The New England Patriots have a problem and it’s a fanbase that is still dwelling on past glory and decade old Super Bowl titles while condescendingly dismissing any argument that challenges their success. Does it matter that the Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since 2004? Apparently not to some fans, who ignore this inconvenient fact and shrug it off with “oh well” indignation.
They’ll argue the Patriots have Tom Brady, have won more games than any other franchise since 2001 and Bill Belichick and Brady are the winningest head coach and QB tandem in NFL history with three, possibly tainted, Super Bowl rings. Then, they’ll nonchalantly label you a “fake fan.”
While it is easy to dismiss the “what have you done for me lately” argument, it’s also imprudent, because what have the Patriots done since 2004 that supposedly has other fanbases drooling when they have as many Super Bowl victories as the Oakland Raiders.
The answer is not much. Are other fanbases envious of a 9-7 playoff record and a Super Bowl record of 0-2, where they lost to Eli Manning twice? The same Manning who is consistently inconsistent and tosses interceptions like candy on Halloween?
Are those fans jealous that the defensive “genius” Belichick couldn’t stop Manning from scoring game winning drives, twice? Don’t believe those who try to convince you the New York Giants won because of ridiculous lucky catches, because in both games, the Giants drove more than 80 yards to score touchdowns. That doesn’t happen because of one lucky catch. Of course, if the Patriots were a defense capable of rushing the passer, there would have been no lucky catches.
Maybe other fanbases want the 16-0 regular season record, only to be embarrassed in the Super Bowl, because surely, nothing negates perfection quite like imperfection. Perhaps, all those other fanbases would love to be annihilated in the playoffs like the Patriots were in 2009, losing to the Baltimore Ravens 33-14; or when they were 14-2 and were beaten at home against their bitter rivals, the New York Jets, 28-21. I mean, what other fanbase wouldn’t love to get defeated by a rival, at home, in the playoffs? I wonder what fanbase would line up first for that honor?
Then the Ravens did it again in 2011, beating the Patriots 28-13 and went on to win the Super Bowl. Which team do you think most fanbases would prefer being in that scenario? If you said the Patriots, you’re wrong.
None of this really matters to Patriots fans who still believe their team is the best in the NFL, despite all indications to the contrary. The last time the Patriots won anything of consequence, George W. Bush was President. Since then, the Patriots have turned into the 1990’s Atlanta Braves of football. Sure they won a lot of games, won division titles and made the playoffs, but do you honestly believe any baseball fan would rather have that than the World Series titles of the New York Yankees?
That’s blatantly absurd. I’m sure Cleveland Browns fans would much rather have the one Super Bowl title of the Green Bay Packers over the last decade, than the three straight trips to the AFC Championship game, only to come away without a trophy.
In truth, the Patriots haven’t done anything lately, except underachieve. They should have at least five Super Bowl titles, maybe even six or seven, if not for a certain defensive “genius’” defenses getting mutilated time and time again. Well, that and a front office that thinks Brady can turn water into wine by supplying him with wide receivers that belong in the Arena League. Failure is the Patriots’ legacy over the last decade and what fanbase would want to emulate that?
Have the Patriots had success? Yes, it was just a long time ago, back when I was a single college student. I’m now a married man with a baby on the way and I for one am done living in the past. I’m done giving credit to a team that has turned into the Peyton Manning led Indianapolis Colts, a great regular season team that folds faster than a greased lawn chair in the postseason.
If you want to celebrate being average, because that’s what winning zero Super Bowls since 2004 is, by all means go ahead, but I doubt other fanbases are clamoring for disappointment, early playoff exits and gut-punching Super Bowl losses.