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Donald Trump and the New England Patriots – Why This Matters

Donald Trump and the New England Patriots – Why This Matters

Let me start this off by saying that you can be a fan of the New England Patriots without supporting Donald Trump. You may also be a Trump supporters who feel the New England Patriots are the worst part of football. Opinions work that way. You are entitled to your own and do not need to disclose that information unless you feel the urge to do so.

You can even be a fan of football and be disinterested in politics. You are allowed to know nothing about the President of the United States but everything about the yards per carry of James White. The Patriots and Trump are two of the most polarizing topics on the national forefront today, and nothing you feel about them individually requires a parallel thought about the other.

What can’t be ignored is the fact that both Donald Trump and the New England Patriots have had their names in the same sentences dating back to the Fall of 2015, and this should matter to everyone more than it currently does.

“Tom Brady is a great friend of mine. He’s a winner and he likes winners.” – Trump, March 2016

It all ‘started’ with the image above.

In the Fall of 2015 Tom Brady spoke to the media outside his locker in Gillette Stadium with a ‘Make America Great’ hat visible in the corner. It was calculated, it was placed, and it was significant.

While many feel this hat was strategically inserted to signify a friendship that was starting to boom, it was actually closer to representing the type of brand association a recently-declared Donald Trump was using his long-time friend Tom Brady for in a crucial moment of his campaign.

Branding, or the art of creating an emotion your name or logo becomes associated with, is one of the biggest strengths our President possesses. Since he first began boasting about wealth and power in his youth, Donald was formulating what the name Trump was going to mean to those who prefer their opinions handed to them. The questions of ‘how much money’ or tangible numbers mattered not to those who had been associating Trump with wealth since the first time they heard the name. Think of Trump, and imagine the massive golden hotels, the intricate casinos, the sheer beauty of what was created in his name. Donald Trump, what a rich man.

If you remember that speech from the Fall of 2015, when Donald Trump declared his campaign as active for the Presidential Nomination, the headlines surrounding it honed in on a hard stance regarding immigration (he called Mexicans rapists) and a promise to make our nation what it used to be.

Professional athletes like Tom Brady completely understand the value of branding and creating a profitable image, so the idea that this could have been coincidence will not be respected in this piece. Brady knew exactly what he was doing at a very crucial time to the Trump campaign.

Trump needed legitimization, and what better way to portray yourself a winner than get the ringing endorsement of a man known by all as just that. Tom Brady, for the past 15 years, has become synonymous with greatness and consistent success through commitment, hard work, and persistence. Brady acknowledges the brand he has created in this Under Armour commercial from 2016, where he wears the number of his famously low NFL Draft selection and repeats the same grueling process, which we can assume leads him to the live success we see each Sunday.

If this had been the only contribution to the Trump campaign conducted by members of the New England Patriots, there would be nothing to see here. One athlete making one calculated product placement during a crucial time is enough for a headline, but not enough to propel a candidate to victory. That was not the case.

When Donald Trump made the ‘Locker Room Talk’ comment in October of last year, Tom Brady refused to denounce the words. Then, the immediate Monday afterwards, he appeared on Boston Sports Radio and spoke about how ‘Donald has been my friend for 16 years’ and again chose to place his brand in the firing line for someone he openly supported, even through the lowest moments.

For those who don’t get their news through twitter, who value football every Sunday over the evening news, and hold Tom in the highest regard, these comments from Trump were brushed aside due to the swift action of his good friend, and trustworthy, Tom Brady.

At this point, we have potentially the two biggest obstacles in the Donald Trump campaign trail belittled with the help of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

As mentioned before, the power of branding can’t be overstated. Ask your local Instagram model or aspiring youtube sensation. You must create something that resonates with an audience, allows them to trust what you provide as entertaining or worthwhile, and eventually put their money where their mouth is and support you.

That is exactly what Donald Trump has done, and continues to do, with the Super Bowl bound New England Patriots.


The above video was taken by a member of the audience during Donald Trump’s final speech before election day. That’s right, the very night before the ruler of our national would be decided, Donald Trump stood on a podium and recited words written to him by the greatest football coach in American history.

The beginning of a presidential campaign needs a propulsion in order to separate a candidate from the rest of the pack. Then, during a campaign, there will come a time where all hope seems lost and you need a strong backing from someone respected nationally. Finally, right before the curtain pulls behind a voter, you need something to tap them on the back of the brain and say “This guy could be the one, look who supports him.”

