Respect the talent, no matter the team

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Like many people I was glued to a screen last Sunday watching the NFL’s NFC and AFC championship games. That’s a whole lot of initials, but football fans will get it. Both games went into overtime. While hope beat a little faster with the added coin toss, ultimately neither of my teams won.

I wasn’t exactly a sore loser — but I was. I launched a tirade against the no-call on blatant pass interference in the first game. That error proved huge in the disappointing outcome for the New Orleans Saints. But it was the second game that really fried me.

When the New England Patriots won — again — I didn’t hold back. I lamented in a Facebook post, “Please. SOMEBODY. Get rid of the Patriots!!!” As has been stated by others, Patriots “fatigue” is gripping the football world. Too much winning. Everybody’s done with it.

Only not everyone, I found out. I forgot I had a Facebook friend from my Minnesota days — who’d moved to the Midwest from the very heart and soul of Patriots country. It didn’t take her long to reply. She wrote, “HEY! They are my team. Good is good.”

After a little back-and-forth banter she said this, “I’m just saying to respect the talent and don’t be a hater. Haters are jealous people and I know that you are NOT like that.”

That threw a block in my rant. Because I can’t say I had been respecting the talent. I’d been resentful of the talent. Kept wanting the team to make an overtime mistake. When they didn’t I counted it against them, rather than admiring how they’d moved the ball with such precision straight into the end zone for a championship touchdown.

You can say that’s sports — the cheers and jeers. But my Patriots friend called me out. I hope I can be a little more balanced watching the upcoming Super Bowl. Appreciate a good play no matter who makes it.

Respect the talent.

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