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Instead of pretending to be fair and balanced like Fox News, I am instead going to write in the henceforth ‘Pats-person.’ It is similar to first person and third person, except that I will in no way hide my undying allegiance to the most hated team in sports.
It was a mere seven years ago the Patriots were the underdog darling of the entire country. Since then, it’s been quite a journey. Back then they were the team that no one gave a chance to and were a general feel good story (except in St. Louis of course).
After a year off the Patriots were in the Super Bowl yet again, this time against the Carolina Panthers. Suddenly, the word ‘dynasty’ was being thrown around and although the underdog tag could no longer be applied to them, they were still respected by the majority of NFL fans.
The very next year, 2004, the Patriots were yet AGAIN in the Super Bowl. The Philadelphia Eagles were the next victim and around this time people were starting to see the Patriots a bit too much. Almost like ‘Hey, it was cute at first guys, now you’re annoying – cut it out!’
Two years and two gut-wrenching playoff losses later, we arrive at the beginning of the 2007 season. The Patriots had added a plethora of weapons including but not limited to Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Adalius Thomas. Then, during Week 1, the shit hit the fan.
It went by many names, the favorite appearing to be Spy Gate. The Patriots were caught red handed taping the defensive signals against the New York Jets. I’m not going to get into how Eric Mangina is a snitch and all that because it would go nowhere. You either agree with what he did or you don’t. Personally, I think it’s a bit more widespread than everyone made it seem, but oh well. The damage had been done. The ‘Patriot darlings’ were suddenly labeled as cheaters and everything they had accomplished up until then came under question.
Explaining the feelings upon hearing this, as a Patriots fan since childhood would be too difficult. The only thing I can equate it to is if the star player on your team was caught using steroids, but even then it’s like comparing apples and bananas. If you live in an NFL city that was once considered a dynasty, imagine Spy Gate happening to them right at the peak of their greatness. It sucks, let me tell you.
It didn’t necessarily suck because I believed it was such a horrible thing to do. Again, I think that every single NFL team in the league does what they need to do to gain a competitive advantage. It sucked because the New England Patriots had become the New York Yankees/Dallas Cowboys/Place a Successful Disliked Team Here, all rolled into one. Pretend that that team killed your dog and you’d have the general consensus of the new look New England Patriots.
However as the Patriots began to tally win after win each week, I began to feel less and less ashamed of what the Patriots had done. After all, they didn’t even get to use the ‘cheating intel’ from Week 1. Every win that they added to their record was legit and I became less and less concerned that I was rooting for the criminal of the NFL.
Now, as we stand on the precipice of NFL history, it just boggles me how in a mere seven years the Patriots went from darling underdogs to hated villains. It’s interesting to say the least. With success comes jealousy and with jealousy comes hatred. I’m sure there will be a lot of articles covering the Giants/Pats Super Bowl in the upcoming days. I’m sure that many of them will spew anti-Patriot content and that’s okay. I don’t really expect non-Patriots fans to side with them and am pretty sure that 45 ½ out of the 50 states (Vermont might be half and half) will be rooting against the Pats in the Super Bowl. I mean, if I wasn’t a Patriots fan, I sure as hell would.
Due to the success of the season it was easy to shrug off attacks by suggesting jealousy or ignorance. But if you thought Boston area sports fans were obnoxious before? Just think of how bad we’re going to be when we get to give it all back to you when we win the Super Bowl in two weeks.