Dont’a Hightower: We have fun, but it’s not for everyone

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The question of whether or not life is fun for Patriots players has been brought up recently by players who have spent time inside the organization and those who have only seen it from the outside.

Coach Bill Belichick responded on Thursday by saying that his job is to make sure the team is winning, which linebacker Dont'a Hightower concurred with when he was asked about the fun level in New England.

“I mean, to each his own,” Hightower said in comments distributed by the team. “I don’t really have anything to say to them. I mean, guys here, I know — I mean, it’s not for everybody. It’s definitely harder than most places, but I mean, that’s part of it. A lot of guys know that when they come here. But, I mean, in the locker room, it’s not Bill’s job to make this fun and this atmosphere fun; it’s the guys around it. Every guy in that locker room, I love like a brother. We have fun, whether it’s out here struggling together — blood, sweat and tears — or we’re back in the locker room or we’re hanging out outside of football. So, there’s a time and place for everything, but we know whenever we walk through the building, it’s time to work.”

Hightower added that making the sacrifices necessary to play for the Patriots “sucks sometimes,” but that looking back at personal and team success leads to a realization that “it was actually worth it.”

The amount of fun one has with the Patriots will vary from person to person. It’s impossible to argue with the success of the team’s approach when it comes to on-field matters, however, and those that prioritize that side of things above all else are likely to share Hightower’s feeling about life in New England.

64 responses to “Dont’a Hightower: We have fun, but it’s not for everyone

  1. People enjoy different things. Isn’t it possible, even likely, that some players have fun with the Patriots and others do not, and neither is a symptom of anything other than a diversity of personalities? It’s a reach to consider it some sort of Patriot Way Dysfunction, I believe, and I’m an Eagles fan. It’s not right or wrong; it’s just it’s own thing and some guys like it and others don’t.

  2. Enough of the “fun” stuff already. Are you telling me thirty one other teams are having “fun”. What does that mean??? They having fun in Cleveland??? Indy??? Buffalo?? Jets having fun? This is the most idiotic subject floating around the NFL media circles right now. God I hate the off season.

  3. Even the great dynasties come to a close eventually … despite the protestations of their ignorant fanboys.

  4. What does “having fun” actually mean?

    With the absolute lack of parity in the league, maybe everyone else is having a little too much fun.

  5. Some players find it more fun talking trash to the media about others than they have fun winning.

  6. Hard work is not always fun, and my job is a lot less grueling than NFL football. But if you want what you’ve never had, whether it’s making a lot more money or winning a Super Bowl title, you have to outwork your opponents. That’s how you get ahead, and it’s not always going to be fun. It should be gratifying though once you get there. Just ask the Patriots who have all those rings. Eagles too 🙂

  7. Players that don’t like their Patriot experience are the ones that can’t take tough coaching, get eaten up by the pressure, blame others for failures and expect things are supposed to be given to them.

  8. Its weird how this fun vs not fun debate has been framed as:
    1 team, the Patriots, half the team hates being there, its no fun and an awful place to be
    31 other teams where everyone is just having the time of their life, so much fun, perfection

    Really, can people be so gullible as to act like on “fun” teams there are no players or staff who are like, Ok guys, we have to take football a little serious and do our jobs?

  9. scmems07 says:
    May 31, 2018 at 2:58 pm
    Yup, you know what else is not for everyone….cheating

    Neither is crying on the internet

  10. redlikethepig says:
    May 31, 2018 at 2:50 pm
    Even the great dynasties come to a close eventually … despite the protestations of their ignorant fanboys

    #wishfulthinking

  11. I can’t comment from a players perspective, but I will say being a fan of the Patriots has been a lot of fun over the past 20 years.. what some random player from another team has to say can’t take that away.

  12. Any truth to the rumors the competition committee is voting to replace the scoreboards in stadiums with a fun-o meter and the team that has the most fun wins each game?

  13. Some people enjoy phoning it in and collecting a huge paycheck. Hightower basically says that those kind of people are not really cut out to play for Bellichick’s Patriots. That makes a lot of sense.

  14. Putting in the hard work isn’t always fun, but enjoying the fruits of labor is always fun! The Pats don’t seem to be upset when thier hoisting the Lombardi Trophy….

  15. I remember these same media outlets going after Belichick for being too loose and smiling too much and ditching his hoodie during the lead up to the SB loss to the Giants in 2012. In other words, the Patriots don’t win the SB every year because they have no fun, and also too much fun.

  16. It’s not fun for everybody because some people have a conscience and don’t like to cheat. For those with no scruples, I guess playing with the Patriots is a blast.

  17. It takes a lot of work to be good in the NFL. Putting in the work, which isn’t fun, pays off with winning – which is .

    This isn’t a Patriots thing. Same thing applies to every team. Some are more willing to put in the work than others – and that includes Patriots players.