In all three of those instances, the New England Patriots were there to lend a helping hand. The ‘no distractions’ motto recited time and time again by the one coach who seems a walking embodiment of the word ‘calculated’ was disregarded for what? For the aiding in the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

As previously mentioned, the idea that the world is ending or this is somehow a condemnation of the Patriots or Donald Trump is soaked in a pot of overreaction and pessimism. This is not the worst thing to ever happen to America, nor is it the best thing. It is another President taking office in a nation seemingly small enough to exist on our phones, but too large to drive in one day. Things happen you might not always agree with, but we carry on all the same.

What this is meant to portray is the level of cross-promotion both Trump and the Patriots were comfortable performing in tandem with one another. For whatever reason, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady felt their assistance of Donald Trump was necessary and essential to whatever cause they are pursuing. If it isn’t as complicated as that, then the New England Patriots aren’t as smart as we thought they were.

It’s a seemingly huge risk to legitimize a candidate maligned by so many, when your entire profession is under constant scrutiny by often times those same members of society who despise your selection. It makes no sense unless there was a direct motive to do so. Bill Belichick is a lot of things, but reactionary or impulsive is not one of them.

When it came down to it, America voted Donald Trump as the next President of the United States with the ringing endorsement of the “most hated team in American sports” still echoing in living rooms across the country.

Ask yourself this, America.

Do you really hate the Patriots? Or do you hate that they aren’t your team. Because when election time rolled around…

The brand spoke for itself.

 

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Jeff Fisher to Meet with Donald Trump Today

Jeff Fisher to Meet with Donald Trump Today

The ex-Rams head coach is scheduled to arrive at Trump Tower sometime between noon today and noon tomorrow to discuss a vacant leadership position in charge of stabilization during our nation’s relocation to Russia.

Fisher, who was fired yesterday from the Los Angeles NFL franchise, was instrumental in the move that saw the Rams leave St. Louis for more western pastures. Now, with the help of Russian intelligence, he is looking to oversee the more large-scale movement of most of America’s independence, pride, and civilians to our closest allies… Russia.

No word yet as to who else is interviewing for the job, but Fisher is quoted as saying “At least fucking Case Keenum won’t have anything to do with it this time.” He later went on to add “Fuck Eric Dickerson.”

Dickerson, for once, refused to comment.

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The Best Team in the Premier League is Arsenal FC

The Best Team in the Premier League is Arsenal FC

Arsenal have the player of the season, coach of the season, and signing of the summer. 

There comes a time in every Arsenal season where the floor just disappears.

Fans are left wondering how we dropped so many points, players often times promise positive turnarounds, #FireArsene starts trending on twitter, arsecast podcasters start screaming, and all hell breaks loose. Then, when the title is squarely out of realistic expectations, they start to fire on all cylinders and finish the season on a run of form that absolutely maddens the supporters.

Oh and they are eliminated from the Champions league round of 16 much the same way. Give up an awful first leg defeat, come storming back, HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN, and suck.

Okay, that was therapeutic, done now.

This season, everywhere you turn, Antonio Conte’s stupid fake hair is posterized in front of some 145 pound skinny ex-player saying that it is ‘Chelsea’s title to lose’ or whatever the phrase is at the moment. I am so far done with ‘American soccer punditry’ that if I see another person slightly resembling Kyle Martino make no mistake about it I will be asking my mother for bail money.

The other story lines revolve around Jose Mourinho’s misery (may it long live on) and Manchester City failing to impress despite having the highest goal return probability through the first part of the season. Liverpool is the darling, Tottenham is the sad little sister who didn’t get a prom date, and Everton are as close to the title as I am to actually being 145 pounds.

Nowhere in there do you hear a murmur about the best player in the Premier League, the smartest managerial and tactical decisions thus far, or the best signing of the entire summer.

I am biased, I have my head squarely up my own ass, and I am here to create an argument.

The PLAYER, MANAGER, and SIGNING of the season are all members of Arsenal. Let me explain:

Player of the year: Alexis Sanchez

With 11 goals and 4 assists Alexis Sanchez is tied for the Premier League lead in goals scored, and has scored a goal every 107 minutes so far in League. These numbers alone don’t elevate him above players like Diego Costa or Eden Hazard in the ‘POTY’ conversation, but what does is the manner at which he gets his goals.

