I have been a Patriot’s fan my whole life. I even had a shirt as a kid with “Boston Patriots” on it. I played linebacker and guard in high school cheering for my heroes, 3 time Pro-Bowler Steve Nelson and Hall-of-Famer John Hannah.
I have celebrated all the recent success along with so many other Pats fans - three Superbowls, a team famous for teamwork more than individual stardom, the amazing comeback of Tedy Bruschi and one of the best coached teams ever.
I think it is entirely appropriate for us to enjoy sports and celebrate God's common grace on display through athletics. As part of this reality, I believe we love to cheer for teams not merely because they are athletically gifted but because they represent something greater than just raw talent. We love to cheer for teams because they represent God-given virtue. We love teams that represent honest hard work, selflessness, teamwork, tenacity, innovation and success. Take away these virtues and there is less to cheer about. I have particularly enjoyed the Patriots because until recently they seemed to embody the best of these qualities in professional sports.
The recent “Videogate” scandal along with Rodney Harrison’s suspension for HGH use puts a serious damper on my enthusiasm for the team. Owner Bob Kraft has stated, “We have spent 14 years developing and building a franchise that people could embrace and support. The loyalty of our fans has been the most rewarding aspect of owning the team. I am deeply disappointed that the embarrassing events of this past week may cause some people to see our team in a different light.” This has certainly been true for me.
Let’s hope that the organization will recommit themselves to something even more important than winning games. Let’s hope they recommit themselves to being a team that through integrity and virtue wins our loyalty, respect and enthusiasm once again.
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