THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS’ STAR WARS VIDEO IS FUCKING STUPID

On January 7, the New England Patriots released a “hype video,” as they called it, themed around the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The idea is to get Pats fans pumped up for the playoffs, as though Pats fans didn’t already exist in a perpetual state of slavering, feverish idol-worship toward their team and their quarterback. The problem is that whoever made this video either hasn’t seen the new Star Wars movie or has no idea how their team is perceived by everyone other NFL fanbase in the country, resulting in an extraordinarily shitty metaphor. If you haven’t seen Star Wars, I might give some stuff away here, so heads up. Let’s break this thing down.

First, we open with a shot of the Patriots’ empty stadium, followed by a slow-motion shot of Tom Brady. The voiceover says “Who are you?” and then Rey’s voice says “I’m no one.”

1 - Brady

Hahahahaha no. Tom Brady is probably the single most recognizable name in pro football. Go to any third-world country, like England or France, and ask them to tell you an NFL player, and they’ll give you Brady’s name. There has never been a less obscure athlete.

2 - Rey

Rey, on the other hand, is no one. Literally. She doesn’t exist until this movie. She lives in a wrecked ship in the desert. She sells trash for food. If you wanted to make a Rey metaphor, pick a Patriots player who no one had heard of and then turned out to be important. Like Dion Lewis. Except he’s hurt, so not him. I can’t do your job for you. Figure it out.

Then they show a bunch of shots of Patriots kickers kicking important field goals, with the voiceover from Finn saying “I was raised to do one thing.”

3 - Kicker

This makes sense because kickers have an extremely narrow skill set, and are only really important in a few specific situations. Kickers are the IT guys of the NFL. If they’re doing their job, no one notices. But when they fuck up, suddenly everything is their fault.

But then Finn goes on to say “but I’ve got nothing to fight for any more,” which is like the worst possible attitude for anyone on a playoff team. Finn has nothing to fight for because he was a conscripted stormtrooper who didn’t feel like killing civilians, so he’s kind of realizing his whole life is a lie. This doesn’t really apply to the NFL.

The next shot says “nothing will stand in our way,” featuring a shot of the newspaper announcing that Tom Brady would not, in fact, be suspended for the beginning of the 2015 season. In case you were living under a rock, Tom Brady got in trouble when an investigator concluded that not only had the Patriots been deflating footballs below regulation pressure levels, ostensibly giving Brady an advantage, but that Brady himself had known about it. Then the NFL royally fucked up the investigation, leading to a judge’s decision that since the investigation had been so fucked up that the judge couldn’t even tell what Brady was being punished for, he would no longer be suspended. Patriots fans acted like Brady was Nelson fucking Mandela getting out of prison.

Just to be clear, the Patriots got caught cheating, in a 15-year tradition of the Patriots getting caught cheating and getting away with it, and then through the gross incompetence of the NFL’s front office, got away with it again. There has never been a more artificially put-upon fanbase in the history of sports. In their minds, every single victory is earned, because Brady is the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Herberforth Christ himself, and every defeat is a blight against the forces of goodness incarnate. I have NEVER, in years of following this sport, heard a Patriots fan admit that the team was simply outplayed. And they still won’t let this go. It has been almost a full calendar year since the incident that kicked off the Patriots not being punished for cheating, and they’re still talking about it in comment threads and shit.

Back to this “nothing will stand in our way” crap. Since 2002, when the AFC East took its current form, the Patriots are 182-58. The rest of the Patriots’ division is 301-371. Of 42 collective seasons, the rest of the AFC East has won more than eight games a total of 13 times. The Pats have not won fewer than nine games in the same span. The Pats have won 11 of the last 12 AFC East titles and been to the AFC Chamionship game nine times in that span because the rest of the AFC East has been absolute garbage for almost 15 years, and Patriots fans still have the attitude of the plucky underdog, somehow pulling through against all odds. You wouldn’t think it’s be possible to have a victim complex and be this cocky at the same time, but they manage.

4 - Parade
Fuck this kid.