If you watched last week’s demolishing of West Ham United (sry pet) you will have seen a player at the absolute peak of his ability with the confidence to match it. I mean, are you kidding me?

This is entirely coming from the ‘9’ position in the Arsenal scheme, or as he likes to call it ‘no position at all and just run like a mad man who will be shot and killed if he fails to score a goal.’ This role is brand new for Sanchez, who was forced into it due to an untimely Giroud knock early in the season, Danny Welbeck being unable to get out of bed without picking up an injury, and Lucas Perez being purchased right on Arsenal time for the start of the season.

Alexis reportedly ‘watched some youtube videos’ on how to play as the striker in a 4-1-1-1-3 (how I refer to the Arsenal lineup) and was shifted there in a band-aid type of situation. All he’s done since is revitalize an offense that was apparently yearning for a mobile, channel-running striker. He is the best player on the team right now, in the form of his life, and would be voted by the PFA as player of the year if it ended today.

 

Signing of the Season: Shkodran Mustafi

Since Arsenal signed Mustafi, he has played in 16 games across all competitions at CB alongside Laurent Koscielny. Arsenal have lost exactly ZERO of those SIXTEEN games.

That position was filled last season by either Per Mertesacker, Gabriel Paulista, Calum Chambers, Mathieu Flamini, or the emergency Nacho Monreal. Puke.

The stability that “Kostafi” has provided the Arsenal defense can not possibly be measured. They have spurned opponents chances, stabilized a defense known for giving up leaky goals, and created a sense of confidence that radiates from Cech’s posts up to Lexi’s feet.

Where Arsenal have been known as having a soft underbelly in the past, which has led to some of the collapses I mentioned prior, you would be lying if you said that the best centerback pairing in the Premier League currently plays at Arsenal. Anytime you can identify a team’s biggest weakness, sign a permanent German international starter in the exact position, AND get the whole thing for under 40 million… you have the deal of the summer.

This guy was almost 1/3rd the price of Paul Pogba.

Manager of the Year: Arsene Wenger

Now there is clearly a case to be made for Antonio Conte and the job he is doing thus far at Chelsea. Also, you can include the likes of Aitor Karanka at Middlesborough, Eddie Howe at Bournemouth, and even Pochettino at Tottenham as possible candidates for the award.

Just kidding about Pochettino.

The reason I would argue that Arsene deserves the accolades are simple. Look at the two points I have made above.

You have Alexis Sanchez in the form of his life playing a position that ARSENE FORCED HIM TO PLAY, you have a signing that was made in the one place your team needed it most, and the team is outperforming every expectation set for them. Did I mention they beat Chelsea 3-0 in the first matchup of Conte and Wenger?

Let’s not ignore the signing of Granit Xhaka in the deep-lying midfield position, the ability to transform Coquelin into a formidable box-to-box midfielder, and Arsene’s rotation of both the left back and outside midfielder positions to keep a deep squad relatively happy throughout. Not only has Wenger created a team with an incredible ‘option A’ but the substitutions of Giroud into vital moments have created an ‘Option B’ that would cement the Gunners in the Top 4 every single season.

Player of the year, Signing of the Summer, and a team sitting in second place with a 3-0 victory over the leaders in their only meeting. Fuck your 3-5-2 switch, Arsenal are for real and Arsene Wenger is a genius.

Arsenal are the best team in the Premier League. God be with us all for the remainder of the campaign.

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THE OPEN FIELD: MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT

THE OPEN FIELD: MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT

 

Next week the Thanksgiving break is officially over. We will be back to the stuff you all love.

Have a god weekend, and sorry for tricking you again. Here is your Friday Afternoon Tune. 🙂

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Quick Guide to Drinking With Old High School Friends

Quick Guide to Drinking With Old High School Friends

Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is famously the one night of the year where everyone pretends that they are happy with life in their mid-20’s.

“Oh yea life is great! I’ve literally ALWAYS wanted to do accounting. It’s great!”

For those of you who read this blog, I imagine you exist in a certain state of self-awareness and commonality that allows you to realize how petty and ridiculous it all is. That’s not to say you should stay in, because it is probably going to be a great time, but just that you don’t exactly look forward to seeing the high school defensive tackle who just opened his own fitness center and want’s to proclaim that he is an entrepreneur.

So, this has been written by people before but here it is. Your guide to dealing with people on this, the most famous night for ‘peaked in high school’ folk everywhere.


