I’m not a huge NFL fan, but every year around this time, I find myself surrounded by Super Bowl talk.
To be honest, I’m often more interested in what people have to say about the game and their reasoning behind their opinion than the actual game. I appreciate the amazing athletes and the beauty of a well-played game, but I don’t really have anyone to root for.
Maybe if the good old Winnipeg Blue Bombers were playing, I’d pay a little more attention.
The rest of this article may ruffle a few feathers, but I want to clarify that I am not a fan of the New England Patriots and by no means condone their alleged cheating efforts. What I’m trying to understand is why everyone seems to hate the perennial champions.
Let’s start at the very start of the story.
David vs. Goliath
In the original biblical narrative, the story starts with David gathering food for his elder brothers. He hears about Goliath, champion of the Philistines, demanding the Isrealites send him a challenger to fight.
Goliath, wearing his armor and wielding a javelin; is confronted by David with nothing more than a staff and a sling.
After a few references to the Gods that went over my head, the battle was on and David hurled a stone from his sling with all he had, hitting Goliath directly in the forehead and taking him down. David the cut off Goliath’s head to claim victory for the Isrealites.
A little dramatic, David.
The modern day storyline contains no severing of heads and a lot less biblical references.
In recent times, the battle is often referenced to denote an underdog situation and most writers use the story in every context imaginable, with no religious overtones.
In this year’s Super Bowl, the Atlanta Falcons would be the David to the mammoth Goliath that is the New England Patriots.
Hopefully, the Falcons have the slingshot ready- with fully inflated rocks.
Our Love Affair with the Underdog
In sales, especially online sales, the best of the best will tell you that the most successful sales copy makes a prospective buyer feel like you’re writing directly to them.
To sell to someone, you have to make them feel like you understand them.
You have to make them trust you.
You have to relate to them.
And everyone – I mean everyone – can relate to feeling like an underdog.
I mean, come on. You can’t tell me you didn’t celebrate hard when the Mighty Ducks beat the Hawks for the PeeWee State Championship.
No matter how confident you are in life, there is always something that little voice in your head tells you you’re no good at.
There’s always something that makes you feel inept.
There’s always someone out there you feel is better than you.
However; if we flip the coin and take a look at our relationship with feeling like a perennial champion, that isn’t always the case. I can’t say, with certainty that everyone I know can relate to feeling like a top dog. I can’t say that everyone feels that they are truly, deep-down one of the best at something.
It may have just been a stroke of genius storytelling, but not many people could relate to the Hawks that the Mighty Ducks so heroicly beat. Especially that damn Coach Reilly.
What’s Our Problem with Goliath?
The real Goliath from back in the day sounded like a real asshole, so let’s say – for the purpose of this section, that Goliath represents all perennial contenders, including the New England Patriots participating in Super Bowl 51.
Because we can’t relate to them, we automatically feel like they’re against us, not to mention the other shenanigans the Patriots often pull.
Goliath came into the battle a proud man, and by all accounts, he had every right to be. He was massive and had apparently defeated everyone in the Philistines before taking his show on the road to Isreal.
In my mind, if you’ve done the work to earn the right to walk in as the favourite, then you should act like it. But I think our problems with Goliath start right there.
People are threatened by something they don’t understand.
People don’t like the fact that the Patriots have EARNED the right to be called the favourites. They have been the top dogs for fifteen years and whether you like it or not; they still are.
But, It’s The Patriots
Bill Belichek is a true asshole with the media, ut we don’t know him personally. He may be a good guy to his colleagues and players.
Plus, he’s an actual genius.
Tom Brady is an alleged cheater and not a very relatable guy. He’s married to a supermodel and can be a little stand-off-ish.
But let’s not forget that scrawny, awkward kid was a late round draft pick who ran a 40-yard dash similar to most linebackers.
He struggled to get on college scouting radars and even sent out his own highlight tapes.
He dreamed of being something more and didn’t stop until he got what he wanted (and he still hasn’t stopped).
In the video below, they mention that when he was drafted in the 6th round, after ?? other quarterbacks and 198 other players overall; he walked right up to the owner of the Pats and said, “I’m the best decision this team ever made.”
Arrogant? I guess.
But man, did he ever prove it.
The Patriots are alleged cheaters, on more than one occasion. I will concede that much. But every game they have won over the past 15 years wasn’t because they may have cheated.
They won most of those games fair and square, by simply outplaying and outsmarting the opposition.
Why We Should Be Learning From The Best
Why am I all-of-a-sudden going all contrarian on y’all?
I know everyone hates the Patriots, and in years past I would have said the same thing.
“I want to see the Falcons win. The Patriots have won enough.”
That’s a soft answer that’s just too easy to pull out whenever I get asked about something I don’t follow very closely.
Why do I like the perennial champions?
They have earned the right to be confident.
This is something I’ve been preaching to goalies since I finally figured it out and the end of my junior career (of course, I couldn’t learn that before I screwed up numerous times).
You don’t just automatically become confident. You can’t believe you’re going to be able to do something if you’ve never been able to do it before.
That belief – that confidence is earned EVERY SINGLE DAY.
That’s exactly what the Patriots have done. They have practiced hard and put in the work every day for the past 15-odd years so they can confidently believe that no matter what the situation, they can come out victorious.
Isn’t that something you’d like to emulate?
Wouldn’t it be nice to take on a challenge and KNOW you’re going to crush it?
EARN the right to believe that you can.
EARN the right to know that you can.
That is why we shouldn’t always be hating on the Patriots. Ya, they’ve got their shortcomings, but they are a true lesson in putting one foot in front of the other and doing things well day after day after day to earn the right to call themselves the best.
Watch, now they’ll lose tomorrow and blow this whole theory up in my face.
Enjoy the game and the guac,
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