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Paul Turner: Patriots’ poor showing in Spokane pre-season game? Not a reason to hate them.

January 22, 2019

So let’s assume you do not pay attention to the National Football League.

As you might have figured out by now, many others do.

But if you are going to make it through the next couple of weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, you might benefit from knowing what acquaintances and colleagues are talking about.

So here is a brief interpretive guide for the nonfan.

Why do people hate the New England Patriots?

Because they win a lot.

But really, why does EVERYONE seem to hate them?

Well, it’s not because they lost a preseason game played here in Spokane in 1974. (Lost to Denver. The Seahawks were not around yet.)

What is it then?

The owner, the coach, the quarterback and the NFL’s impressive ability to trick fans into thinking any of this really matters.

The coach? Why?

He doesn’t try to be charming, his default expression is glowering and he obviously disdains the media.

The quarterback? Why?

He’s good-looking, he’s incredibly rich, he’s married to a model and he may not always tell the truth.

What else?

The Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks in a Super Bowl a few years ago.

Is that why the Seahawks no longer hold their preseason training camp in Cheney?

No.

Is it that people here just don’t like New England, the region?

Could be. Large swaths of New England vote differently than most do here in the Inland Northwest.

Do people hating on the Patriots imagine that they are expressing an original point of view?

So it would seem.

Why do people hate the owner?

Well, for some, it’s his politics.

But even many people who loathe the WSU coach’s politics didn’t let that stop them from being fans. Right?

No comment.

Why would people resent a team for winning? Isn’t that what they are supposed to be trying to do?

Yes, but many fans prefer organizations with a higher likability rating.

Does that have anything to do with having fewer players who beat up their girlfriends?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell what matters to sports fans.

Are you a Patriots apologist because you went to high school in New England?

No, but I don’t quite get how teams are thought to “represent” cities or regions. They are for-profit enterprises that want us to pay for their new stadiums. They aren’t some sacred public trusts.

So it’s the Los Angeles Rams you dislike?

Not really. I really enjoyed 1978’s “Heaven Can Wait.”

Will the Patriots win on Feb. 3?

Despite what the NFL and its television sponsors would have you believe, we aren’t required to care.

Pronunciation follies

Received a note from my friend up north, Tara Leininger.

“Paul, you think Spokane has it tough? Try ‘Metaline,’ as in both Metaline and Metaline Falls.

“The word is a derivative from ‘metal’ but the Scottish ‘leen’ got changed somehow to ‘line,’ so rather than a Celtic song you get something that sounds like the cat upchucked it. You hear it when talking to anyone on a phone – and that includes Spo-cain – and you’ll hear metal-line rather than Metaline.”

Larry Garvin, a former resident of the Buckeye State, noted that our area has no monopoly on this sort of confusion. “There are a few towns in Ohio that stand out,” he wrote.

You know, places where there is a profound disconnect between spelling and pronunciation.

His rule of thumb? “The locals win out.”

Before we leave this topic for now, I want to thank reader Michael Patoray for the gift of a lasting earworm.

He said the idea of knuckling under to the uninformed masses elsewhere and changing the pronunciation of Spokane put him in mind of a Grateful Dead lyric from the song “Casey Jones” – modified for local use.

Drivin’ that train, high on Spo-caine.

I sort of like that. If someone asks why you act the way you do, you can reply that it’s simple. “I’m high on Spo-caine.”

Aren’t we all?

End note

So I was watching one of those TV shows that consist of aerial views of places in certain states.

This particular program featured Washington.

Not surprisingly, our half of the state did not get a lot of attention. That was to be expected, of course

But what really floored me was the fact the Palouse got overlooked – no pun intended – entirely.

Can you imagine producing a program showing distinctive scenes in the Evergreen State and not including the Palouse? I can’t.

But let me ask you this. If you were going to reshoot “Aerial Washington” (or whatever it was called), what three things in Eastern Washington would you include?

Columnist Paul Turner can be reached by email at srpaulturner@gmail.com.

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