My dear philosopher friend “At Your Service” and I have been having a long conversation. It started when he asked me why people hated the New England Patriots. I didn’t know how to answer him. After all, the successful football dynasty has occupied the arenas of our frigid January minds since approximately 2000. Some call this the “The Brady/Belichick Era.”
Is an appreciation for excellence just part of our New England DNA?
I was not sure if “At Your Service” was a football fan. I tried to find answers. My best response was like a rug braided from random strips of whole cloth.
“I think people hate the Patriots because people in our culture hate themselves for their own lack of motivation. They refuse to sublimate their desires and postpone their gratification long enough to achieve something great…perhaps people hate the Patriots because they don’t want to acknowledge that excellence and hard work pays dividends.”
Like any good philosopher, “At Your Service” wisely brought in Aristotle and Plato. Our conversation continues. We have not reached our final answers to the question of why people hate the New England Patriots so much. We won’t, not in this lifetime. “At Your Service” alludes to this when he says “what human nature is and what properly belongs to it is for philosophy to determine. This kind of knowledge requires intellectual discipline and is difficult to arrive at. It is one of the end things Aristotle says only the few achieve. Who are these few? Those who have the desire, ability, and opportunity to study human nature and arrive at a definition.”
If you do not have a philosopher friend, seek one. I’m sure Tom Brady has spent more than a few hours in the arena of the frigid January mind searching for wisdom. After all, the Patriots have not won EVERY Super Bowl in the Brady/Belichick Era. Brady himself sounded a bit like a philosopher the other day, when a young fan asked him:
“How are you able to focus despite the negative fan base, aka the haters?”
Brady laughed and said:
“…what do we do about the haters? We love ‘em, we love ‘em, we love em’ back because we don’t hate back. We appreciate it and we love em’ and we wish them the best in their life.”
Watch and listen. It might just make you love Brady and the Patriots.
It’s been a long run. We are still here. We love them.