Hi everyone, I’m Keenan and I’m addicted to schadenfreude — the malicious glee experienced from someone else’s misfortune. I’ve gotten my schadenfreude fix from a number of sources before: drunk people falling down icy stairs, depressed-looking pre-med students or Lakers fans after a loss, for starters. But I’ve never experienced a schadenfreude rush quite like I did last Sunday.
“Brady injures knee, out for season,” read the all-caps banner headline on nfl.com.
My heart skipped a beat … or 10. Just like Obi-Wan said in Star Wars when Princess Leia’s home planet Alderaan was destroyed, it was “as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”
Except the millions of voices didn’t belong to peace-loving Alderaanians. They belonged to despairing Mass-holes everywhere who had just seen Mr. Almost-Perfect crumple to the turf after Kansas City Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard delivered one glorious MCL/ACL-ripping hit to the quarterback.
And instead of “something terrible” happening, it was something awesome. You could say that I’m bitter and jealous because Tom Brady essentially lives what I would refer to as “the dream.”
You’d be right. But you still wouldn’t keep me from enjoying my massive hit of schadenfreude.
What’s my problem with Tom Brady? It’s not so much Tom Brady as it is the entire Patriots squad, Boston sports teams in general and, above all, their insufferable fans.
We’ll start with the Patriots. They cheat, Tom Brady is dating a supermodel, his baby’s mama is another supermodel, their coach wears a stupid sweatshirt that makes him look homeless, Rodney Harrison is the dirtiest player in the NFL and, most irritating of all, they tend to win.
After they dismissed my San Diego Chargers from the playoffs two years in a row, nothing would tickle my fancy more than to see the Patsies fade into mediocrity this season with Matt Cassel under center and Tom Brady holding a clipboard. Unfortunately, the rest of their loaded roster combined with head coach Bill Belichick’s evil genius will probably return New England to the postseason once again.
It’s a similar story with the rest of Boston’s sports teams. Whether it’s Manny being Manny or Kevin Garnett being really ridiculously good, it seems like Beantown athletes can do no wrong. And their fans — their loud, obnoxious fans — know it. Worse than that, though, is the massive bandwagon following that the Patriots, Red Sox and Celtics have acquired.
It was kind of cute when the Sox won the 2004 World Series. They hadn’t won in 86 years, they pulled out a historic comeback to topple the then-despicable and now-pitiful Yankees, nancy-boy Curt Schilling managed to pitch through a bruised foot or something like that … it was adorable. Even I jumped on the bandwagon.
Then the unthinkable happened: the Red Sox kept winning. Boston turned into “Red Sox Nation.” Friends from home (California) went to Boston for school and converted to the Dark Side; they came home wearing Ortiz jerseys and riffing about how hot “Jacob” Ellsbury is.
The bandwagon got crowded in a hurry. It didn’t help when the Patriots achieved a new level of dominance, the Celtics traded for KG and promptly won an NBA championship and the Sox won another World Series title. Red Sox Nation grew at a China-like pace — if every loud Boston fan lined up and started walking past me, the line would never end because they were reproducing at a pace faster than they were dying off.
But there’s hope now. The BoSox are back in their customary No. 2 spot in the AL East, albeit behind the Tampa Bay Rays this time. And my new favorite knee injury has the Patriots’ usual spot in the playoffs less of a sure thing. So take heart fellow insurgents against Red Sox Nation, it’s a new era.