7th Super Bowl appearance since 2001. That is more than all but 3 other NFL franchises in league history.
11 conference championship appearances since 2001. That is more than all but 4 other NFL franchises in league history.
I understand why almost every NFL fan hates the Patriots. Everyone does. You may say it’s because they cheat, but you know deep down it’s not because of that.
Let’s start with SpyGate. Since the infamous taping scandal, the Patriots have compiled the best record in the NFL, rattled off six straight AFC Championship game appearances, and have reached three Super Bowls.
Next is DeflateGate. Now I do not want to get into this dreaded controversy that dragged on for way too long, but let’s look at the facts.
Aaron Rodgers stated in a pre-game interview with CBS broadcast announcers Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, that he likes his footballs inflated over the legal level. Brad Johnson revealed that he bribed the ballboy $7,500 to deflate his footballs under the legal limit, for Super Bowl 37.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were accused earlier in the year by the New York Giants of altering their footballs, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s numbers would support that fact. Even retired NFL punter Josh Miller went on a local Boston radio talk show and talked about how everyone altered their footballs.
So no, you do not hate the Patriots because they cheat. It helps your argument, or soothes your ego that they have been caught red-handed, but that’s not your reason.
You hate them because they win, a lot. And that’s a shame. In sports, greatness should be recognized. Greatness should make NFL fans feel in awe, because you may never witness a dynasty like this.
NFL fans love Joe Montana. NBA fans love Michael Jordan. NHL fans love Wayne Gretzky. The New England Patriots are the modern-era San Francisco 49ers, or the Chicago Bulls, or the Edmonton Oilers of this day and age.
Yet, fans still hate the New England Patriots and Tom Brady, and that is a shame. My father, a Miami Dolphins fan, used to despise the Patriots. He hated Bill Belichick, and his arrogant demeanor. He hated Tom Brady, and his winning ways.
After all of the accomplishments he say the Patriots achieved, he realized something. He was witnessing history. We all are. The Patriots are in the midst of a historic, one of the best, sports dynasties in sports history, not just NFL history.
Fans hate that one of the greatest NFL coaches, was fired after his time with the Cleveland Browns, and that he was available to any team that wanted him. Fans hate that one of the greatest NFL players fell all the way to the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL draft, yet he ended up in New England.
In the salary-cap era, where continued success, especially at a high level, is almost impossible, the New England Patriots have once again become one of the final two teams to have the opportunity to hoist their fifth Lombardi trophy since 2001. Time to appreciate greatness, folks.