What do you call a team led by a quarterback selected with the 199th pick in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft; a wide receiver that only one college offered a scholarship (God Bless Mike Leach) to out of high school and that was not drafted by any of the 32 NFL teams upon a record-setting collegiate career; a running back who was the Division II player of the year for two straight seasons, but was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine and (of course) wasn’t drafted; a tight-end who enjoys taking pictures with prominent adult entertainment stars when he isn’t out-running defensive backs; and a former college quarterback who now plays both receiver and corner back, in between being a special teams demon.
You call them America’s team. White America’s team You call them Patriots. Nothing more, nothing less. Just as the 1980s Boston Celtics were an NBA franchise paced by outstanding white athletes, the dynasty that the New England Patriots have started in the NFL has largely been built on the shoulders of white athletes that other NFL teams weren’t interested in signing.
Tom Brady, a quarterback who recently said, “I’m the best decision this organization has ever made,” is the signal-caller for a franchise that millions of fans across the nation openly root for, noticing that the Patriots have a record-breaking offense that doesn’t look anything like that of the other 31 NFL teams (well, save the Indianapolis Colts who under Peyton Manning also tend to start a fair number of melanin-deficient athletes): The New England Patriots are America’s team, and the white athletes who were overlooked by all of the other franchises represent what the NFL could look like (just as Tim Tebow showed you the type of character all of the athletes could have, the type of real role-models sports could provide).
Wes Welker, the record-setting white receiver from Texas Tech who went undrafted only to find sanctuary in the New England after showing glimpses of super-star ability on the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins. White men can run, and Wes Welker is one of the primary individuals responsible for proving this in an era when they are constantly told they can’t.
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