You’re a Patriots fan. We get it. You’re awash in joyous victory. Nothing like a blowout to assert your dominance and remind the NFL that you are the team to beat. But we don’t need your memes of Tom Brady in the “Lord of the Rings” to remind us that he’s really, really good. And that you have a virtual dynasty over the last dozen-plus seasons, guided by the most masterminded genius that has ever donned either a headset or tattered hoodies.
We get it. You’re good.
But we hate you. Well, we hate your franchise; we’re only annoyed by you.
And it’s not just about hating the winners. People hate the Yankees for the winning. People hate the Cowboys for declaring themselves “America’s Team” by a man who makes Richie Rich look like a Dickensian pauper. People hated the Miami Heat because, well, they were like your Patriots. Clearly the best in the sport, yet they insisted on giving you reasons to hate them OUTSIDE of the winning.
So, as a public service to you, I present the 26 top reasons people hate the New England Patriots:
- New England? Really? You’re claiming six states? You couldn’t be satisfied with the run-of-the-mill hatred that would come with the Boston Patriots? I grew up in southwestern Connecticut – technically still New England but very much in the New York market. If you want to speak to some hippie dude who hasn’t showered since 2013 and makes his living as a chainsaw carving artist, go ahead, but do not speak for me.
- Boston. We all associate you with Boston – a city that thinks it created America (and in many ways, it did) yet at the same time has the ugly stepchild complex. The Red Sox, on the verge of World Series contention asked, “Why Not Us?” and created Red Sox Nation in the same breath. Which is it? Big time or underdog. And after they won the Series, they still had the same nobody-likes-us complex, lead by the bearded misfits who run the asylum. Perhaps the most educated city in America – also a reason to hate it. Yet it carries a history/reputation for Irish drunkenness/bias that makes you wonder if any of 99.999 percent white population that cheers Big Papi in Fenway would even make eye contact with him if he were a doorman.
- The horn. The third down horn at Gillette Stadium is possibly the most annoying in the NFL and in contention with things like thundersticks, “Everybody Clap Your Hands,” and any of the racist Native American chants as the most painfully artificial audible tactic in sports.
- The horn, Part II. With about five minutes left in the AFC Championship game, the Colts faced third down, losing by about a million and a half points and the Patriots not only sound that third down horn, but they seemingly turned up the volume. Bush league.
- Showing up the other team. Of course, they probably fired up the horn because Tom Brady waved his hands and a towel to get the crowd into a celebratory frenzy. Because winning by a million and a half points isn’t as douchebaggery as winning by two million points, especially when you can show up your opponent.
- Running up the score. I understand that margin of victory is an actual tiebreaker for playoff positioning, just after “tastiest stadium hot dog,” and I’m not sure it’s ever been used, so the Patriot tactic of going for it on fourth down in a 49-7 game should be widely criticized. I’m a Jets fan, so I’ve seen my share of running up the score. But when you unleash a flurry of points to put the game away, you should just run the damn ball, or that same team will come back to your house and beat you in the playoffs (Oh, I’m sorry, only the Jets have done that in the “B&B era.”)
- TB12. Where is Peyton Manning’s “logo?” Look, we’ll talk about the Peyton-Brady issue in a bit, but the truth is Manning is the epitome of class. He’s not selling gear with his “logo” on it, his commercials are mostly funny, he doesn’t take himself seriously (though he takes the game seriously), and I have no idea what his wife looks like. Why do we need all this off-the-field marketing noise from Pretty Boy? I mean, would Peyton manning ever pose in a dog collar?
