7 Positive Things That Will Restore Your Faith In The Patriots
Over the past five days, the New England Patriots have been prisoners in the media spotlight in the wake of allegations surrounding whether or not deflated balls were used in the AFC Championship game Sunday evening against the Indianapolis Colts.
Ending with a blowout game score of 45-7, the Patriots dominating, as soon as “deflategate” was revealed, the public quickly started ripping the three-time Super Bowl-winning dynasty to nothing.
Until the NFL steps in to decide who is at fault, should the entire country be so quick to turn Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the entire New England brand into cheating, horrible, heartless people?
“Innocent until proven guilty” should be the policy. At this point, there are no “hard facts” as to what happened after the 24 footballs where “approved” two and a half hours before the game.
The media, angry fans and those who finally have a chance to bash New England, have spent the last week watching Tom Brady’s facial reactions during interviews and reading into Bill Belichick’s one-word responses to the press (which, might I add, he always does).
Just like anything in the media, or even in our own lives, we tend to blow “bad” things people do out of proportion and forget about all of the “good” things they do. The Kraft Group and the New England Patriots, both as a team and individually, are some of the most charitable (if not the most) people in the NFL.
Before we all go turning New England into the “Evil Villain” of the NFL, let’s remember some of the wonderful things the team has done, or currently does, which may have us start to question, could they really have done this?
1. Vince Wilfork Saves Woman from Overturned Car
Vince Wilfork was driving home with his wife after the AFC Championship on Friday when he saved a woman whose car had flipped over.
He kept her calm while waiting for help to arrive, and helped law enforcement get her out of the vehicle. We couldn’t come up with more of a heroic story than that.
In an interview with ESPN, Wilfork said:
After I drove off, my wife and I kind of talked in the car and said there are things that are a lot more precious in life than games or anything you accomplish in life.
Yes there are, Vince.
2. Rob Gronkowski Shaving His Head for Pediatric Cancer
In 2014, Rob Gronkowski let his mother shave his head at the 5th Annual Kids Cancer Buzz Off at Gillette Stadium.
If you’re a Steelers fan and thinking, “So what?” I challenge Troy Polamalu to shave his head for a good cause.
I think I won that challenge.
3. The Bill Belichick Foundation
Okay, so every coach probably has the means to create his own charitable foundation, but not all of them do. Not to mention, this was created during his coaching career, meaning he understands the importance, as Wilfork said, of things other than football.
The Bill Belichick Foundation helps to provide coaching, financial support and mentorship to individuals and organizations.
4. The Annual Children’s Holiday Party
Each year, the entire team hosts a holiday party with over 250 children who are the “guests of honor” for the evening. And, boy do 250 dreams come true that night.
The team members and cheerleaders serve the kids, play games with them, and it ends with the now famous, “Wrap-a-Pat,” in which children in teams hurry to wrap Patriots players, turning them into Christmas trees or presents.
If that charitable effort doesn’t put a smile on your face, I don’t know what will.
5. Puppies, Puppies, Puppies
The Puppy Bowl is a highlight on Super Bowl day, just about as much as watching the real game itself, for kids, animal lovers and softies at heart. But, the New England Patriots got in on the “cute” action when they teamed with Animal Planet in 2014 as a part of the “Road to the Puppy Bowl.”
Players such as Danny Aiken and Stephen Gostkowski, helped Animal Planet spread the message about adoption, not only in the local Massachusetts area, but also throughout the country.
Defensive tackle Chris Jones said, “I think adopting a dog is probably the best route to go because you have dogs that are striving and wanting love so badly.”
So, there you have it, animal lovers and activists: The Pats are animal people. That has to put some points in the book somewhere.
6. Devin McCourty as Man of the Year
Words can’t describe how proud this makes me. pic.twitter.com/iMZm61oyNg
— McCourty Twins’ Mom (@MamaMcCourty) January 16, 2015
Along with his brother (also an NFL Player for the Tennessee Titans), the defensive back has been named the Walter Payton Man of the Year for his effort to battle sickle cell disease through the organization, Tackle Sickle Cell. It is the disease that has affected McCourty’s father and aunt.
The Tackle Sickle Cell organization uses fundraisers and blood drives to help those in not only in their home state of New Jersey, but also across the country.
7. Tom Brady saved long-time mentor
In 2012, Tom Brady used his stardom for good, when his long-time mentor, Tom Martinez, was going to die without the donation of a new kidney.
Although Martinez passed in May of 2012, Brady’s ability to raise awareness for his friend’s need and kidney donation, in general, sparked the interest of Peter Hughes, a 48-year-old man from Massachusetts.
And, although Hughes could not save Brady’s mentor, his message still held importance, and Hughes decided to donate a kidney to a stranger in need.
In an interview with WEEI radio in Boston, Brady responded to the miracle story by saying, “That’s pretty cool to hear. We worked pretty hard to help Tom, unfortunately time ran out, but I’m glad some other people really got some help.”
While I am sure any angry Baltimore or Indy fan out there would be quick to say, “It wasn’t Brady who did the good deed, but Hughes,” we should still call a spade a spade.
Tom’s public plea may have caused a chain reaction of good deeds that have now saved hundreds of people. That has to be worth something.
By next Super Bowl Sunday, the country, which has spent the last week addicted to this media circus over “deflategate,” will be back to everyday life on its own team bandwagon.
Not only are we letting what is just hearsay and rumors change the way we feel about this legendary organization, we are also criminalizing each individual person associated with the organization.
No matter the outcome and no matter where the blame is placed, everyone should not forget that one bad move does not make a person, group of people or entire organization bad.
The entire country should not forget about all of the great things the New England Patriots have done as an organization, as a team and as individuals.