New England Patriots is an Oxymoron

I lost interest in football nearly forty years ago, in the fall of 1969, when it became clear that my beloved Packers would not be advancing to their third Super Bowl. Memory can play the harlot, but my memory is that my loss of interest happened very suddenly, while I was waiting in my father’s car, listening to the Packers lose the decisive game on my transistor radio with the Green Bay Packer helmet logo on its brushed metal face. I believe it was the game against Baltimore, just a couple of days after by twelfth birthday, because I still twitch when I think of Johnny Unitas (which isn’t very often).

In any event, it was in the back seat of that car, parked beside some country road near Lake Alice, Wisconsin, not quite one hundred and fifty miles from Green Bay, that my love of football died. At least that is my story, and this story is true enough, so far as a goes.

One thing this story leaves out is that I loved the Packers more than I loved football, and that I loved the Packers because they were a Schelling point for a young Wisconsin patriot. And when I was a boy of twelve, a young Wisconsin patriot is exactly what I was. My family left Wisconsin not long after my disillusionment near Lake Alice, and I have been a wistful expatriate ever since.

But that is another story. I tell this tale of long ago because I see that football and the Patriots are on the menu for many of my countrymen this afternoon, and this set me to wondering whether the name New England Patriots isn’t something of an oxymoron. I do not doubt that there are and have been patriots in New England, but cannot overlook the irony that, of all the American peoples, New Englanders have always been the most exuberantly patricidal.

Captain John Smith named New England some years before the English dissenters planted their colonies on the shore of Massachusetts Bay, but his choice of name was prescient because these dissenters hoped that their colonies would grow into a new England. When they set out in the Mayflower or the Arbella, they were abandoning the land of their fathers and rejecting the world their fathers had made. You may applaud their exodus into the wilderness, and their hope of some day finding a new promised land of Canaan, but I don’t think you can call these dissenters patriots.

Was Moses an Egyptian patriot?

Examining photos of the New England Patriots, I see that their present helmet logo is a stylized minuteman, and in a quick review of their history I discover that their logo has always represented a soldier of the American revolution. And not one of the redcoats who fought to protect “the loyalists.” No, it has always represented a tricorn-sporting lad in blue. In other words, one of the anti-loyalist that we have been taught to call “patriots.”

I am hardly the first to think that, when once side in a war calls itself the patriots and the other side calls itself the loyalists, one of those sides must be lying.

I believe Zealots would be a name better suited to memorializing the actual history of New England. From its infancy, New England has been the land of zealotry, and not of patriotism in any normal definition of that world.  New England Zealots sounds good to my ear and and is appropriately ferocious.

New England Patriots sounds like an oxymoron.

15 thoughts on “New England Patriots is an Oxymoron

  1. Pingback: New England Patriots is an Oxymoron | @the_arv

  2. Ha! I’m a few years younger than you, and apparently a few years more behind you in my willingness to throw my favorite NFL team (America’s Team) under the bus. Nevertheless, I did as much in or around 1992. I can even remember the cause of that event – Michael Irvin appearing in court wearing sunglasses. To me, that was the straw that broke the *Cowboys’* back. But that was then and that was me.

    At present, anything above class A Oklahoma HS football is almost assuredly utterly polluted and, therefore, equally outside my area of interest.

    One other thing: I tend to define “patriotism” in the way that Noah Webster defined it in the early days of the American Republic. When we start to venture away from Webster’s definition, my “patriotism” thusly ventues away as well.

  3. i gave up spectating all sports because of the 1994 baseball strike. nothing personal, it’s just business.

    ayup. clicks tv off.

  4. Given that New England has practiced treason against every nation it’s been a part of, perhaps New England Traitors might be more appropriate.

  5. Pingback: New England Patriots is an Oxymoron | Reaction Times

  6. This post is very interesting because I am a descendant of William Bradford and a die hard Philadelphia Eagles fan. The separatists escaping the authority of the Anglican Church with King James I as its leader in order to practice their own version of Christianity thereby, albeit indirectly, helping to set create the conditions for the First Amendment to be introduced. The principled view of equality (at least for the males as flawed as this view is) and voluntary nature the Mayflower Compact was signed with was patriotic because it bound the colony’s citizens to the idea of a self governing group which made them realize they were responsible for the success of the colony through civic participation. According to Noah Webster’s dictionary, this is the definition of patriotism.

    • Pardon my poor grammar. I have started to use voice recognition software combined with typing on my smartphone. This is reason I like to write things out by hand.

      • No problem. My posts sometimes contain oddities owing to my having one finger that once had a run-in with a circular saw.

  7. My New England dad says we’ll never have a civil war and we need mass immigration because white men are too wasted on opiates to fight or work. I’d add porn and video games, but I think he may have the causality backwards — white men are rejecting society because it rejects them.

    As for never having a civil war, we’ve already had at least four, starting in 1860, 1776, 1642, 1455, and before. When the previous civil war fades from living memory, people think they can just crush anyone who disagrees with them and the victims won’t put up a fight.

    • There is a great deal of work to be done. Challenging these degenerates to show some self-respect is a start. If they start pulling themselves together, give them a hand. If they don’t, to hell with them. It’s where they are headed anyhow.

  8. Thanks for this post! It is truly quite lamentable that football, a sport which should ideally work towards the building of character, has been manipulated into a contemporary gladiator spectacle, and hotbed of SJW social engineering. Unfortunately, these ideals do represent genuine “patriotism,” that is to the ideals of the ecumenical Masonic project of the United States.

    As always, this assault on tradition begins with the euphemistic, Orwellian transformation of language and culture: and what better place to start than one of the most watched spectacles in America.

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