George Hale January 10, 2014

Updated 8 months ago


WIN AND MOVE ON…LOSE AND THE SEASON COMES TO A SCREECHING HALT.

THAT’S WHAT’S AT STAKE FOR THE PATRIOTS TOMORROW NIGHT…GEORGE HALE WILL BE WATCHING…

“THE HYPE SURROUNDING THE PLAYOFFS IN THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE IS WELL UNDER WAY.

SATURDAY NIGHT THE PATRIOTS FACE THE COLTS IN A HUGE A-F-C DIVISIONAL BATTLE AT GILLETTE STADIUM.

THE GAME IS CAUSING A SMALL SEISMIC STIR IN NEW ENGLAND AND WELL BEYOND.

I’LL GET TO ALL OF THAT IN A MOMENT.

EVERY ONCE IN AWHILE I HAVE TO STOP AND ASK MYSELF WHY SPORTS FANS, LIKE ME INVEST SO MUCH TIME AND EMOTION INTO THE TEAMS AND PLAYERS WE CHEER FOR.

IS IT LOGICAL THAT WE CARE SO MUCH?

FANS LIVE AND SUFFER WITH THE UPS AND DOWNS OF AMATEUR AND PROFESSIONAL TEAMS GENERALLY ON A DAY TO DAY BASIS.

WHY DO WE FANS EXPENDED SO MUCH TIME AND TREASURE IN THIS PURSUIT?

IT OCCURS TO ME THAT ROOTING FOR SPORTS TEAMS AND ATHLETES GIVES US A SENSE OF BELONGING TO SOMETHING.

IT’S OFTEN CALLED “SPORTS IDENTIFICATION.”

I GUESS WE DO IT BECAUSE SPORTS OFFERS AN ESCAPE FROM OUR DAILY GRIND OF GOING TO WORK OR SCHOOL AND LETS US IDENTIFY WITH SOMETHING WE COULD, IN REAL LIFE, NOT BE PART OF.

FOR MANY IT’S A VICARIOUS EXPIERENCE OF MAKE BELIEVE COACHING AND PLAYING.

TO SPORTS FANS IF WE DIDN’T HAVE THAT OPPORTUNITY LIFE WOULD BE FRANKLY RATHER BORING.

FAMILY MEMBERS, MALE OR FEMALE, OF ALL AGES CAN SIT DOWN AND DISCUSS OR ARGUE THE MERITS OF THEIR FAVORITE TEAMS.

WHAT ELSE WOULD WE REALLY HAVE IN COMMON TO TALK ABOUT OTHER THAN POLITICS AND RELIGION…AND MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME NOT TO ARGUE ABOUT THOSE SUBJECTS.

I’M NOT A PSYCHOLOGIST BUT I DO THINK THAT PEOPLE HAVE A STRONG NEED TO FEEL CONNECTED AND BE PART OF SOMETHING GREATER THAN THEIR REGULAR LIVES.

AS I SIT HERE TONIGHT, I FULLY REALIZE THAT THERE ARE SOME OUT THERE WHO SAY THAT WE LIKE TO LIVE OUR LIVES THROUGH THE TALENTS OF OTHERS AND IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER.

THAT MAY BE TRUE BUT PLENTY OF PEOPLE FOLLOW MOVIE STARS, SINGERS, DANCERS, AUTHORS THE SAME WAY SPORTS FANS DO WITH THEIR HEROS.

THERE’S NOT MUCH DIFFERENCE.

OBVIOUSLY THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS IN THE WORLD THAN WHETHER OR NOT THE PATRIOTS WIN SATURDAY NIGHT AND ADVANCE.

THERE ARE MANY TROUBLE SPOTS AROUND THE WORLD THAT CALL FOR ATTENTION.

BUT FOR PATS FANS THE REST OF THE WORLD CAN TAKE A HIKE FOR THE THREE HOURS OR SO IT TAKES TO PLAY THE GAME.

IF DISASTER STRIKES AND NEW ENGLAND LOSES THE GAME THE WORLD WILL GO ON SPINNING AND THE SUN WILL RISE ON SUNDAY MORNING.

WE ALL HAVE A TENDENCY TO OVERESTIMATE THE IMPACT SPORTING EVENTS HAVE ON OUR LIVES.

WINS ARE BETTER THAN LOSSES BUT BOTH WEAR OFF OVER TIME.

IF WE ARE HONEST WE KNOW THAT THE PATRIOTS ARE NOT A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM AS CONSTITUTED.

THIS IS NOT 2003, 2004 OR 2007.

BUT, DESPITE ALL THE INJURIES, TWO FACTORS CONTINUE TO SURFACE.

BILL BELICHICK IS STILL THE BEST COACH IN THE LEAGUE AND TOM BRADY HAS WON MORE PLAYOFF GAMES THAN OTHER OTHER STARTING QUARTERBACK IN THE N-F-L.

THE COLTS SHOWED WHAT THEY ARE MADE OF LAST WEEK COMING BACK TO WIN.

HOWEVER, THE PATRIOTS HAVE SHOWN THAT KIND OF GRIT ALL YEAR LONG.

SO MILLIONS OF FANS ACROSS THE NATION, DESPERATELY IN NEED OF EXERCISE, WILL WATCH TWO TEAMS DESPERATELY IN NEED OF REST PLAY IT OUT.

WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE I’M BETTING ON THE GUY IN THE HOODIE AND THE GUY WITH THE GOLDEN ARM.

THE DOME TEAM IS GOING HOME AND I’M NOT TOTALLY CONVINCED THAT A SUPERBOWL APPEARANCE IS OUT OF THE QUESTION FOR THE PATS.

BUT THEN I’M JUST ONE OF THOSE CRAZY FANS LIVING MY LIFE VICARIOUSLY.

THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS.”


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