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NFL Open Thread: Life in Pats Nation

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Normally Scott posts the NFL open threads. But I asked to do so this week for a very specific reason. It’s hardly news that I hate Boston sports fans. See, Trump’s true spiritual base is the asshole white Northeastener who who is a walking, talking open sewer of resentment and is unafraid and unashamed to show it and to say it in very loud angry accent-filled rants. This is life in Rhode Island. No, Trump didn’t win Rhode Island, but he did very well in the specific communities where this type dominates. He won every town that borders Connecticut, for example, and these are the people who hate BIG GOVERNMENT in Providence and placed obnoxious home-made billboards on their cars and outside their houses because the governor pusher for a law that would place a toll on semitrucks only on I-95, so that money can exist to fix our terrible roads. But this was a MAJOR THREAT to our freedom by those big government liberals who will be coming for a 50 cent toll on us next!

I mention this because this is the way Patriots fans interact with the world. They have perhaps the greatest coach and QB of all time and 6 Super Bowl titles and yet they are still playing the victim of unfair Deflategate and all the other teams that are out to get them. It’s the total lack of class that’s the hardest to deal with here, combined with that Trumpian white New England attitude.

Now, you might be asking, “what does this have to do with anything relevant?” Here’s the answer. I have a colleague who works on the intersection of race and sports. He wrote an article that notes how presentations of Tom Brady in the media has a lot of connections with white nationalism tropes. Somehow, the fascists at Campus Reform and then Fox News and then others got ahold of this. And now you have the latest right-wing hate campaign flooding into my school that is combined with furious Patriots fans who cannot have anyone attacking St. Brady. Seriously, my colleague was told by my administration that the donors themselves are furious about this and we all know that this is the only thing that college administrators care about it. And then you have the editorial board of the Providence Journal. I print this in its entirety:

There are plenty of reasons to dislike Tom Brady — if you’re not a New England Patriots fan, that is. Mr. Brady, now 42 and into his 20th season in the NFL, is setting a new standard for what aging athletes can accomplish. Even in an era when Roger Federer is still winning major tennis tournaments at 38, Mr. Brady stands out. The nearly superhuman quarterback has led the Pats to six Super Bowl championships — picking up three NFL MVP awards and four Super Bowl MVPs in the process. His consistent ability to perform in the clutch is amazing.

Mr. Brady also presents an image of discipline and a life well lived. He’s married to a Brazilian supermodel. His training regimen is legendary. And he dresses like he just stepped out of a J.Crew catalog.

But according to a professor here in Rhode Island, something more sinister lurks behind the man who is arguably the greatest quarterback in football history.

“A University of Rhode Island professor writes in a new book that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s portrayal in media and popular culture, including Brady’s own representations of himself, aligns with ‘white nationalist post-racialism,” The Providence Journal reported in a Sept. 27 news story (“URI prof sees link between Tom Brady’s image and ‘white nationalist post-racialism’”).

Kyle Kusz, an associate professor of English, argues that Mr. Brady embodies “white nationalism” in both his media representations and his apparently friendly relationship with President Donald Trump. The two, after all, have golfed together.

The professor’s musings read like “trolling” — writing something deliberately obtuse in order to elicit a reaction from an audience. He suggests, for instance, that an Under Armour advertisement that Tom Brady appears in hearkens back to the infamous Nazi propaganda film “Triumph of the Will.” The notion that selling underwear is tantamount to engaging in genocide is beneath even arguing with.

Professor Kusz also writes that the documentary “The Brady 6,” which charts Tom Brady’s rise, reifies “myths” surrounding American meritocracy. But of course, if there is any pure meritocracy in America it is precisely in sports: People almost always rise and fall based on what they produce. According to Professor Kusz, it is also disturbing that Mr. Brady has, along with tens of thousands of other Americans, attended the Kentucky Derby on occasion.

Could Professor Kusz be a Colts or Steelers fan?

His arguments have led some of our readers to wonder exactly what is being taught at URI, and whether students are wise to go deep into debt paying tuition and board for this kind of education. Colleges should be places where various perspectives may be freely aired, exposing students to different ways of looking at things. But increasingly, colleges are promoting a strain of thought that finds fault with almost everything about America, and seems divorced from common sense and plain reality. Indeed, these ideas seem to be rapidly moving beyond the power of parody.

If there is any figure more beloved by New England sports fans than Mr. Brady, it would have to be David Ortiz, the former Red Sox slugger, who happens to be a black man who grew up poor in the Dominican Republic. Mr. Brady is admired by fans the world over for his performance on the field, not because of his race.

There’s so much to love here. The insinuation that my colleague must in fact be a hater Colts or Steelers fan. The idea that the life well lived is marriage to a supermodel. The CHECKMATE LIBS WE ALSO LIKE DAVID ORTIZ end. But the very best is the “we think colleges should be where students hear multiple perspectives but not about St. Brady so no one should send their children to URI.” This is life in Pats Nation. I did not think I could hate Patriots fans more than I already do. But nope, there’s no bottom. Meanwhile, my colleague, a very patient man, explained to the ProJo readership what he is actually doing.

In other news, I was never so happy by a Week 5 win than the Seahawks win over the Rams, bogus roughing the passer call and all. But I wanted to mention one thing. Late in the first half, the Seahawks faced a 4th & 1 (or 2 maybe) at the Rams 30. This was a clear place where you go for it. You are up, there’s too much time to give the Rams, and you have one of the two best quarterbacks in the league (seriously, Wilson has been absolutely sick this season). So Pete Carroll lines up the team to go for it–and engages in the idiotic hard count that never works. Why even do this? It never, ever works, except once in a blue moon for Aaron Rodgers, master of the hard count. It wastes everyone’s time. Then they send on the kicking unit. Since Seattle is destined to have terrible kickers ever since letting Hauschka go to the Bills (how many games did Blair Walsh cost them in 2017? And they lost the playoff game last year because an 84 year old Sebastian Janikowski pulled his hamstring in the middle of the game), they missed. The Rams went down and scored a touchdown. It was a disastrous end to a half that the Seahawks had dominated. It didn’t matter in the end, but the 4th down hard count needs to go away forever.

Anyway, not a stellar week of matchups, but as the only undefeated team in our fantasy league, I am still excited for the day’s actions. Lemieux and Farley are a solid 1-7 combined. I guess they have to play each other someday.

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