You want a Star Wars metaphor? The Patriots are Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith, and the rest of the AFC East are the innocent children he slaughters at the instruction of Darth Sidious. And if you pointed that out to a Pats fan, they’d say, “hey man, those younglings outnumbered Anakin, and they were trained at the Jedi Temple just like him. It’s amazing he fared so well against them.”

The next shot is of Brady looking up at the sky. The voiceover is Kylo Ren saying “I will finish what you started,” and the camera switches to a shot of Bill Belichick as Darth Vader’s breathing fades in.

5 - Brady

They’re so close to acknowledging that Tom Brady is a whiny little bitch with immaculate hair who’s never faced hardship in his entire life, and that Belichick is the indisputably evil mastermind behind the entire operation. This is the closest to self-awareness the video ever gets. It won’t happen again.

Then the video shows a bunch of Pats players scoring and celebrating and stuff, over the voiceover “There are stories about what happened…It’s true…all of it.” It’s obvious that in the mind of the video’s creator, the Patriots are the intrepid Jedi, pulling victory from the jaws of defeat.

6 - Pats Players

This, of course, is utter horseshit. Since Brady came on board, the Patriots have been to the Super Bowl six times. They have been the underdogs exactly zero of those times. Have they won them all? No. Have all their victories come easily? No. But not once, according to the Vegas oddsmakers, have they been the dark horse contender.

In case you weren’t clear on the metaphor, the video then shows NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell with the voiceover “the dark side,” then Brady with the voiceover “the Jedi.”

7 - The Dark Side

8 - The Jedi

This would be laughable if it weren’t so fucking infuriating. Make no mistake: Roger Goodell is a dribblingly incompetent commissioner, whose career has been marked with not giving a shit about concussions, not giving a shit about domestic violence, and not giving a shit about consistent punishments for players. But the one defining thread of the last fifteen years has been that the league office has BARELY STOPPED FELLATING THE PATRIOTS LONG ENOUGH TO TAKE A BREATH.

Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, has been best buddies with Roger Goodell for decades.

“Kraft was one of Goodell’s closest confidants among the NFL’s thirty-two owners, and his fiercest advocate and defender. As a member of the league’s compensation committee, Kraft has vigorously defended Goodell’s eye-popping $44 million pay package, and in the wake of the TMZ leak, he personally called owners and lobbied them to issue statements backing the commissioner, according to a senior league source. So large is Kraft’s sway with Goodell that one veteran NFL executive likes to call him ‘the assistant commissioner.'”

They hung out together at Kraft’s house, the night before the AFC championship game last year.

9 - Kraft Goodell

Goodell has also been to every single Patriots’ home opener since he became commissioner, to the extent that it was headline news when he didn’t come to their most recent one. And why didn’t he show up? Because Pats fans were so upset that he almost punished Tom Brady for cheating.

And the only reason Goodell even tried (incompetently) to come down so hard on the Pats in this most recent scandal is because he let them off the hook for possibly most brazen cheating in sports since Spain entered a non-disabled basketball team in the 2000 Paralympics. From the ESPN article:

“Inside a room accessible only to Belichick and a few others, [NFL investigators] found a library of scouting material containing videotapes of opponents’ signals, with detailed notes matching signals to plays for many teams going back seven seasons. Among them were handwritten diagrams of the defensive signals of the Pittsburgh Steelers, including the notes used in the January 2002 AFC Championship Game won by the Patriots 24-17. Yet almost as quickly as the tapes and notes were found, they were destroyed, on Goodell’s orders: League executives stomped the tapes into pieces and shredded the papers inside a Gillette Stadium conference room.”

If the Ginger Hammer had been born and raised a Pats fan, I might understand his lack of professional objectivity a little bit. But Goodell was born to New Yorkers in Bills territory, went to high school in Giants territory, and graduated college in Steelers territory, all franchises with bitter rivalries with the Pats.

Goodell has been in the Pats’ pocket since he took office. He has never leveled any meaningful punishment against them. And they still have the balls to play the victim.

Finally, the video ends on the voiceover line “the Force is calling to you…let it in” with some more dramatic shots of Brady and the stadium and a Pats flag.

