There’s no escaping the Patriots. They’re sports’ most inevitable team.
So it’s not exactly surprising that football fans are tired of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady winning so much.
In SB Nation’s FanPulse poll of 1,970 fans this week, 69.4 percent said the Patriots were the team they most wanted to see lose this weekend. No other team got even 12 percent of the vote.
- Patriots: 69.44 percent
- Saints: 11.88 percent
- Chiefs: 9.9 percent
- Rams: 8.78 percent
When asked what Super Bowl 53 matchup they’d like to see, 41.9 percent said the Chiefs and Saints, and 41.2 percent said the Chiefs and Rams. That left only 12.34 percent who wanted to see the Patriots vs. Saints, and 4.6 percent hoping for the Patriots vs. Rams.
The Patriots have been the bad guys for a while
Based on geotagged tweets in 2018, the Patriots were the NFL’s most hated team in 13 states. The Jets were the most hated in the six New England states, and no other NFL team was the most hated in any more than four. Public Policy Polling says the Patriots have been the most hated in the NFL for years now.
Winning will do that.
But it’s not too hard on the Patriots and their fans to be the evil empire everyone roots against. It’s easy when you get parades and a fresh set of championship rings on a seemingly annual basis.
“In a way, it was a compliment,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said after his team was booed at the Grammys last year, via USA Today. “I’d rather be on the receiving end than feeling it, you know? Remember, for 34 years I used to sit in the stands and it was a different experience.
“If we weren’t in the position we’re in, I would feel it toward whoever’s on top.”
So yeah, the Patriots aren’t crying themselves to sleep because you don’t like them.
The hate can be more fuel for the Patriots’ ‘disrespect’ fire
Maybe the most obnoxious part of the Patriots’ 41-28 blowout of the Chargers came immediately after the game when Tom Brady talked to CBS’ Tracy Wolfson.
Apparently Brady — winner of the most games and Super Bowls of any quarterback in NFL history — thinks that the world believes the Patriots “suck and can’t win any games.” Alright, pal.
The Patriots are underdogs this weekend. They’ll play the Chiefs on the road — something they rarely have to do in the postseason — and they’ll face the likely MVP Patrick Mahomes. So even if they’ve been to three of the last four Super Bowls, they’re eating up the opportunity to be the disrespected team.
The Patriots have a history of doing this. According to NFL Network’s Michael Giardi, this is something that dates back to Rodney Harrison’s time with the team:
“In the early 2000s when Harrison joined the Patriots, the Patriots could be favored by two touchdowns and Rodney would tell us in the media ‘None of you guys picked us, none of you guys believed is us. You guys all thought we were chumps,’” Giardi said. “And I’d be like ‘Rodney I had you guys winning the game, 44-14.’”
The Patriots are embracing the role of Cinderella — one they’ve convinced themselves they deserve. They can also embrace the role of villain if they want — something that is definitely deserved.