Why I Will Be Rooting for the Patriots Today

When you live in Pittsburgh, if you aren't a Steeler's fan, then you've immediately lost at least a few friends. People here like to say that they "bleed black and gold," and I believe that to be largely true for a significant portion of the population.  While we aren't the biggest footballs fans in the world, the Steeler's are definitely the team that we root for, and we studiously dress in our black and gold jerseys each and every Sunday during football season.

Picture from the one and only Steeler's game I've ever attended in person

But alas, the Steeler's did not make it to the Super Bowl this year.  In fact, they barely made it to the playoffs, and then they blew that in huge ways during the first 10 seconds of the overtime when they played the Denver Broncos.  After that game I was ready to root for the Broncos since I was impressed by Tim Tebow and his teammates during that game which I feel they definitely deserved to win despite the close score.  But then of course they were knocked out of the playoffs by the Patriots (or was in Baltimore? That's how much I follow teams other than the Steelers...) and ultimately we were left with the Patriots representing the AFC.  Again.

Steeler's fans hate the Patriots.  In fact, I don't many people who admit to being Patriots fans. I don't know enough about the history of the team to understand why, but the Patriots seem to be one of the most hated teams in the NFL. 

This year though, I will be rooting for them in the Super Bowl.

It's not something that I feel totally comfortable admitting openly.  But this year there is a personal connection to the Super Bowl - other than the Steelers - that has me interested in the game.

The son of one of my coworkers was picked up by the Patriots just a few weeks ago, and he has been playing with them ever since, in all of their playoff games.  This man probably disliked the Patriots more than most people prior to this development, but he has been proudly wearing his Patriots hat around the office for the past few weeks, taking all of the verbal jabs in stride.  You would too if your kid was going to the Super Bowl.  He's told us amazing stories of hanging out with the team, and the coach, stories from spending time in the locker room, and getting early access to the "family room" before games.  It all sounds amazing and I (we) are so excited for him.

So tonight we will be watching the Super Bowl and rooting for the Patriots (or at least until bedtime, which is usually no later than 9 p.m.)  We will be looking for number 36 and trying to spot my coworker in the stands, down near the field in the family section.  This is probably one of the most exciting and proudest moments of his time as a father, and so even though it means rooting for the Steeler's arch-nemesis and cheering for the Patriots, I'm going to do it.  And hope that they come home with a Super Bowl ring, and some great stories from my coworker. 

Go Patriots!

(I can't believe I just wrote that.) 


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