The year was 2001. I was eight years old, and for some reason, grew attracted to the NFL and hence gridiron/American football in general. It was a year that a current NFL superstar Quarterback would begin his emergence by getting an opportunity to start because of an injury. He was the 199th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft. His name was Tom Brady. It was only the second game of the 2001-2002 season when the starter Drew Bledsoe got injured, and the New England Patriots started 0-2. But in the third game of the season, coach Bill Belichick decided to start the second year player, Tom Brady, who had been preparing for this moment since entering the league. He would finally get his chance to start, and unfortunately for Bledsoe, Brady would never relinquish the spot from that point forward. He helped lead the team to an 11-5 record and its first Super Bowl victory at Super Bowl XXXVI, beating the St Louis Rams, 20-17. This remarkable season from the Patriots had me convinced. I became a fan of the game, and the New England Patriots.
As time persisted and I continued to grow up, my appreciation, admiration and knowledge of the game continued to heighten. I started to specifically understand more of what was happening out on the field and over the years, found myself becoming that much more invested and passionate, especially during Patriots games. Fortunately, I have been able to witness a lot of winning since the season I became a fan. Only twice had the team not made the playoffs since that season and 5 Super Bowl wins has been amassed to date. Naturally, you can’t win every year, so some losses were tough pills to swallow, especially as a fan. The prime examples are losses to rivals in the early rounds of the playoffs such as the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens, and two losses in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants. However, the overall consistency of winning and the last two Super Bowl wins in 2014 (Super Bowl XLIX) and 2016 (Super Bowl LI) have become ever so sweet to witness. Those two Super Bowl games in particular were gut wrenching at times, then absolute joy and celebration followed with the great comeback efforts of the team.
I could go on and on about the high and low moments of my time being a fan of the Patriots because there are countless amounts of each that open up a lot of debate between haters and lovers of the team. But for me, they were the centre piece introduction into the sport which is what allowed me to become a fan of the entire sport in general. For that, I will always be a fan and be extremely passionate about the team, and the sport overall. I’ve become such a big fan that I become glued to the television whenever there is an NFL game on, and even more so if the Patriots are playing where I always don my Brady jersey as I watch. One of my wishes to date, is to watch a home New England Patriots game (with Brady at the helm) live in the United States of America, and hopefully someday soon, I can fulfil that wish.
– Deejay (The Middle Fro)