Until the game started at 23.30 UK time last night, however, I was following with relish the social media discussions about the political opinions of the principal characters in the club.
One might expect owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick, who actually resembles Steve Bannon both physically and in his controlling and manipulative approach to the world, to espouse Trumpist prejudices.
I did not, however, expect to read that MVP, GOAT and super-hero Tom Brady was not merely a supporter of Trump, but a friend and golfing buddy of the ‘so-called’ President.
How does this news affect my view of Brady? Does it devalue his achievements on the field?
For that matter, to what extent does Curt Schilling’s politics affect his chances of the Hall of Fame?
More importantly – or is it? - how does T.S. Eliot’s anti-semitism force us to re-think our admiration for his work as poet and seminal critic? Can we read Heidegger without thinking that this man joined the Nazi party? Or Sartre without remembering his early support for Stalin and later flirtation with Maoism?
Clearly, these cases are different from the sports examples: Eliot’s anti-semitism was part of his work; Heidegger’s thinking drove him (though not inexorably) to fascism; Sartre tried desperately to reconcile his existential commitment to individual freedom with a Marxist focus on society: he was only too aware of the contradictions.
But Brady? Schilling? Their politics have nothing to do with their on-field achievements. For the record, I voted for Schilling in the IBWAA HoF ballot on the basis that he might be a vile right-wing Republican shit, but he was our vile right-wing Republican shit and his record and bloodied sock justify inclusion in Cooperstown. And given the opportunity I would vote early and often for Brady too. He has overcome the egregious bias of Commissioner Roger Goodell, a four match ban and a 25 point deficit to cement his position in the stratosphere of the NFL.
And after a couple of hours sleep, right now I don’t care that he supports Trump.
As far as I’m concerned, he can do pretty much whatever he wants.
Today from the everysmith vaults: The great Michael Chapman is celebrating 50 years on the road with a new album, but I’m listening to the re-mastered Fully Qualified Survivor, originally from 1970.
Today from the everysmith shelves: I read Rick Gekoski’s brilliant first novel, Darke, in proof form last year. I am now re-reading the published novel - it came out last Wednesday. Not aware of any significant changes, but a second reading is revealing new treasures and depths. I really cannot recommend this highly enough.