Rule One: Don’t Pregame

This is a weird one. Usually in order to cope in lame circumstances I would recommend drinking an exorbitant amount prior to any interaction with losers.

But in this case the opposite applies. You don’t want to be the drunkest dude at this party, and starting early will see you end up there. Drink a bit if you want, but don’t attend any crazy pregame parties. That’s how you end up “one of the pack” which is a bad thing, and also “throwing up” which doesn’t need to be in quotations.

Rule Two: Ask As Many Questions as Possible

You want to do this mainly to avoid talking about yourself, and the drunker you get and the more idiots you talk to you’ll want to prove to the old crew that you’re doing well. Don’t. It’s stupid and weird and corny. Let other people talk as much as possible. The less words you end up telling people about yourself on this night the better off you are. Answer with what you do, literally just the title, and ask an immediate question. Talking about yourself tonight is fucking whack. Smarten up.

Rule Three: Be Honest

Nothing will ruin your night faster than lying about something and getting called out for it. Remember that in this day and age, people already know the answers to the questions they are asking you because they hate their job and scroll facebook/twitter/IG all day. Don’t even bother lying to seem cool. You aren’t and that is perfectly okay.

Everyone gets so caught up trying to look cool. By not lying about yourself at all that actually makes you the only cool person there.

Rule Four: She Doesn’t Still Love You

Seriously dude, you don’t even like her anymore. You were SUCH a dickhead in high school, stop pretending you are soulmates who might figure it out tonight.

She is not into you anymore, and if you stopped drinking for one second you would realize she’s giving you the stink eye look, not that look.

Rule Five: Tip Well

It’s subtle, but tipping well creates the appearance of wealth even though you are broke AF. Also, if people ever wonder out loud how you’re doing at that establishment again you have someone on your side.

Rule Six: Don’t Be An Asshole

That’s all guys. Good luck tonight.

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Coincidence or Higher Power? The (Maybe) Religion Behind ‘Sport Miracles’

Coincidence or Higher Power? The (Maybe) Religion Behind ‘Sport Miracles’

Writer’s Note: Listen, this won’t be some mumbo-jumbo religious blog post centered around possibly circumstantial situations that all happened together in the same week. I will refrain from injecting personal beliefs as best as possible. I will use the word God, I will use the word religion, and I will talk about Tim Tebow. There ya go. 

This week has a cloud of pessimism surrounding it one way or another in the grand scheme of things un-sport. Regardless how you view our current state of political affairs or the civil unrest in some of the communities in our country, it just sort of is not a good feeling waking up in the morning. The debate was laughably amateur, leading to a bit of a “pit in the stomach” feeling for a lot of Americans about the choices we have moving forward. The protests make you want to log off twitter for the night. Facebook is basically a cesspool for all of the uncles that families try and avoid inviting to Thanksgiving because their niece Charlotte might be dating an african-american.

So what do many Americans turn to in times like this? They seem to ratchet up their love and dedication for sports teams who could give two shits about them, pouring their heart, souls, and potential real-life problems into their fandom for teams hell-bent on taking money and crushing dreams. Sounds bleak and disparaging? It should. We are all sort of fucked.

This week tho… THIS WEEK THO.


Example A – Dee Gordon and the Miami Marlins

marlinss

The Miami Marlins lost their ace pitcher, Jose Fernandez, to a boating accident over the weekend. That was absolutely horrible news. The worst kind of news the world of sports can introduce.

He was 24 years old. Born in 1992. He had a family, he was going to be a father, and he had the world in front of him. It was crushing to the players, fans, and members of the media who had the chance to know him. Tragedy.

The Marlins played their first game after the loss of Fernandez on Monday night.

Magic ensued.

Dee Gordon hit a home run to start the game and could not help but break down into tears. It was absolutely amazing for the city, for the team, and for him personally. He was quoted after the game saying this:

“I ain’t never hit a ball that far, even in BP,” said Gordon, according to USA Today. “I told the boys, ‘If you all don’t believe in God, you better start.’ For that to happen today, we had some help.”

Now, there are two ways you can look at this as a human being. The first mindset is that there was something larger at play that we fail to understand as a species of animal that maintain a self-awareness we consider elite, but pails in comparison to the actual grand scheme of whatever this whole thing is. The other way to view this is that the adrenaline and overwhelming sense of grief, coupled with a grooved fastball, allowed for ‘magic’ to become apparent in a practical way.

