Prior to meeting Jimmy Derochea & Dave Jacqueson – in early January – I was contacted by a few members of a Patriots fan group called PatsFan4Life, asking me if I could create a new group to actively fight against the NFL. Though at that time, having just left another ‘Defend the Wall’ type group, I had no real interest of getting involved in all that mess, mostly due to members not really taking direction or the fact that as the leader, you have to adhere to thousands of different personality types. However, after some begging by others, I eventually created a group called “Protectors of the Shield” and started up the group page. Except those who had asked me to create a group, then got upset that I did so without talking to them first…so the page was just left bare with only me as a member.
Shortly after, I found Jimmy in the previous group I had led and reached out to him and the two of us became friends reasonably quickly. The two of us connected to Dave Jacqueson in PatsFan4Life, and started brainstorming, trying to help push out the petition that came alongside Jimmy’s Consumer Complaint against the NFL. Since I still had that member-less group, “Protectors of the Shield”, I thought that’d be the perfect place for us to start our campaign. And, so the three of us took the group, renamed it to “Defenders of the Wall” and started working behind the scenes to build a foundation for DOTW.
Jimmy and I were already acquainted with (then) WEEI’s Jerry Thornton and Sports Illustrated’s, Michael McCann, and Dave had a huge following on Facebook being connected to other Patriots groups, and beyond that, we would come to connect with both Charissa Connolly and former administrator, Sheila Dingus. Dave brought in the members, Jimmy had the action, Charissa had the passion and Nate had the vision. And, on March 6, 2016, The Defenders of the Wall were born.
Since then, we have all given countless time, heart and effort into this group and into our goals within it. We have faced hard times, we’ve butted heads, we’ve lost admins, we’ve been attacked by other groups, we’ve been ridiculed by fellow fans and haters alike, we’ve gone toe to toe with those who wish to see us fall and fail…And, still nothing has been able to tear us apart or down completely.
As Ernest Hemingway said, “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”
Personally, as the Co-Chairman and Director of Operations of DOTW, the one thing that I admired most about Jimmy D, was how his petition for the draft picks had a legal standing. One of the things I didn’t like about the previous group I led was the alarming rate of hypocrisy within the group, and the constant whining on social media. It’s kinda like with “awareness” marches in the real world, and again I don’t want to get political, but I’ve never really been a supporter of protesting, even when they’re protesting for something I personally believe in. And, not to be religious either, but even a Christian, I don’t like it when people simply send their prayers and nothing else, especially in times when help isn’t an above and beyond task to give. In some cases, I truly believe that these people mean good intention, but at the same time, if you want change, you have to actively fight to achieve it. How many marches before we find a way to change it? How many protests before the systems change?! How many tweets before Roger Goodell decides to give a shit?! For example within our own group, when I posted for Josie Bell, a 4 month old battling unknown diseases, countless people said “Prayers!” and then when I asked the same group of people to post a picture in support of her, I got 7 replies. Not to make this religious and I’m by no way preaching, but as a Christian, if you have the ability to help someone and don’t, then your prayers are meaningless. YOU could be the one who plays as a messenger from God, and delivers the favors asked in the prayers you give. In the world beyond the walls of DOTW, it’s not so much that evil, greed, wrath and corruption exist that bothers me…what bothers me is that they’re outnumbered by good people who don’t and refuse to do anything to stop it from continuing. Same with DOTW, same with Patriots of Virtue, same with our own lives…If you have the power, the ability and the wherewithal to DO something, no matter how big or small, THEN DO IT or shut up about it. I was taught my entire life, that when you say something, say it with conviction or don’t say it at all. Don’t just sit there, twiddling your thumbs and expressing your opinion…I’m not saying this in a way that revokes your freedom to do so, I’m saying this to empower and inspire you to turn your words into action. Now, while some members aren’t active, I’ve always said that I’d rather have 50 fierce, loyal and driven soldiers to my army over 15,000 half-assed weekend warriors, and DOTW has PROVEN in the last year that you don’t need large numbers to get things done or to make some noise.
I know that my leadership tactics tend to be aggressive and I don’t sugar coat really anything…however, I believe in what we’re doing, I believe in what can be done, and when it’s as simple as it is, and nothing is being done, it frustrates and angers me…I’m not here for self gain or glory, I’m here for people beyond myself…I’m not gonna be rewarded, I’m not going to be remembered for it, and I’m not being paid for it. And, if you love this team as much as you say you do, taking into consideration the great pride they’ve given you, why won’t you rise up for them? It’s angering because YOU could be so much more and do so much more but choose not to, for whatever reason. That being said, I will never apologize for my passion for fairness, for integrity or for the Patriots, and while I am more than open to hearing new ideas and brainstorming new plans of action, I strongly believe in my own leadership abilities, and I will continue to push hard for DOTW’s goals and aspirations.
My hope in the next year is that DOTW can become an even more action-based organization, with an even longer resume of completed actions, whether big or small, whether for the Patriots, whether for any other team, or whether for the causes that go above and beyond ourselves.
Speech without action is defined as hypocrisy…Hypocrisy loses credibility…No credibility means no strength…No strength means no victory…No victory means we lose and they win. And, that’s just not in the cards for the future of this organization.
That being said, I am very proud of those who have actively fought with us, no matter how big or small, and to the Elite Defenders for displaying the very attitude and passion spoken of above, and I hope that we alongside them continue to inspire, empower and encourage others to rise up, stand up, walk tall and defend the wall!
DOTW Co-Chairman, Nate “Kyng” Borges