It's great to be a part of something this special
JJ Feigenbaum is a freshman at Wesleyan and an Andover native. He has followed the Patriots for the entire 18 years of his life. Fanaticism runs in the blood, as his father, Mark Feigenbaum, was Patriots Fan of the Year in 1996. Ladies beware; he plans to name his first-born child, son or daughter, Belichick.
It's not quite the Standells " Dirty Water," but "The Champ is Here" by Jadakiss fit just right as Super Bowl XXXIX came to a close.
As the confetti fell to the field in Jacksonville, my roommate's stereo blasted the song in our little one-room double in Middletown, Conn., so many hundreds of miles away. Yet somehow, with our serious case of Patriot devotion, we felt like we were a huge part of it all.
We knocked on wood every time Fox flashed graphics like "No one has ever returned a punt for a touchdown in the Super Bowl," just as Josh Miller trotted out onto the field, and when Chris Collinsworth started planning the victory parade about half way through the fourth quarter. We screamed until we were hoarse after the referees' miserable calls on the eventually overturned David Givens fumble and the Brady fumble, which I'm pretty sure should have been ruled recovered by the Pats.
We bought nachos, Doritos, chicken wings and four different flavors of cheese on our tight college budgets. And, oh yeah, did I mention that neither of us has shaved for a full month? Ghastly as I think we look, and it is pretty ghastly, we were a huge part of the Pats win, just like every other hooligan in New England that would offer without a second's thought a kidney to Troy Brown and his daughter or sister's hand in marriage to Willie McGinest.
The more I think about it, that's the most amazing thing about sports in general and the Patriots in particular. One of the first things Robert Kraft said on stage, Lombardi Trophy in hand, was this was for the fans. The owners and players feel that way, and the fans do too. Tonight, last night, whenever Sunday night was, it was our Pats that did it again, that won another Super Bowl.
Jadakiss' song, though not exactly a personal favorite of mine, might just be the perfect Patriots anthem. Muhammed Ali, whose personal battle cry lends to the introduction and chorus of the song, was the epitome of confidence in his era. Just like the Patriots, he simply knew that there wasn't anyone that was going to beat him. Ali's declaration could not be more fitting for the Pats; is there really any better way for the three-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots to walk into a room than shouting, "The champ is here!"?
Yeah, I thought so.
That's the Pats. The Patriots are the champs this year, they were the champs last year and until someone does something about it, they are, simply put, the champs. And just in case you were wondering, T.O. playing on torn ligaments, Ben Rothlisberger going undefeated as a starter or Peyton Manning chucking 49 touchdowns don't count as something. Something means bringing home a Lombardi Trophy. And right now, it is the Patriots who are heading back to Champion City with the hardware.
I guess it probably isn't up to me, but I am very much convinced that the Patriots are now a dynasty and I really don't care to hear any arguments to the contrary. Troy Aikman, author of the only other three titles in four years in NFL history, said it himself: the Patriots, with a win, would have done something more impressive than his Dallas Cowboys in the mid-90s. It's always tough to compare teams from different eras, especially from my youthful eyes. I can barely remember the Cowboys romping over the Bills. But I do remember they were great and that no matter what happened, when the game mattered, when the Super Bowl was on the line, they were fearless, they were clutch and they were going to win.
The Pats are exactly the same way. Because when the Patriots march onto to the field, you just know, "THE CHAMP IS HERE!" And as a fan, it feels great to be a part of that.