I love the Pat’s so. As a matter of fact, it is the complete opposite of that mentality that makes my gut turn when they do lose. In my eyes, often, the Patriots aren’t the best team on the field, and for this reason, I love them.
You see, I have spent my life fighting. From being a ‘blue baby’ that wasn’t supposed to live for more than a few hours to a man that stood against overwhelming odds on many of occasions with his Special Forces teams in Afghanistan and now who lives a life determined to change the world. The life I currently lead is one that sees the cards stacked continuously against me. As one can imagine, there are times of serious doubt.
Can I really make this world any better? Will everything that I do be for not? Even with the vast networks, I have built around the world. Even with the laundry list of political and private support at my back, can I be successful? There are days that I honestly feel that I can defy all odds and see my many plans come to fruition and there are days that it all seems rather pointless. It is these times that I look to the improbable success of the Patriots.
It is during these times I watch highlights of their comebacks. The calm and collective persona as they take the field for yet another attempt at a comeback. It is the reason I knew, deep down in my heart it was never over against the Atlanta Falcons. Becuase if anyone can do it, it is the team that always comes back. It is the team that, even against surmounting odds, keeps its composure and finds a way.
I know that this may seem beyond absurd to many of you reading this. However, this is what the Pat’s mean to me. This is why I cheer. You will not find me boasting or making ‘G.O.A.T.’ remarks about the team, the coach, or the quarterback. You won’t see me defending their every move. You won’t find me disrespecting other fans or their organizations. But you better believe, that when it comes game time, I will watch every second, regardless of the odds. And I will do it as if the fate of the world is riding in it. Because, for me, in my life; it is.