  18. Hey Hightower i hope you had a BLAST IN THE Super Bowl ! I know i did watching it and i can’t stomach Philly.

  19. Watch the Amazon Prime series on the Cowboys, All or Nothing. You will instantly get an appreciation for the fact that the NFL and the Cowboys are 100% business, and business is winning football games. You typically don’t think of business when you hear the word ‘game’, but make no mistake, NFL Football is big business, and players are asked to put their bodies on the line in the apex of danger without resistance every waking moment they’re employed by the team.

  20. Finally, a voice of reason on this subject. You get out what you put in. Reap what you sow. Nothing worth doing is fun 100%. Like Judge Judy says, If you don’t like it, MOVE. Simply cant argue the Pats record.

  21. redlikethepig says:
    May 31, 2018 at 2:50 pm
    Even the great dynasties come to a close eventually … despite the protestations of their ignorant fanboys.

    —————-

    Sure… but you never know when!

  22. @allsyntax

    Got the first part about Dallas right they are 100% all business but you lost me on the second part when you mentioned winning games

  23. Of course it no fun running the hills at the practice fields in December but that conditioning showed in the 4th quarter vs the falcons when the falcons were gassed and the patriots continued to stroll down the field.

  24. If it came down to snapping people in the butt with towels or winning games, I would choose winning games. Winning is fun.
    PS, I hate the Patriots and wish this was a problem, but it’s not.

  25. This fan of the World Champion Philadelphia Eagles wishes this topic would just go away. Lane needs to focus on continuing to be the best offensive tackle in football.
    The Patriots should continue to be the Patriots, the Eagles should focus on the challenge of repeating, and ElmerBrown should make an effort to get out of the basement and interact with other humans.
    That is all.

  26. steelcurtainn says:
    May 31, 2018 at 3:34 pm
    No you don’t…Dont try and cover it up after the beans were spilled. Hightower fits right in with the liars and cheaters
    ——————

    But Hightower never stuck his leg & tripped anyone. Nor did he violate the salary cap or have bigger forehead growth than Barry Bonds. So Hightower wouldn’t fit it with the Steelers or Bronco. Fixed it for you, you’re welcome

  27. No you don’t…Dont try and cover it up after the beans were spilled. Hightower fits right in with the liars and cheaters.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

    The beans were spilled? By who, two Eagles players that have never played for the Pats and a guy who was here for 9 games and ended up getting cut?

    Could be worse, I guess. Players could go play for the “fun” Steelers. Seems like a blast to get embarrassed by the Pats year in and year out.

  28. The Truth says:
    May 31, 2018 at 3:31 pm
    Hey Hightower i hope you had a BLAST IN THE Super Bowl !
    ————————————————————

    1. Why are you celebrating that Hightower was injured and unavailable to play in last year’s Super Bowl?

    2. You are obviously envious of the Patriots, and you apparently cannot stomach Philly, which tells us that your team was in Florida golfing during the Super Bowl. I can tell you from experience that watching your favorite team lose in the Super Bowl stinks, but it is still more fun than never seeing your favorite team play in the Super Bowl.

  29. You know who’s having a lot of fun right now? Ben and Antonio who, after making a one day “token” appearance at OTA’s, decided to hit the road to count their millions while the remaining schleps and their mouth breathing fans remained the blissful idiots that they are as they are now left with the prospect of having to not only beat their kryptonite Patriots, but also the Jaguars. Too much fun.

  30. Winning is fun, and losing isn’t. Who had more fun last yera the Pats or the Eagles. Pretty obvious right. When the wheels come off the Pats wagon their so called fun will become a house of torture.

  31. scmems07 says:
    May 31, 2018 at 2:58 pm
    Yup, you know what else is not for everyone….cheating.

    ————————

    I agree.

    Fire Goodell and blow it wide open, charging some owners with collusion, theft and defamation of Bob Kraft, Belichick and Brady.

    Get rid of the people responsible for the cheating and baggage tied to such childish drama and watch the ratings soar.

  32. I have to agree, this is one of the most STUPID topics of the off season…..

  33. I’m a backyard sugarmaker (maple syrup) in NH. It is a hobby that takes a LOT of work. I make about 6 to 7 gallons a year, I don’t sell any but give most it to family and friends. I don’t have any fancy equipment, I do it the old fashoined way, and I need lots of wood to fuel my ‘evaporator’. I’ve been in snow up to my waist tapping trees, collecting sap in the rain, sometimes boiling from 7am to 3am the next morning straight through. If you don’t boil the sap it spoils, so it just has to get done. I’m always glad when the season is over because along with a regular job, a family and other household duties, I just need a break.

    But when someone tells me I gave them the best syrup they have ever had, that is the best payback I can receive.

  34. sloppychimps says:
    May 31, 2018 at 3:47 pm
    Sweet baby Jesus, WHY IS THIS EVEN A STORY??? Who cares!!

