The Patriots First Big Game: A True Story To Think About When You Sit Watching Commercials While Waiting With Bated Breath For The Appearance of Number 12 Tom Brady

2015 08 12_2615Many of you will probably be seated before your televisions at some time tonight; some will have bowls of popcorn or slabs of pizza lined up in front of them. Many will have a cold beer warming in his or her hot hands. It is the night you have been yearning for since last February. It is the opening of the National Football League Season.

As you know it is an ancient tradition to have the Super Bowl Champion play in the first game of the year. That tradition began in 2004 and has remained constant since that time. This is called the Kickoff Game and it will be surrounded with all the hoopla that the NFL can produce which means you will be inundated with commercials. At one time, I am told, the NFL was going to cut down on the entertainment because of the wardrobe malfunction incident but after due consideration on its effect on the profits the owners decided to have a delayed broadcast of the big show so that any showing of skin can be covered up.

What is amazing, truly amazing, is that the games attract so much notice and attention. This is because the NFL a while ago decided that the most important thing about football was not the game but the hype. It took a lesson out of the play book of J. Edgar Hoover the 48 year director of the FBI who went to bed on May 1, 1972 and did not get up again. Hoover knew that the most important thing the FBI could do was to publicize itself. He set up a whole division in the FBI that did nothing but send out propaganda about how great it was.

Of course the FBI did not have the ability to come up with a fantasy FBI scheme. It was hard to wager money on what agent would make the most arrests during any week when the people you were betting on were supposed to be opposed to betting. So as wise as Hoover was, he paled in comparison to the advertising geniuses hired by the NFL. If we were brainwashed into thinking the FBI was the world’s best group of cops so have we been doubly brainwashed into believing that the NFL is the greatest sports group in the history of mankind.

I say all that as an introduction to my true story in which the names may have been changed to protect the innocent and any resemblance to any person living or dead may be a pure coincidence.

I have a friend Rebecca (Becky) Bright who I have known for more than fifty years. She is happily married to her husband Bill who I met during their courting days so I have known him for about forty years. They are happily married.

As the years passed Bill Bright landed a fine job in the mid-West and to our chagrin they upped and moved there. Recently we received news from Bill that Becky had a stroke. All we first learned was that she had been rushed to the hospital and was being treated. We anxiously waited to hear more about her condition but the information came back in drips and drabs. Happily it did not seem that it was too bad since she was able to communicate but she seemed to be having some difficulty with her memory.

Rebecca’s sister Elizabeth (Betty) hopped on an airplane to go to see if she could do anything to assist. With Betty being there we all felt much better. Bill Bright, as you might expect, was really traumatized by the event so Betty quickly took over dealing with Becky. She would call us to keep us posted on her progress. One night she called to report and told us this.

“I was talking with Becky so I wanted to see if her memory was improving. I decided to ask her some questions. I asked her if she knew who Bill Bright was. She looked at me with a blank stare which indicated to me she had no idea Bill was her husband of more than forty years. I asked her again and received the same response. Then for some reason I asked her if she knew who Tom Brady was. She perked up and said “he’s the quarterback for the Patriots.””


15 replies on “The Patriots First Big Game: A True Story To Think About When You Sit Watching Commercials While Waiting With Bated Breath For The Appearance of Number 12 Tom Brady”

  1. 90 yards …13 plays…Brady to Gronk.
    First scoring drive of the year.

    Buckle up, it’s gonna be a fun ride !!!!!!!!!

  2. 2nd Quarter.
    Al Michaels just said something about the Steelers picking up the Patriots radio broadcast in their coaches headsets………….Hmmm. Could something be afoot? Looks fishy.

    Say it ain’t so, Bill.

  3. I hope the game balls are safely stored in a high-tech pressurization stabilization and retention chamber (at the proper PSI) …that is locked up tighter than the safe in Fred Wyshak’s office.