Either way you look at it, there is a conversation to be had centering around belief and religion.


Example B – Tim Tebow

tebowdldl

Tim Tebow, considered by many to be the most in-touch religious figure the sports world has produced since Jesus pinch-hit in the early days of baseball, has been the subject of media scrutiny since he first donned the 3:16 eye black as a member of the Florida Gators football team.

One heisman, national title, first round NFL draft selection, playoff road victory in Pittsburgh later, his days as a football player reached their conclusion. People labeled him a ‘loser’ who was ‘unfit to play’ in the NFL any longer. The media LOVES to hate on Tim Tebow.

But, his ideals and practices can not be understated. His work rate and persistence, while remaining dedicated to the overall belief that trusting in God will bring him to the pinnacle of his career, has been the staple of his persona since the start.

Needless to say, these two points coming together made his decision to pursue BASEBALL in lieu of football a much maligned one, with the general consensus ruling that he was going to fail again. Some even labeled him ‘disrespectful’ to the actual MLB players who he seemed to be undermining.

Either way, the man who people associate with religion in sport stepped up to the plate in his first career professional baseball game today, and this happened:

He hit a home run on the first pitch he saw. Now, there are two ways to look at this again. Either he is being used as a beacon by higher powers to prove that the true staples of human success derive from belief, hard work, and trust in religion, OR he just hit a home run because he is a talented athlete who got the pitch he wanted at the right time.

Again, like the Dee Gordon moment above, interpret it as you may, but the fact that questions are even being asked speaks to the level of insanity and improbability they both maintain as a collective. Two moments, so heavily rooted in religion, in the same week.

When we needed it the most.

There are a lot of weird things that happen in sports, but sometimes you have to wonder who writes the scripts.

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Les Miles, Steve Gleason, and Fickle Course of History

Les Miles, Steve Gleason, and Fickle Course of History

Tonight the New Orleans Saints host the Atlanta Falcons. Nothing special about the present day on-field matchup, but the significance of this game lies within the context of it’s past.

The game marks the ten year anniversary of the moment that changed the course of NFL history.

Chills.

Also worth noting, that game was the first under center in New Orleans by one Drew Brees, who turned out alright in the end for the Saints.

Brees, after the 2005 season he spent with the San Diego Chargers, was approached by two teams during his free agency. Those teams were the Saints and the Miami Dolphins.

It was reported that Miami was the frontrunner to sign the quarterback, but their medical staff pushed for the contrary, stating that his shoulder was not going to be able to withstand the rigors of the NFL for much longer.

Brees went on to have a great career, and as a result of a horrible season in 2006, the Miami Dolphins went into a state of turmoil and lost their head coach.

The rest, as you know, is history.


Yesterday Les Miles was fired as the head coach at LSU, after holding the position since 2006.

He had some great seasons in Louisiana, but ultimately failed to meet the expectations of a program who had been looking to offload his services for the past two seasons. He lost this past Saturday to Auburn, and was let go immediately following the game.

Looking back at the entirety of Les Miles’ career at LSU, you can say that the one national title was not enough in 11 seasons at LSU to secure him the job. One could (and I will not) make the point that the lone title did not satisfy a donor base and an athletic administration that pours a lot of ‘old money’ into the program.

Let’s say that, for the sake of argument, he needed another title or two on his resume to cement ‘legacy’ status thus rendering him un-fireable barring some rape scandal via an assistant coach (or, you know, whatever).

But he did not get those national titles. And the rest, as you know, is history.


So where do these two stories, both very much in the news literally today, connect?

Nick Saban won a lot of games solidifying LSU as a national powerhouse. He then left, giving Les Miles the job at LSU.

Nick Saban was then the head coach of the 2006 Miami Dolphins who passed on Drew Brees. He then left and gave Drew Brees to the Saints.

Nick Saban then took the job at Alabama, and has been dominating LSU ever since, winning 6 of the 9 matchups the two teams have played.

So, one could argue (and I will right now) that Nick Saban put Drew Brees in New Orleans, leading to the resurgence of a football team at a time the city so desperately needed it. He then  gave Les Miles a job and proceeded to indirectly take it away from him by beating the snot out of him time and time again and making his program feel insignificant.

It’s all coming back to Nick Saban.

saban

Just wanted to show that to the world. Saban is everywhere.

 

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