- The NFL plays favorites. I’m not a conspiracy theorist by nature, but I’m convinced the NFL makes intentional efforts to assist the Patriots. The day the NFL schedule comes out, I will point out 3-5 advantages the schedule makers give the Pats. When New England has multiple West Coast games, two of them will be in consecutive weeks. A few seasons ago, the Jets, Bills and Patriots each had three-game road trips. Did the Patriots? No. Warm weather teams are always placed in Foxborough in December, and late season Patriots games are about as far from home as a drive to your grandma’s house. Oh, and every tough opponent happens to be a home game for Tommy and his teammates. There are minimal “short weeks” on the Patriots schedule – in fact, Bob Kraft whined about a game getting flexed to a Sunday night because the team played on the following Saturday and they really needed those extra three hours. The NFL complied and probably asked, “Oh, Mr. Kraft, would you like that 4:15 start moved to 1:00 p.m.? How about something in the morning? Does that work for you?” I’m telling you I’m not wrong about this – pay attention moving forward and you’ll see it too.
- The great Peyton-Brady debate. Consistent with the above point, the NFL doesn’t have much say in WHO you play, but the NFL, and the NFL alone, decides WHERE and WHEN you play those games. Thirteen times, the NFL had to choose where to put the Tom Brady/Peyton Manning game, and NINE times out of 13, they put that game in New England. That’s just short of 70 percent of the time. The Patriots won home field in the playoffs twice because they won those home games versus Manning. So when you hear that Brady is clearly the better of the two because he won nine games versus Manning, remember the direct advantage Brady was given months before the game was played. If Manning hosted Tom Brady 70 percent of the time, we might be having a different conversation.
- Peyton-Brady, Part II – In 10 years Tom Brady will be the color man on Fox’s number one team with Kevin Burkhardt. Peyton Manning will be the most ingenious offense coordinator in the game. Manning is immensely smarter and more dedicated than Tom Brady. Brady was gifted with more (that is, some) athletic ability and he’s more demonstrative in his cursing, so we like him better. Peyton Manning is the best football player I’ve ever seen, and it’s not even close.
- Mr. Kraft’s shirts. Every. Week. It’s. The. Same. Shirt. Blue shirt, white collar, straight out of the 80s. We get it. Every Sunday you pull a Brooks Brothers shirt out of your 1980s time capsule. We at least hope it’s a superstition thing, not a fashion thing.
- Mr. Kraft’s teflonnery. Can you imagine if Rex Ryan was caught on tape helping a pretty 32-year-old bikini-clad actress “practice her lines” while spewing the line, “F*** you, p****,” as he horribly fake-punches the bad guy? A year after his wife of 48 years passed away? Well that happened to Robert Kraft and somehow most people have never seen or heard about this? He had been publicly with his “pal” and the whole thing smells of, well, whatever 74-year-old libido smells like.
- Teflonnery part II. In 1999, after negotiating for months to squeeze millions of tax dollars out of the state of Connecticut to move the team to Hartford, Kraft (in a statement and not behind a podium of course) simply backed out making the excuse that a new stadium could not be built fast enough. He, of course, didn’t mention that what couldn’t be built fast enough was a wallet to hold the cash he scared the Commonwealth of Massachusetts into showering on him after he made the Hartford deal. Does anyone even hold him accountable for screwing one of the “New England” states for pure greed? And this is Connecticut, perhaps the least major league team in the country, especially after the Whalers got the hell out of there. That’s why an entire state weeps with so much emotion for its women’s college basketball team. When either version of the UConn Huskies win the title, the minor-league-at-best sports fans of Connecticut act as if they invented the game of basketball while not admitting that the Bridgeport Sound Tigers minor league hockey team is about as bad-ass as it gets in the Constitution State. And another thing, after Kraft screwed the Nutmeg State (yes, we have two nicknames. It makes up for a lack of major league teams) Gov. John Rowland declared himself a New York Jets fan. Which is cool because we Jets fans need all the help we can get, but probably because he declared himself a Jets fan, he was later sent to jail on several felony corruption charges. Yeah, it’s like that.
- Gronk. He’s the dopey offensive-lineman type from high school combined with the dumb drunk frat guy on campus that nobody ever says anything to because his dad is one of the most powerful CEOs on the planet. He just does whatever he wants and people are like “Ah, that’s Gronk (Mongo) being Gronk (Mongo).”
