As we all know, the New England Patriots visited the White House yesterday to be honored by President Obama for winning the Super Bowl. It was old hat for some of the staff, as this is the fourth time the franchise has been to the nation's capital, but for most of the team it was a singular honor. And the excitement and enthusiasm was palpable all across the board in what really was a special event.
And of course, I DVR'd the entire thing and rushed home last night to watch it, choosing to forgo several social invitations and opportunities to be a functional member of society. Never mind that we're right in the middle of the NHL and NBA playoffs; there were a bunch of large men in suits standing around while Mr. President talks for a few minutes. Clearly that had to take priority.
And since I was watching anyway, I figured I may as well jot down a few Fan Notes to share with everyone. Hopefully this is the start of a new tradition where my last Fan Notes of the season comes a few months after the Super Bowl.
- Personally, I'm not big on throwing parties. They're a ton of work, they're expensive, and when it's all over you're left with a big mess while everyone else gets to go home to a nice clean house. I see myself as more of the guy you invite hoping he won't come, but he always does because he has nothing better to do, and then ends up making a complete ass out of himself. it's a role I'm comfortable with, and I don't see it changing anytime soon. That said, if I'm throwing a party and the person that everyone wants to be there can't make it, you can bet I'm rescheduling that bad boy. If the life of the party has a prior engagement, I'm going to work around it, dammit. So why Obama didn't move yesterday's ceremony back a few days so Tommy B could be in attendance is beyond me. Come on, Mr. President.
- As for Tommy B missing the event...eh. I get it. I mean he's already been there three times. He may be there again another time or two before it's all said and done. And who knows? Maybe he'll be living there in a few years. So he can more than afford to sit that one out - especially if it's for a family event.
- Before Obama began his remarks, the NFL Network showed a quick recap of the Super Bowl and all the crazy plays that led to yesterday's ceremony. And I can tell you all right now with 100% certainty that I will NEVER get sick of watching those highlights. I will never not feel the emotions that accompanied each play as it happened live. I will never not feel sick to my stomach, almost to the point where I have to look away, when Kearse makes that catch. I will never not tear up hearing the sideline coach scream for Malcolm to go in. I will never not grin from ear to ear watching Butler make that pick. Nothing about this game will ever get old and no matter what happens for the rest of my life or the existence of this franchise, we will always have this game. And to that, I say HELL YES.
- I wonder how those random Pats fans got tickets to that event. In terms of sports events you want to attend, your favorite team getting honored at the White House has to rank right up there.
- Four Lombardi trophies just chilling up on the podium. Yup. That happened.
- What the hell was Michael Lombardi doing standing right in the middle of all the players? The front office guys were all on the periphery, and there was Lombardi just hanging out next to Danny Amendola and Jimmy Garoppolo. From one ugly guy to another, here's a bit of advice, Mike: when you're trying to sneak into the good seats and steal some air time, don't stand next to two of the best looking guys on the planet. Wedge yourself in between some offensive linemen or something.
- Bill Belichick couldn't have looked more uncomfortable in that suit and it was awesome. I'd say I was surprised that he didn't spend the entire time fidgeting with his collar, but he probably couldn't even lift his arms with all those rings on his hands.
- Overall, going to give Obama a solid B for his jokes. A couple of good knocks on Belichick's suit, made a reference to the cutoff sleeves and a hoodie, and even had to throw in a Deflategate joke, which got a rousing thumbs down from Bill Belichick. I mean the speech was clearly written for him, and I bet if I grilled him right now Mr. President couldn't name more than five Patriots, but that's OK.
- After that Deflategate joke, Obama asked "where were we?", and Kraft said something along the lines of "The Jets gave it to you." I can't for the life of me figure out what the line actually was, as "The Jets gave it to you" makes absolutely zero sense (not that that necessarily matters when we're talking about Bobby K), but if Bob Kraft did in fact use that opportunity to take a quick stab at the Jets...man. That's what I call a power move. But if anyone has any idea what was said there, please let me know.
- "As good an organization as there has ever been in professional sports." Indeed.
- It must have taken every ounce of self-discipline Gronk has ever had not to make armpit fart noises during all of Obama's pauses. I absolutely love how the President of the United States of America, the most powerful man in the world, couldn't do anything besides acknowledge that Gronk is just an animal. A lovable doofy animal.
- Gronk vs. Secret Service: who ya got? Give me Gronk every day of the week.
- Matthew Slater looks like he belongs in politics, doesn't he? I'd trust him on matters of foreign policy and the budget crisis.
- I couldn't help but laugh at Bob Kraft coming up after Obama telling him that he's going to be a Patriots fan from now on and there wasn't a damn thing he could do about it. Reminded him that as the ruler of the free world he's the ultimate patriot, got him a Pats ball, a Pats jersey, and a Pats helmet, and sent him on his way. "Oh what's that? You're a Bears fan? Nope, not any more you're not. Here's your jersey, welcome aboard." We all know who really rules this country.
- And of course Bill Belichick spoke for all of 15 seconds and gave the most canned, generic speech possible. I mean those remarks could have been just as relevant at a pancake social at his local VFW. He was probably secretly upset that he had to go to the White House instead of refining his draft board.
- After the ceremony was over, NFL Network played a montage of the greatest moment from ever Super Bowl ever played, and it was awesome. Definitely try and find it if you haven't seen it yet. There were obviously two moments I'd rather not see again, but you know what? It's all good now.
- And Barack, if you ever feel the need for a second opinion on some pressing matters, feel free to hit Belichick up.