MATEO VAZQUEZ ’21
When many reflect on the Patriots recent success, they overlook what the team has done for New England. Since Robert Kraft bought the Patriots in 1994, the team has sold out every single game, an impressive feat considering their prior poor performance as a franchise. This sell out streak is just one of the many ways that the team has brought economic activity to the region.
The Patriots have also become a brand attraction for sports enthusiasts, bringing in a tourist population to the region as a result of their massive success.
From the Super Bowl parades to the off season training events, and of course the big in-season game day events, New England, not just Foxboro, MA is abuzz with excitement. According to Professor Funk of Temple University there is also a large “Psychic Income” that results from a Super Bowl win. This is a term he has used to describe the economic income that often results after a Super Bowl win. It is a way to describe the good feeling that a win for the region has on people and their desire to spend money. The greatest immediate effect that a Super Bowl win can have on an economy is on commercial retail sales. The sense of connectedness to the home team combined with a yearning to participate in a community-based form of celebration spurs consumers to hit the local clothing retailer or small business after the joyous win.
Despite all of this, the Patriots success has had a deeper, more cultural effect on the region. Every community’s fandom arises into a greater sense of unity and purpose, a phenomenon that is especially true for the small enclaves of New England. Many fans of the Patriots rally behind the team each weekend, and often continue the celebration into the week. Even if a New Englander doesn’t know much about football, they do know that they get an 87-cent coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts the day after a Patriots win. While some will argue that the Patriots are a divisive force in the region, especially when pitted against geographic rivals such as the Giants or Jets; most fans and residents can’t help but accept the undeniable success of the Patriots and the optimistic flame that burns throughout New England during the coldest and dreariest times of the year.
Part of the unification of the region in support of the team is due to the Patriots ability to draft exceptional players. This can no doubt be attributed to coach Bill Belichick’s unique touch. He has a talent to take ordinary players and create legends, inspiring every day New Englanders to have hope for the potential in their lives. For example, he drafted Julian Edelman, a college quarterback, and turned him into one of the best receivers in the league. Malcom Butler, an undrafted cornerback, has turned into one of the essential elements of the Patriots defense. And then who can forget Tom Brady. A sixth-round draft pick and long-time backup quarterback turning into the best player of all time is a story of heavenly proportions. This is what keeps people excited. This is the key to not only the Patriots success, but the hopes and dreams of the region. It is something to believe in.
Despite a tough Super Bowl loss, New England has been lucky in ways that transcend the football field, a past that should denote pride, not sorrow.