Why you shouldn’t hate the Patriots


Grace Tramack, Features Editor

Lots of people were disappointed with Super Bowl LIII. They were angry that it was the most boring game in Super Bowl history, that the halftime show was no good and, most importantly, that the Patriots won. Sure, maybe it was not the greatest game of football to watch and Travis Scott teased us with just five seconds of “Sweet Victory,” but the Patriots do not deserve the relentless animosity directed at them from viewers across the country, and especially in the Bay Area.

Simply looking at the numbers, there is no doubt that the Patriots have been a team deserving of respect within the past 19 years. Since head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady joined in 2000, the team has been to no less than nine Super Bowls and just tied the Pittsburgh Steelers for the greatest number of Super Bowl titles in history. This past year was their third consecutive Super Bowl, eighth consecutive AFC Championship and seventeenth consecutive year without a losing season. Belichick is the most decorated coach in the history of the National Football League (NFL). Numbers don’t lie—the Patriots are one of the best teams in the NFL.

Better than the statistics, though, are the players that make the team great. There’s the obvious few: Tom Brady, who has more Super Bowl rings than fingers; Rob Gronkowski, the team’s star tight end; Julian Edelman, this year’s MVP; Stephen Gostkowski, the most accurate kicker in Patriots history and many more. Arguably the most ironic part of Bay Area hatred for the Patriots is that two of these four players, Brady and Edelman, are from San Mateo area.

The greatness of the team is above the individual players, though. Brady was drafted in the sixth round and Edelman in the seventh in their respective years. No one expected anything great from them—except their teammates. The obvious success of the Patriots stems from the strength of the bonds between their players, and that’s how football teams should be. They’re fun to watch, and they are always communicating and celebrating victories with each other on the field. They also display good sportsmanship—after winning the Super Bowl and being bombarded with reporters, Brady pushed his way through the crowd for the sole purpose of congratulating Rams quarterback Jared Goff. Patriots players inspire younger generations to rise above expectations and make a name for themselves, but also to be great team players.

On paper, the Patriots are an amazing team and when you watch them, their behavior is not unlike any other team in the NFL, which is why it confuses me when people waste their energy hating them. Some of my theories are that they’re refusing to accept that Deflategate was not Brady’s fault, that they’re jealous of their success and that they’re just plain sick of them being in the Super Bowl. But I’ll ask you this, Bay Area fans: the Warriors are the same way in basketball, so where do you draw the line?

Admittedly, New England fans are known to be a bit loud and obnoxious when cheering for their teams, but that’s exactly how we like it. We’re proud of our teams and we’re not afraid to show it. My generation of New England fans has lived to see 12 parades down the streets of Boston for our football, baseball, basketball and hockey teams. If your teams won that many times, you would be proud too. We won’t be seen badmouthing other teams, though. We were taught that if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

For me, though, rooting for the Patriots is about more than winning all the time. I consider myself a true New Englander, and am currently living on the opposite coast, so following my favorite teams makes me feel more connected to home. Some of my favorite memories from New Hampshire are when my dad used to make soup on Sundays during fall, and we would sit down together to watch the Patriots game as a family. Now that we are in California we do that as often as possible, but it’s hard to get in the same spirit when you know everyone else in your area is against you. The victories help make it sweeter, though, and gives me a real sense of pride for my favorite place.

So when you see a Patriots fan, congratulate them on yet another Superbowl win, but if you really cannot find it within your heart, be respectful and don’t say anything at all, but just don’t get defensive and insult our team. And, since the 49ers are not showing much promise these days, join us in our victory. After all, it is always a great time to be a New England fan.