What It Means To Be A Patriots Fan

What It Means To Be A Patriots Fan

It's everything.
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I went to the AFC Divisional playoff game Saturday night, and I currently have the lack of a voice to prove it. I was surprised with a ticket Thursday night, and it was by far the best belated Christmas gift I have ever received. Friday was a very long waiting game for me, and I could hardly contain myself Saturday; that 8:15 P.M. kickoff absolutely killed me. Clearly, the wait was worth it, but I do not know if I could have handled another outcome.

Though it was chilly in Foxboro, my excitement for this game completely outweighed my dislike for blustery winter temperatures. I took a close look at the field when I got into the stands, and of course Tom Brady was the first player I spotted. I have so much faith in his ability to endure, improve, and win each and every game he takes on.

Being a Patriots fan is one of the best (and worst) things to ever have happened to me. Not only is it time consuming, but it also requires a certain level of emotional investment. Sundays during the fall and winter are the best, especially in New England. We gear up in all things Patriots to watch the game from beginning to end, and we are totally in it to win it. Though it happens once in a blue moon (if at all), we do not handle losses very well. These are seldom blowouts, because Tom Brady and the Patriots present a challenge for each and every team we face off against. It’s always a very exciting game, whether we win by three touchdowns or a mere field goal. Once this season ends (hopefully with a fifth ring for TB), I am going to wonder how I ever lived without Sunday football.

All in all, I could not imagine my life without the Patriots. Not only is my dorm room decked out with merchandise, but my passion goes way beyond that.

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Buckley

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If You Wear XL T-Shirts And Shorts, You're The Woman Of My Dreams

Enough with the war on comfort!
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Comfortable can be sexy, simply put.

For some reason there are people complaining out there about the Southern college trend that has been happening the past few years: big t-shirts and shorts, also known as the "srat uniform." There seems to be a clash between the girls who dress "nice" most of the time and girls who dress for comfort. As a guy, I don't see what the big deal is?

For college in the South, there are two reasons to dress up: college football (Roll Tide) and date parties. Any other time, you can find a majority of the female population in shorts and a big t-shirt that makes it look like they're not wearing pants. As a man, I personally don't see anything wrong with this. I love being comfortable as much as the next person, and most guys find the baggy t-shirt and shorts outfit to be cute. There's always a time and place for dresses and rompers.

But for all the haters out there that call these girls in XL t-shirts and shorts lazy, you've got it all wrong.

There are 4 reasons why the girls who don the "srat uniform" have it all figured out.

1. Girls have it rough.

See, it's tough being a girl. I don't know from experience, but I hear it enough and I've seen it enough to know it's true. When girls aren't dealing with f***boys, periods or having to do their hair and makeup routinely, they are being overly criticized by our society. I think society owes girls a break, and that break comes in the comfortable baggy t-shirt and shorts.

2. Southern Not-So-Comfort(able) weather.

Also, for all of the haters, maybe y'all haven't noticed that it's hotter than Satan's balls in the South! Tight, dressy outfits and pants constrict the body and cause you to sweat. I'd rather see a dry girl in a baggy t-shirt than a girl drenched in sweat trying to look cute with her outfit.

3. Perfect doesn't exist.

It's admirable when a girl can unapologetically be herself. A girl in an XL t-shirt and shorts is a girl that is saying "yes, I may have just rolled out of bed and brushed my hair, but I'm here dammit." Social media tells us we all have to be the dolled up, most "perfect" version of ourselves all the time, so it's nice to experience that reality check.

4. Guys think it's cute, regardless.

9 times out of 10, guys in college do not care what you're wearing. Trust me, we aren't doing much better. You could probably put on a garbage bag and we still think you're cute. Any guy that dates a girl that dates a girl only because she dresses nicely all of the time is a shallow man. You're cute, you're comfortable, and that makes for a much better vibe. We all win.

So, in the battle of dressing "nice" and dressing comfortable, I think that the girls who wear an XL t-shirt and shorts chalk up a win in my record book. No, I'm not bashing on girls who have a true sense of style and wear nice clothing... that's a great thing in itself! But, this is college and there are more important things to focus on besides what we're wearing.

Ladies, wear your srat uniform with pride. Some us think it's cute :)

*I want to thank the beautiful ladies at the University of Alabama for inspiring this article.*

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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Paying College Athletes Could End An Age-Old Problem Of Corruption, But It Could Also Lead To New Problems

A look at why paying college athletes could be both a good and bad idea.

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In any given year, football budgets for athletic departments in the Southeastern Conference range anywhere from 30 to over 100 million dollars. This money is used to pay coaches and cover expenses incurred by the school's football team. However, even after salaries are paid and expenses are covered, schools are usually left with millions of dollars in profit. The athletes who ultimately create this situation by participating in collegiate sports are left with nothing at the end of the season except some new Nike clothes they were given throughout the year and the promise of a free college education.

The issue of paying athletes isn't even just about football; it includes every sport. Athletes spend the majority of their time in practice, games, and class. In their free time, they just try to finish homework, study, or rest before the next day. During the season, college athletes are basically working a full-time job and attending school on top of that. There have been discussions about paying collegiate athletes for years, but there are also some advantages and disadvantages to this idea.

One of the primary advantages of paying college athletes is the belief that it would get athletes to stay in college longer instead of leaving early for a professional draft. This more directly affects football, basketball, and baseball teams because athletes often leave college after only one, two, or three years to pursue a career as a professional athlete. Many believe if they were paid during college, they would be willing to wait an extra year or more before leaving to become a professional. In addition, if athletes were receiving some compensation, they could support their families. Many division one athletes come from impoverished backgrounds and are looking to become professionals so they can help support their family. Payment during college would help some people support their family and also encourage them to get a college degree before leaving for a professional career.

Compensating college athletes could also reduce the corruption within collegiate athletics. Everyone is aware that teams pay some athletes to come to their school and play a sport. This could ultimately be stopped if payment was allowed. Another advantage of paying athletes is that it would make them adhere to higher moral standards like professional athletes. Basically, if they are going to be paid like professionals, they should act like professionals.

On the other side of this debate are the numerous disadvantages to paying athletes. One of the primary arguments is that it would be unfair to smaller colleges. Athletic departments in the SEC are obviously going to have more money to spend than programs in the American Conference, so this would create a financial divide that could become unfair. In addition, the payment of athletes could create budget problems for all athletic departments across the board. Athletic departments are adapted to just paying coaches and expenses, so this would create another area where administrators would have to find money to cover.

In regards to the athletes, there are even some disadvantages. Since they are still kids in college, payment might cause some financial irresponsibility. As a college kid myself, I can say if I was making more money I would be spending it on things I really shouldn't be buying. There's also the issue of unfair compensation among athletes. Athletic departments would have to figure out how to balance payment across every sport and among athletes on the same team without creating problems. Many also speculate on if paying college athletes would create a loss of passion for the game as it sometimes does with professional athletes.

Overall, there is no definite answer or solution to the issue of paying college athletes. Personally, I think something needs to be done by the NCAA. However, they need to be innovative with their solution to make sure it actually benefits athletes. With athletic departments and the NCAA making millions each year because of athletes, it just makes sense to take action.

Cover Image Credit:

@lsufootball / Instagram

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