The Patriot Way: Mendoza Family Supports Patriots During Super Bowl Spirit Week

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Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.

McPherson is predominately Chiefs country and what way to prepare for Super Bowl LIV than have a Super Bowl Spirit Week for all the Chiefs fans in the area.  Not in the Mendoza household.

The Mendoza family is in the minority as New England Patriots fans in McPherson. To show their loyalty, during the spirit week, where children in the McPherson school district dressed up in their Kansas City Chiefs attire,  the Mendoza children were in Patriot colors. From head to toe, Ashley Mendoza’s three children, Ava, Maverick and Major, wore their Patriot gears each day. All eyes were on the little trio.

“I saw the Super Bowl Spirit Week picture floating around on Facebook,” Ashley said. “And before the kids were in school, I was like, this could be interesting to see how the kids handled it.”

Their classmates are Team Mahomes, but the Mendozas are Team Brady. They will jokingly get teased by their fellow classmates but their New England Pride remains strong.

“Of course, they gave them trouble but people know they love the Patriots,” Ashley said. “They pretty much had a running dialogue with a few other kids, especially my daughter’s class, where they go back and forth between the Chiefs and Patriots.”

The New England fandom began with Ashley’s husband of 10 years, Miguel, who has been a diehard Patriot fan all his life. His favorite player was Drew Bledsoe, a former quarterback for the Patriots for eight seasons (1993-2001). By the time Miguel and Ashley had their three children, they became a Patriot family after moving to McPherson. It didn’t take too much convincing for Ashley to join her husband, and it would be passed on to their kids once they were introduced to the six-time Super Bowl-winning franchise.

“When he and I got married, I was like ‘of course I can be a Patriots fan. I support you and you support me,'” Ashley said. “And then our kids, it was just a birthright to be a Patriots fan.”

As Miguel has his love for Bledsoe, Ava has the same affection for Tom Brady. According to Ashley, no one is a bigger Brady fan than their nine-year-old daughter.

“She is a self-proclaim Tom Brady fan,” Ashley said. “She is obsessed. She has a Tom Brady shirt and wants a Tom Brady fathead. All she would ask for is Tom Brady stuff.”

The family went to two Patriots games together whenever New England is in town to face the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium. One of their visits happened to be during the AFC Championship last season, where the Patriots beat the Chiefs and ended up winning Super Bowl LIII later on that year. With the record of 1-1 whenever they are in Arrowhead, Ashley considers themselves as good-luck charms because no matter what the result turns into, the Patriots ended up in the Super Bowl.

Ashley hopes that one day the family will get the chance to attend New England’s home game at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. For now, they are looking ahead to next year. The good news for the family is that New England will be back in Arrowhead Stadium during the 2020 season. The bad news is that they might not see Brady in a Patriot uniform as he is a free agent after this season.  The family doesn’t bother bringing up the subject. 

“It’s just so weird to even think about him as anything but a Patriot,” Ashley said. “We’re just going to not speak it out to the world. We’re just going assume that he’s going to be a Patriot until he retires.”

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