    ——————-

    Welcome.

    Do we really need to tell you that negatively-tinged articles like this, even things completely made up, are a clickbait bonanza for the “newsprint” media?

    Once ESPN lied about Spygate in 2007, the entire industry saw the analytics with what happens when they lie or sensationalize anything negative to feed the jealous and mentally deranged trolls.

    This is why it still goes on to this day.

  35. The Patriots will hereby lose a first round draft pick until it becomes a fun place to play.

    Some of these loser players should read the Jerry Kramer book. When talking about Lombardi at one point he said, “Lombardi treated all his players alike, like dogs.”

    I’m sure it’s more fun to play at Harvard than it is at Alabama under Saban. Winning one game in Cleveland over two years must have been a blast. It’s called hard work and sacrifice for the betterment of yourself and the team. If it’s too much for you then by all means sign somewhere else. In the meantime, grow a pair. And I’m not a Pat’s fan either. Wasn’t Johnson the one suspended for 10 games too? I’m not sure. He should keep his mouth shut and be happy he’s still on a team that kept him despite of that if he was.

  36. redlikethepig says:
    May 31, 2018 at 2:50 pm
    Even the great dynasties come to a close eventually … despite the protestations of their ignorant fanboys.

    —————————
    Even the fanboys understand this. In fact even their most optimistic fanboys thought the dynasty would be over years ago.

    But its not.

  37. Not a new England fan but the players who are concerned by that should probably reevaluate their lives. They’re set backs to playing football but that’s what you signed up. You have an opportunity to put your family and yourself in an amazing position, just show up and do your job.

  38. Welcome.

    Do we really need to tell you that negatively-tinged articles like this, even things completely made up, are a clickbait bonanza for the “newsprint” media?

    Once ESPN lied about Spygate in 2007, the entire industry saw the analytics with what happens when they lie or sensationalize anything negative to feed the jealous and mentally deranged trolls.

    This is why it still goes on to this day.
    ____________________________________________________

    Yes, thank you. I understand how the media works in this day and age. PFT has literally squeezed all of the blood out of the Kaepernick rock for over a year now. However, I’m absolutely befuddled that something as childish and absurd as an athlete saying another organization “isn’t fun” is making repeated rounds through the sports world as “major news”.

  39. RussianBreadMaker says:
    May 31, 2018 at 2:45 pm
    As a Skins fan, I dream of the day when my favorite franchise is criticized for not having enough fun.

    ———–

    Right!? I’m sure a lot of Browns, Raiders, Colts, etc. fans feel the same way.

    That being said, as a Pats fan I’m both in favor of this approach and also think Brady has earned the right to flip it off during the voluntary. We all know he and Gronk are there 100% when it counts.

  40. redlikethepig says:
    May 31, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Even the great dynasties come to a close eventually … despite the protestations of their ignorant fanboys.
    ————————-

    Yeah, but Seattle was actually more of a flash in the pan than a dynasty. Time will tell which one the Eagles are. My money is on flash in the pan.

  41. mantastic54 says:
    May 31, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Any truth to the rumors the competition committee is voting to replace the scoreboards in stadiums with a fun-o meter and the team that has the most fun wins each game?
    —————————————-

    my man! got a good laugh from this one

  42. I’m glad to be hearing from the defense on this. In the past, the tone setters onthis team were on defense. Bruschi, McGinest, Vrabel, Harrison, Seymour, Law etc. They were also bigger players in the teams success. As Brady became more accomplished, the offense became bigger contributors, but they don’t have the same kind of players on offense. Brady is a fierce competitor and leader on the team, but not really a spkesperson over all. Most offensive players don’t carry that sway for some reason. It seems to need to come from the defenders. So again, I’m glad to hear the defense speaking up. They may not be the early 2000’s Patriots defense, but they can be pretty good when healthy, and as the young ones mature, perhaps we’ll see more of this. It may be hard for them to be so outspoken with the shadow Brady casts across the team, but somebody has to do it…

  43. redlikethepig says:
    May 31, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Even the great dynasties come to a close eventually … despite the protestations of their ignorant fanboys.
    _________________________________________________

    Sooner or later everything ends. This dynasty hasn’t done it yet despite the lamentations of their ignorant detractors.
    Don’t forget to have Mom check your closet for the Evil Hoodie tonight

  44. Lane is s super bowl champion he can talk until you win one sit down and shut up..

  45. You have an opportunity to put your family and yourself in an amazing position

    Very true, but human nature is that it’s never quite good enough. It requires a lot of discipline to get past that.

  46. Cassius marsh”I didn’t have fun,they wouldn’t let me rush the QB”..6 career sacks..so you’re saying you had fun 6 times in your career….chased alot of parked cars didn’t you?Bet you had alot of fun when you caught one..victory dance and everything.

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