      1. “I’ve got to go, Rock. It’s all right.
        I’m not afraid, sometime, Rock,
        when the team’s up against it,
        when things are wrong and the
        breaks are beating the boys…
        Tell them to go in there with all
        they’ve got and win just one for
        the Gipper. I don’t know where I’ll
        be then, Rock, but I’ll know about it
        …and I’ll be happy”

        1. “We’re going inside of ‘em, we’re going outside of ‘em — inside of ‘em! outside of ‘em! — and when we get them on the run once, we’re going to keep ‘em on the run. And we’re not going to pass unless their secondary comes up too close. But don’t forget, men — we’re gonna get ‘em on the run, we’re gonna go, go, go, go! — and we aren’t going to stop until we go over that goal line! And don’t forget, men — today is the day we’re gonna win. They can’t lick us — and that’s how it goes… The first platoon men — go in there and fight, fight, fight, fight, fight! What do you say, men!”

          1. Rather:

            One thing good about Deflategate is that now that the Patriots must play with regulation footballs we will be able to see how good Brady is when the weather cools and there’s ice upon the grass in Southern Foxboro. It is still warm outside and the football is warm and cuddly. But when the weather turns that will be the big test. Does Tom still have it or does he need a dispensation.

        2. Rather:

          Imagine the stories that will come out of Boston in the future that the children of the city will be nursed on about Brady.

    1. Clarence:

      Why do that? By the time I view it I will know the outcome. Isn’t the experience of watching a sporting event not knowing the outcome.

  4. Hello Matt , Tonight’s Football matchup will see one hour of actual contact and close to three hours of fluff ending around 11:55pm. If one is practiced timing the commercials, you’ll be able to watch two movies, tennis matches, and maybe some of the College Football Game. This presupposes your wife is sitting in another room or else that type of expertise remote controlling is on hold. Pats 34-Pitt 14

    1. Jim:

      Good analysis of the game. I’ve told how if there’s a good movie on another channel I sometimes forget to go back to the game. Tonight’s game will be really tough with all the non-football action. But it will get as big an audience as any Kickoff Game in the history of the NFL. Someone suggested I record the game and skip the commercials; that’s not a bad idea and will make it more tolerable. The big problem with the commercials is that they repeat the same things over and over again. Half way through the season I can repeat them back word for word. A guy I know uses the mute button to make it easier on himself.

      I happen to be driving in Foxboro the other day and pulled into the parking lot and saw Bill Belichick reading some papers. He left them on the front seat of his car when he walked into the stadium. I went over and picked them up and read them. They are the script for tonight’s game which I assume has already been practiced. I quickly glanced at them but it seems the bad guys go up by a couple or three touch downs and Brady is to be ineffective in the first half; Gronkowski goes down with what looks like a bad injury. The second half is worrisome for a while – the Patriots are unable to close the difference – then in the Fourth Quarter Gronkowski comes running onto the field – Brady seems to wake up from dreaming about Giselle – in an astounding feat he drives the Patriots down the field for three quick touchdowns to close within a couple of points and with one second left and Pittsburg trying to run out the clock the snap is fumbled and the ball squirts into the end zone where it is recovered by (they haven’t decided who should recover it) for a big Patriot victory by 5 points. Keep this between us. If it gets out it will have a big effect on the line.

  5. Matt,
    Very interesting story. The human brain and memory are quirky things. I can recall specific details and events from 35 years ago, but can’t remember what I had for breakfast. It is no surprise to me that she remembers Brady’s name and not her husbands, and I bet she is only a fair-weather football fan only because her husband is a fan. (Assumption-Matt is a hardcore football fan,…Bill is a friend of Matts,…Bill, at the least, is a fan, and watches the Patriots….probably BC too)

    Think about it….how often do you actually hear your spouse’s full name spoken out loud, or hear it on TV, or see it in the newspaper? ……Not that much.
    How often for Brady?……10 times a day, easy.

    She is probably visualizing her husband in her mind but has no name in her short-term memory bank to attach to it, due to the stroke.

    I hope she recovered and is doing well……and watching tonight.

    GO PATS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Rather:

      Yes, the human brain is a strange devise and it operates differently in all of us.

      AS for your assumptions. Becky is a fair weather fan; her sister is a big fan; her husband Bill is indifferent to it all. I am not hard core but like Becky more a fair weather preferring BC to the Patriots as you surmised.

      Your example is a good one; Brady is hammered into our brains on an hourly basis (NFL propaganda) while we hardly ever hear our spouses name spoken since it is unnecessary and we probably in our brain don’t identify them by their name but just by who they are. Thanks for you well wishes for her.

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