Several weeks ago I was walking through Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood when I came upon an unusual window box. Six Star Wars Storm Trooper figurines dolled up in Hawaiian leis and grass skirts stood a bed of grassy turf. I wrote about this pleasant and playful disruption to a neighborhood known for its stuffy conformity and strict allegiance to historical preservation, which you can read here.
Strolling around the Hill again this weekend, I unintentionally found myself back on the street with the same Imperial window box. I was happy to see those zany Storm Troopers at it again, this time outfitted for game day in support of Patriots’ nation.
The New England Patriots are Boston’s revered, feared, loathed, and slavishly worshipped football team. The Storm Troopers were dressed in team jerseys and helmets, posed in front of miniature Super Bowl trophies. We’ve won a lot of those. Like, a lot, a lot. So many trophies they basically just mint them and send them over every few months. Storm Trooper superfans, I thought, or maybe part of the team’s second stringers. However, we know from Star Wars flicks that Storm Troopers miss one hundred-percent of the shots they take, so I’m going to bet their passing and receiving record is not so great.
There was a small stuffed animal goat wearing a team jersey posed in front of the Troopers. Clearly this refers to ritual animal sacrifice. Using an animal sacrifice to mollify and win favor with various gods is a practice that has gone on around the world for thousands of years. It became especially prevalent in the nineteenth century when America’s first official sports teams formed and, more importantly, America’s first official bookies became a thing. The Patriots have been winning Super Bowls since 1925 or, quite possibly year one. You think that comes with skill, hard work, and superior athleticism? No. It’s good, old fashioned black magic. It’s also widely known that superstar quarterback, Tom Brady, partakes of a goat’s blood, kale, beet, ginger, bok choy, and mango smoothie before every game. It’s a similar concoction that his supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen, drinks to keep her skin supple and youthful. Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s goat’s blood.
Others will argue that the goat is a reference to the idiom Greatest Of All Time, referring in this tableau to the aforementioned Tom Brady. Many sports fans who don’t actively despise the Patriots believe that Brady is, in fact, the greatest, most elite football player the world has ever known. However, given that Tom Brady is actually 97 in earth years, but plays like he’s 18 in sports years, and looks like he’s 26 in human hotness years, I stand by my theory.
Regardless—please stay weird, Beacon Hill. You’re our only hope.