The other day I walked into a local, independent auto parts store right over the line in D.C. I needed a new car battery. Behind the counter the owner, of Indian-Pakistani heritage, talked into his phone.
"I don't know why every pulls against Brady. Look at him. He is successful and doesn't take all his salary so the team can bring on other guys."
He went on a little more before he noticed me and hung up.
"Ah," I said, "you a Pats fan?"
There are a few Cowboy fans around here. Insurrectionists, I think, who like to get in a dig when they can. And those from not around these parts tend to go for Dallas, so-called Americas team. Good marketing goes a long way. I grew up an Eagles fan, so who am I to say.
I brought in my old battery and got the new one, but I was thinking about the conversation I overheard. Why do we root for the underdog, all else equal, when our own team isn't in it? I don't especially like Atlanta, but that is who I'll probably pull for.
Consider the Patriots and Tom Brady in particular. He works very hard, studies the game, gives back on his salary so the team can stay under the cap and bring on supporting players. He has a smoking hot wife. He's what we would all aspire too, right? Maybe we are jealous. But isn't the American way to reward those who work hard? Okay, then there is sour-puss Bill Belichick and his wardrobe. Maybe that's what it's all about. Or maybe its the owner's political connections. I don't know.
Hard working, connections, plays a little fast and loose with the rules, crabby demeanor with a crappy grey hoodie, hot wife. Sorry Dallas, but New England is now America's Team.