As a sports fan, it doesn’t get better than being a resident of Boston (I’ll include the state as a whole), which boasts representatives in all four major North American professional leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL) — yes, we’re including the New England Patriots. Fans have been treated to periods of immeasurable highs and relatively brief lows. While the Celtics, Red Sox, and Bruins have all tasted success in the last five years, the Patriots stand far above their contemporaries, wielding a hold on the fan base that extends throughout the state and greater regions.
One area Pats nation have made sizable inroads is social media. Led by the ever polarizing Bill Belichick and the constant controversy surrounding the team, the Patriots are easy targets for critics and trolls alike online. Moreover, it’s paved the way for a variety of parody accounts targeted at Patriots fans. One in particular, @CockyTomBrady, acts as a beacon of news and entertainment for all things Patriots, and their quarterback Tom Brady, while also fostering a community of like-minded fans.
Got that Dexter Morgan look in my eyes, we dropping 50. pic.twitter.com/A6Yf1ZVqiP
— Fake Tom Brady (@CockyTomBrady) September 11, 2015
Personifying this desire to be a platform of comedy and discussion is the creator of the account, who chooses to keep his identity private: “I’d like to remain anonymous. I think when you find out who’s behind a parody account it kind of ruins it in a way. The whole point is to remain anonymous and be able to speak freely. I don’t have any plans of ever revealing myself.” He did share some details, adding: “I am from Massachusetts and am a Patriots fan.”.
While not as forthcoming about himself, he did share his initial inspiration for creating the account: “I started back in February 2013 during the NFL offseason. I started after seeing the @CockyBelichick account and thought he was tweeting some funny shit and thought I could do something like that.”
The greatest QB of all time is now on twitter, tell your friends and hide your daughters 😉
— Fake Tom Brady (@CockyTomBrady) February 26, 2013
The approach of the account is to mimic the conversation that takes place between fans on game day. Describing the process, he said: “I live tweet almost every Pats game, just tweeting out whatever comes into my head. It can be annoying at times as you’re watching a game with other people and you feel the need to pull your phone out after every big play and tweet about it.”
Go ahead TD pass pic.twitter.com/pMYc8e7qrq
— Fake Tom Brady (@CockyTomBrady) November 30, 2015
Breaking news and trending topics also inform a large part of his posting practices. Speaking on that, he said: “During the week any Patriots story that comes out I’ll usually have something to say about. There’s never a shortage of stories with the Patriots; every other day there’s something else. My account appeals to a New England audience and that’s what I want; I don’t feel the need or want to go past that.”
Sportscenter rename itself the Curry/Brady show yet? Only thing they talk about. pic.twitter.com/NI5iWoui89
— Fake Tom Brady (@CockyTomBrady) November 24, 2015
While his following may seem small, his presence within the Patriots’ social media niche is noticeable. His most viral post came with some help from the aforementioned @CockyBelichick.
#TitleTown 2014 Patriots 2013 Red Sox 2011 Bruins 2008 Celtics 2007 Red Sox 2004 Patriots 2004 Red Sox 2003 Patriots 2001 Patriots
— Fake Tom Brady (@CockyTomBrady) February 2, 2015
Sharing the experience, he said: “@CockyBelichick tweeted that about 30 minutes after the Pats won the Super Bowl — it’s my most RT’d post.”
What seems like a complex and exhaustive process can be summarized in a single quote from the creator of the account: “My goal is to either make people laugh or piss of the people who hate the Pats.” While this may seem combative, it’s actually an expression of sincerity. @CockyTomBrady is an account for Patriots fans created by a Patriot fan and if you’re not a part of that demographic than tough.
Explaining this sentiment, he said: “If I wanted to I could tweet out more pictures and tweet more tame jokes to get more RTs and a bigger following, but I really don’t care about that.”
Dion Lewis out the year pic.twitter.com/vOygXAVToh
— Fake Tom Brady (@CockyTomBrady) November 9, 2015
That’s why this account works. It’s an honest (and somewhat exaggerated) portrayal of Patriots fans that members of the fan base can identify with and congregate around. And you know what, that’s okay.
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