Yes, I was born and raised in the foothills of NC. I grew up in a place where tobacco fields stretch as far as you can see and often times, cows and chickens outnumber the area’s total population. It’s also an area where everyone most likely has a bootlegger somewhere in their family tree. This should make sense since it’s the same area that gave birth to NASCAR.
I could go on for days about my roots because I am ever grateful for the blessing & opportunity to call this area my home and the local inhabitants, my people.
This aside, ever since the year of Brady/Moss in 2007, I’ve unapologetically rocked a #81 Moss patriots jersey every Sunday… without fail.
Upon transitioning back to civilian life, for a while I use to fly up to Boston on weekends to catch the home games. Aside from the logistics, watching a Patriots game at Gillette Stadium was always a great experience. Even with someone that speaks with an accent completely different than the local natives of Boston, #PatriotsNation welcomed me with open arms since day 1. The random group of tailgaters that saw me aimlessly walking the parking lot and decided to adopt me, they’ve gave me the nickname “Country” bc when we try and talk to one another, we both require a translator.
• khakis = pants that are a particular color (me)
• khakis = car keys (Bostonian)
When I’m not in Boston watching the game, I usually have to defend why I’m Patriots fan moreso than not.
Listen, I understand someone who sounds like me backing anything with “New England” in the name is uncommon. I get it. Yet please understand I did not grow up in a NFL family. I don’t think the term NFL was ever mentioned other than that’s what we turned it to at family get together around the winter holidays. Though this lack of thought is specific to the NFL and should not be confused with college football. In my neck of the woods, what college football team had your allegiance was often a matter that could be the difference between getting a ticket and getting a warning.
This past Sunday, I went looking for a new local watering hole to watch the game. I went to a sports bar chain called Glory Days Grill. This ended up being a wonderful place to watch a game at. It’s nice to find a local spot that being true to the diversity that is DC, had every single jersey possible among the crowd.
For the first Sunday in a very long time, I wasn’t asked once to explain why I’m a Patriots fan. I just am… I think Brady/Belichick are making history and I’m glad to be around to witness it. If you disagree, so be it… yet you don’t owe me an explanation. And neither do I.
It’s our complexity, our dynamism and our diversity which gives such beauty to Old Glory hanging in the background. Our flag is symbolic for the ideals of freedom. And yes, it’s ok to go against the norm and to be raised in the south, yet support a northern based team.
That’s as American as any other team favorite. 💯