Draft day is a time for a renewed sense of the coming season. You look over the roster and plan out the direction the team should be headed. You read countless draft articles that tell you all the strengths and weaknesses of your team. You take out your favorite piece of team apparel and step out the door letting the world know that draft day has arrived. This would be your routine if you lived within the confines of New England and to a lesser extant other areas in the country. That is unless you like me in the center for anti-Patriots sentiment, New York City!
If you are like me then you know how difficult it can be to root for the Patriots in the Big Apple. If Giants fans are not chirping about 18-1, or salsa dancing when they see you on the 7 train. Then, its the obnoxious Jets fans who blindly follow Rex and company in their despise of all things Patriots. Each group brings with it their own unique brand of ribbing this Patriots fan lost among sea of "big blue" and "gang green".
Today, is the first day since the Superbowl XLVI something Patriots was removed from the closet, and placed back into rotation. My self imposed moratorium on anything from New England removed, and replaced with optimism for tonight's first round of the 2012 NFL draft. The coaches sideline polo shirt still looks great, but something feels different about wearing it now. You sense that people do not have the awe that the Patriots logo once displayed during the early 2000s Superbowl runs.
Giants fans look at you with a sense of been there, done that, and will do it to you again. As a Patriots fan you nod your head, but believe that next time it will be different. It burns you up inside because you want to yell out that our quarterback, coach and organization is still better top to bottom. There is something inside that prevents you from unleashing everything, as you remember you a stranger in a strange land.
Jets fans always give you this look that you stole something that belonged to them, but who is more to blame for the emergence of Tom Brady than the boys from Jersey? Thanks again, for that one, Mo Lewis! You tell them how the only thing they have ever won since 1969 is the Nielsen ratings for Hard Knocks on HBO. There is always this fear though that one day these fans will have a Superbowl III remix. All that can be said is the horror...oh..the horror!!
So, this morning the shirt does fit right, and still looks amazing. There is just one thing that feels a little different this time than it did last year. Its missing that look of why is our team not as good as his. Like every year since the third Superbowl there is the sense that this has to be our year. Honestly, it can not happen again for a third time in the to the Giants while living as a displaced Patriots stuck in NYC.
Not today...Not on this unofficial start to the 2012 NFL season