- The Pats are Fantasy Death. I never draft or acquire a Patriots running back, and I need to be deep at WR to consider one of their receivers. Not only don’t you know who will be featured/targeted, you don’t even know who will be active because reading tealeaves is a better strategy than reading the Pats’ injury report, or which offensive lineman will steal your fantasy points because King Bill is just so damn clever.
- Spygate. Cheating is never cool. It’s downright obnoxious when you show no remorse after getting caught.
- Tom Brady was “created” by the Jets. There was no Tom Brady until the Jets’ Mo Lewis took out the dreadful Drew Bledsoe. The Boston Globe declared, “Ready or not, the Tom Brady era begins today” a week later. The truth is likely that Bill recognized Brady’s skill and he’d have taken over soon anyway, but being a Jets fan, it’s somehow comforting to my grief and angst to convince myself that the Jets created Tom Brady.
- The tuck rule. The first obvious Patriots bias on display by the NFL and its employees. They literally created a rule to allow the Pats to win.
- Other “rules.” This season the Patriots beat the Jets twice by a combined three points. The first game was won because the official “warned” a Patriot he couldn’t stand over the center on the Jets game-winning field goal attempt. Late in the fourth quarter in the second game, the Patriots were awarded a first down on a measurement that was clearly short. Rex Ryan’s challenge was defeated somehow despite actual indisputable evidence that the ball was short. Cue home field for the Pats (The NFL said the “warning” play on the field goal attempt was routine, though I’ve still never seen another instance of it.)
- Former Patriots. Have you ever seen a former Patriot pick against the team? Every Sunday night Rodney Harrison displays the special Patriots swagger (i.e., obnoxious cockiness) telling us that nobody measures up to Pretty Boy and King Bill, as he smiles wider than the cat who ate the canary. Tedy Bruschi pretends to be neutral on ESPN and then joins the team on the field after the AFC Championship win. Yes, we get it; you played on all-time great teams. Now talk about one of the other 31 teams for once. We don’t need your insight as to why Belichick is good. We know all that.
- Belichick’s press conferences. We get it; you don’t show any of your cards, nor any bit of enthusiasm. You’re on to Cincinnati, we get it. Could you try to give the football community like an ounce of information? Dealing with the media is part of your job, so in your words “do your job.” Part of the job of being an NFL fan is watching games involving your infuriating team through at least late January, so you owe us at least a sound bite or two.
- The injury report. How the team treats the injury report falls somewhere between deceiving and illegal. Like most Patriots maneuvers, it’s probably technically legal, but designed specifically to piss other people off and have a one percent chance of helping the Patriots winning a game.
- The midgets; rather “The Little People.” Danny Amendola. Danny Woodhead. Wes Welker. There’s always a guy who catches backfield or slot passes and turns them into 50-yard gains like a slimy snake that he is.
- Aaron Hernandez. No not the killing part. But the fact that the Pats could cut a Top 50 player and not even hiccup, knowing his contribution will be re-generated through osmosis or time travel or some other crazy Belichick/Kraft/Brady sci-fi scheme.
- The other logo – The flying Elvis is not only ugly, it’s obnoxious, and it replaced possibly the best logo in the history of sports. Hard to believe it’s been 23 years since good ole “Pat Patriot” was relegated to occasional throw back weekends. But somehow, the slicker logo fits these Patriots better.
- Deflate-gate – This week’s controversy is just the latest in unsportsmanlike/cheating/better-than-the-rest-of-us behavior out of Foxborough. The only silver lining? Now the Patriots know the feeling the rest of the NFL has experienced since Mo Lewis took out Drew Bledsoe – deflated balls.
(Editor’s Note: Tom is a Jets fan originally from Connecticut, so you might say that his Patriot hatred is complicated and multi-faceted. You might say that, but he says he sees the Patriots clearer than anyone. In either case, you can (politely) banter with him on Twitter, @TomMcFeeley)
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