10 - Flag

And that’s it. The video’s over, thousands of slack-jawed New Englanders light another candle in their shrines to Tawm Fahckin’ Brady, and the Patriots host the Chiefs tomorrow night. I hope they lose. I hope they’re humiliated, like they were in week 4 of last year. But more importantly, I hope this sorry excuse for a visual metaphor and downtrodden hero complex dies forever. You want a Patriots-Star Wars metaphor? This is how it’s done.

Bill Belichick is Emperor Palpatine

11 - Belichick Palpatine

This one’s pretty obvious. He’s the mastermind of the entire Galactic Empire Patriots organization. He’s one of only two coaches in the league to also have general manager responsibilities (remember how Palpatine was training Anakin and serving as Chancellor at the same time?) He’s cheated and lied his way to the top. And he wears a hood all the time.

Tom Brady is Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker

Tom Brady, like Anakin Skywalker, started out as an adorable little doofus:

12 - Brady Anakin Young

Tom Brady, like Anakin Skywalker, once had marvelous, tousled hair and made brooding angry faces:

13 - Brady Anakin Hair

And Tom Brady, like Anakin Skywalker, loses his fucking mind when things don’t go his way.

14 - Brady Anakin Angry

Here’s Tom Brady screaming at a referee after throwing an interception to the Carolina Panthers:

15 - Brady Ref

Here’s Tom Brady screaming at an assistant coach after throwing an interception to the Washington Redskins:

16 - Brady OC

And here’s Tom Brady screaming at Julian Edelman after getting sacked by the Buffalo Bills:

17 - Brady Edelman

Tom, like Anakin, was coached from obscurity into greatness by a mentor with far more experience and acumen than he has. Tom, like Anakin, would have been nothing had this mentor not hand-selected him. I’m also tempted to draw a parallel with Kylo Ren (who is essentially Anakin 2.0). Remember (spoilers) when Kylo is in the forest, trying to force-grab the light saber out of the snow, but he can’t because (spoilers) Rey pulls it away from him? That face he makes? Like it’s the first time something hasn’t gone his way? Tom pouts too.

ea1ab78801cabfbec5f6846dcfe068d3

The Patriots’ Skill Players are Stormtroopers

19 - Pats Players

Nameless and faceless (at least before they become Pats)? Check.

Treated pretty much interchangeably by their leader? Check.

White?

20 - White players

Check.

Rob Gronkowski is the Stormtrooper Who Hits His Head

21 - Stormtrooper

22 - Gronk

Rob Gronkowski is 6’6″ and an unstoppably moronic man-child. I refuse to believe that he has not, at some point, walked into a door jamb.

Eli Manning is Luke Skywalker

23 - Eli Luke

I hate to admit it. I really do. But in Star Wars Episode IV, we’re introduced to the Empire as an unstoppable force (the Patriots). They have a weapon the likes of which the world has never seen (the Patriots went 16-0 in 2007, with what was at the time the most prolific offense in league history). And then some little upstart with no training (Eli had been in the league three years) who would probably rather be back in his hillbilly town shooting womp rats (Eli is from Louisiana and, I imagine, has shot at a rodent at some point in his life) comes in and pulls out a miracle, bringing the whole thing crashing down.

And then, a few years later, though the second Death Star wasn’t as well-built as the first one (the Patriots only went 13-3 in 2011), he did it again. Obviously, he had help both times, but the fact remains that this otherwise-unremarkable goofball brought down the biggest juggernaut in the league. Twice.

And now, even after such crushing defeat, and with an almost entirely new cast of characters, the Dark Side is back, and they’re as strong as ever. They already struck once (the 2014 Super Bowl) and they’re gearing up to launch another attack this year. And they’re threatening everything that we hold dear.

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 3.30.49 PM

 

There’s your fucking metaphor.

One thought on “THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS’ STAR WARS VIDEO IS FUCKING STUPID

Add yours

  1. Yeah, no. You realize that almost every other team in the league cheats too, right? It’s not just the Pats. Just because the Patriots are good, and they win a lot, doesn’t mean they automatically become the only cheating team in the league. And when you said “fuck this kid”, that’s just jealousy. The Pats do cheat, I will not deny it. But that doesn’t mean other teams don’t.

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