This morning, Patriots season ticket holder Connor Pratt (@PintSizePratt) received his season ticket package from the Patriots. In addition to his exclusive training camp vouchers, two preseason games, and the eight regular season home games; Pratt got something else: a pre-printed ticket for the AFC Championship game.
This secret gift to the fans was first made public by Pratt, who took a picture of the tickets and sent it to @stoolpresidente of Barstool Sports.
— Connor Pratt (@PintSizePratt) August 3, 2017
Before we go any further, the typical policy for playoff tickets for season ticket holders is that they go on sale once the team qualifies for the playoffs. The holders have first dibs on the tickets by reserving them as they do with regular season tickets. The rules are simple: “no play, no pay”.
If the team is eliminated before the purchased game (say you bought tickets for Game 5 and the Red Sox got swept in the ALCS), you get refunded for the tickets plain and simple.
But for the Bruins, Red Sox, and Celtics, playoff tickets don’t go on sale until the playoffs are clinched. Usually a week before the season ends.
Robert Kraft is showing fans this year that it’s different now, given that the Patriots are a near-lock to win their division and make another deep playoff run as defending Super Bowl Champions.
Even if the “ticket” Connor Pratt received today was only a voucher, or a “preview” of what the AFC Championship Game tickets will look like, it’s a cocky move on the part of the owner.
The improvements in the offseason from Stephon Gilmore to Brandin Cooks, as well as the return of Rob Gronkowski, have fans willing to wager the Patriots are going 19-0, ten years after missing it.
However, 2007 is and should be one of the greatest lessons ever taught to the Patriots: never look ahead of what’s in front.
Yes, your team may be the best, and they have the potential to beat anyone. B
The week leading up to the first Super Bowl against the Giants was uncharacteristic of the Patriots, highlighted by Randy Moss not taking the walkthroughs seriously.
For as overstated as the “Patriot Way” is, it comes down to being confident yet humble, determined and motivated, and ready to step up in any situation.
As fun and exciting as this Patriots dynasty is, it wasn’t built on looking ahead. Bill Belichick says after every practice that it’s about getting through the practice, and the game of the week. Nothing else.
Despite this, USA Today has joined the ranks of overconfident Patriots fans by predicting New England will finish 19-0 even with a considerably stronger schedule to start than the Super Bowl year.
Patriots fans should appreciate every title, every season, and every game of this era, but they should also put a can on the 19-0 talk until the Patriots finish their regular season schedule undefeated. Even then, pretend it isn’t happening until Tom Brady raises up his sixth Lombardi Trophy.
Go ahead, get excited for what should be one of the most loaded teams on paper in all of the Brady-Belichick years, but help the Patriots by keeping outside noise to a minimum.
Robert Kraft is ready to buy into the hype because it’s also great for business. It’s better to be optimistic and confident about your team, but not to the point of printing out tickets for January games when August games haven’t started yet.
Patriots fans have earned the right to think their team is the best, but even they should know it’s not always the best team that wins. As the season goes on, everything may not go as planned. That’s okay though, because the Patriots are one of the best teams at dealing with adversity.
The AFC Championship ticket thing is adorable, but it’s a long season until then.
At the risk of being labeled a hater, I just want to remind fans and ownership that to be confident is good, but to be cocky is an invitation for things to go wrong. You don’t need Belichick to tell you that.