It was a pretty good Sunday for Ben Lovejoy.
You see, not only is Lovejoy an Anaheim Ducks defenseman, he’s also a die hard and passionate Patriots fan. The native New Englander (born and raised in New Hampshire) watched yesterday’s Super Bowl at home with his 1-year-old daughter Lila (more on that below), and endured the highs and lows of yesterday’s thrilling game. He talked about it after practice at Honda Center. First of all, where did you watch the game?
We had a team Super Bowl party, which I did not
attend. I would have been there had any of the other 31 teams be in the game instead of the Patriots. The last two Super Bowls the Patriots have been in, I’ve attended my professional team’s party, and the guys want to jab me in the ribs anytime a play went wrong. And I’m not an obnoxious fan. I sit there and want to concentrate, and the guys want to take a shot at me. So I did not attend the Anaheim Ducks party. My wife [Avery] did, and I stayed home and focused on the game on my couch with my daughter. She was asleep for awhile, then we hung out and cheered. She had her Tom Brady jersey on. What were you going through during those final minutes?
I was so emotional. I have so much respect for passionate fans of teams. I don’t know how hockey fans do that 82 games, plus playoffs. The [16+] Patriots games, I’m a wreck for. It’s just so much stress, yet so fun. What was your reaction to that interception at the end?
I thought the Patriots had a very good chance of winning, and then [Jermaine Kearse] made that ridiculous catch with about a minute left, and it just had shades of Mario Manningham and David Tyree from past Super Bowls. So, I was just crushed. I thought, Here we go again
. I was 98 percent sure that Marshawn Lynch was gonna pound it in, and if not, Russell Wilson was gonna run it in himself. I couldn’t believe they threw that pass in that situation. What a defensive play that was. As a defensive player, it’s a play I dream about making. Did you yell and scream?
Well, during the Baltimore [playoff] game, I was yelling loudly after lots of plays, and every time I yelled, my daughter would cry. So I started cheering silently because I didn’t want that to happen. It was more of a sense of relief than incredible excitement. I just took a deep breath, and was so happy.
In past situations, where you have to put your celebrity crush up on the Jumbotron, I have written that my crush was Tom Brady. He’s still up there. The level of excellence he’s maintained forever, how he lives his life, four Super Bowl wins, six opportunities, I think he’s just such a special athlete." Did you get a lot of texts after that game?
I had texts going with friends from New England. I go out of my way to not talk trash. I don’t want to rub it in if we win, and I don’t want to eat it if we lose. I was quietly so satisfied and excited. I had a couple friends who went to the game, and brothers and family members who were just as excited as I was. We’ve talked about this before, but tell us again about your roots as a Patriots fan.
I grew up in New Hampshire, which of course is part of New England. In 1996, I was 12 years old and the Patriots went to the Super Bowl and lost to Brett Favre’s Green Bay Packers, and I was hooked after that. I was a casual fan as a little kid, but when Drew Bledsoe and Bill Parcells led them to the Super Bowl, I was so excited. When Belichick came in 2000 and Tom Brady arrived in 2001, those were some of the most fun teams to be a fan of. They’re consistently good, they’re always fun to watch and they’re always in contention to go to the Super Bowl. I can understand why people aren’t fans of them. I don’t blame you. They’re arrogant and hateable, but they’re my team. These are the best days to be a Patriots fan. They’ll never be better than this. You happen to be a professional athlete, but are you a typical New Englander who’s in love with Tom Brady?
Absolutely. In past situations, where you have to put your celebrity crush up on the Jumbotron, I have written that my crush was Tom Brady. He’s still up there. The level of excellence he’s maintained forever, how he lives his life, four Super Bowl wins, six opportunities, I think he’s just such a special athlete. I’ve never met him, and I don’t think I want to. I just want to live in awe of him.