Look, I understand it. I get it.
If you’re reading this and don’t have immediate or direct ties to the New England region, you probably hate the Patriots. Again, I get it.
INTERNET: Tom, we don’t have any weird or meme-worthy shots of you recently. Got anything?
— Fitzy (@FitzyGFY) May 8, 2018
Coach Bill Belichick just seems like a gruff curmudgeon, tight end Rob Gronkowkski often acts like a fourth-grader and wide receiver Julian Edelman was busted for PED use. There’s certainly a lot to dislike for many football fans.
But there are some things to like about the Patriots, too.
As a team, their selfless, team-first mentality has been a big part of their success. Some of the inspiration for that selflessness likely stems from the strong Christian faith of several key players.
Special teams ace Matthew Slater has made no secret of his love for Jesus, using multiple Super Bowl news conferences to talk about his beliefs.
“You have to understand who God is and who His son is,” the seven-time Pro Bowler said before Super Bowl LI. “And you have to understand what God says about your sin. And from there you realize that, hey, I am a sinful person, and my sin has separated me from an eternal, perfect God.
“But there’s a backup plan to that. He sent His son, Jesus. And I believe that Jesus is the son of God, is God. He came here, he died on the cross for my sins, your sins, everybody’s sins, everybody who’s willing to accept that from Him.”
Slater isn’t the only Patriot who’s unafraid to speak about his Christian faith. This week, breakout Patriots rookie running back Sony Michel talked about the importance of Christ in his life.
Speaking to Jason Romano of Sports Spectrum, Michel made it clear where his priorities lie.
“Without Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, there is none of this,” he said. “We get all this glory, but the glory is not for us, it’s for Him. We do this for Him. That’s kind of my purpose. So really, none of this matters to me.”
That is a powerful and wise statement that belies his youth. To be clear, Michel’s not some chump, either. The 23-year-old racked up 931 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns this season, to the tune of 4.5 yards per carry.
“Once I step out of the house, I want people to be able to see that God is working in my life,” Michel said. “It’s not me working, it’s not me doing the things that I do. It’s Him applying those things in my life … giving me the opportunity to be able to reach the next person, make an impact on the platform that I have. He gave me this platform so I can be able to make an impact, and that’s what it’s all about. It’s just reflecting Him.”
He said the biggest lesson God had taught him this year is to trust Him.
“No matter what you’re going to go through, you’ve got to trust Him,” Michel said. “He’s going to put you through some things yourself may think you can’t handle at times. But if you trust Him, you’ll get through it and you’ll see the light.”
Again, yes, there are plenty of reasons to dislike the Patriots. But how can you root against Michel after comments like those?
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.