I’ve recently said that I hate the New England Patriots. It’s true, I do. I hate the staff, the players (except Seau), the fans, and their fucking Superbowl victories. But why do I hate the New England Patriots? A lot of people have hated them this year, because they were set to go 19-0, and under dubious circumstances to say the least. But my hate for the Patriots is not “bandwagon hate” as you might say. No, my abominating of them stretches back to the year 2001.
In 2001, the Patriots were trying to improve upon the 2000 season, which saw them go 5-11 under Bill Belichick. That was Belichick’s first year with the Patriots, though he had been a head coach before, in Cleveland from 1991 to 1995. I didn’t know all of that back in 2001, but I did know that the Patriots sucked, and they had a head coach who had gone 41-55 thus far (just below 43% winning percentage).
Quarterback Drew Bledsoe was in obvious decline, having thrown 36 TD passes compared to 34 interceptions in the past two years, and failed to have a QB rating over 80 in the same time frame. Neither of those years did the Patriots have a winning record. But it wasn’t like Bledsoe was some God-awful quarterback that completely sucked and was solely responsible for his teams losses. Although Bledsoe played at a mediocre standard, so did the rest of his team. Bledsoe alone could not be the reason his team had sucked so thoroughly.
So the Patriots come into 2001 and lose their first two games. In their second game, a 10-3 loss to the New York Jets, Jets linebacker Mo Williams delivered a vicious but legal hit on Drew Bledsoe, injuring him for multiple games. Enter second year quarterback Tom Brady, who nobody had ever heard of outside of Big Ten fans.
Brady apparently “turned the team around,” but after ten games the Patriots were still only 5-5. Granted they had just reach their past year’s win total with six games left to play, but they were in no position to win the Superbowl. Tom Brady or not, this was still a team that went 5-11 last year with an 8 year veteran quarterback who had been to a Superbowl. Now it’s a team with a second year quarterback who had only thrown three career passes coming into the season.
But Brady was loved by all (except me). As his hype grew, I hated him more. He didn’t seem to actually be that good. He was decent, he was better than average, but he was not fucking spectacular, as everyone would have you believe. But somehow, they finished the regular season on a six game winning streak. Motherfuckers.
That winning streak included three games that the Patriots won by a combined total of 11 points. They beat the Jets by one (17-16), the Bills by three (12-9), and the Dolphins by seven (20-13). If the Patriots had lost any of those games, or even their overtime game against the Chargers in week five (a 29-26 victory), the Patriots would fall to 10-6, and likely play on the road in the wildcard round. But no, they won, and got a bye-week. Somehow, they fucking won those fucking games, and everybody was licking Tom Brady’s ballsack because of it.
And like I said, he wasn’t some sort of amazing, spectacular phenom. Despite playing in 15 games, Brady barely threw for 2,800 yards. He had only 18 touchdown passes, and 12 interceptions. That’s not terrible, but it’s not what God’s passing numbers would look like, either. Also, Brady fumbled 12 times. He had a respectable QB rating of 86.5. His one remarkable statistic was that he had a nearly 64% completion rate, which is really only “amazing” because he was a second year QB, and a first year starter. But overall, he was nothing great.
“But he was new, and young, and inexperienced,” you might say. Okay, well Kurt Warner came in as, guess what, a second year QB and a first year starter **gasp!** for the St. Louis Rams in 1999. What coincidences! Here’s what isn’t a coincidence: Warner passed for over 4,300 yards, 41 touchdowns (at the time the second highest season total ever), with only one more interception (13) in his first year starting versus Brady’s, despite nearly 90 more passes attempted. He completed over 65% of his passes, and finished the season as the NFL’s highest rated quarterback, with a rating of 109.2. At season’s end, Kurt Warner was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player of the year. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a spectacular, unbelievably successful, phenomenal, jaw-dropping debut year for a quarterback. Tom Brady was just there, playing football, learning how not to make mistakes. Tom Brady was nothing special, or so it seemed.
The Patriots got a bye week, and were set to play the Oakland Raiders at home in the 2nd round of the playoffs in January, 2002. The Patriots won the game 16-13 in overtime, a game dubbed “The Snowbowl”. In the 4th quarter, the Patriots were trailing 13-10 when a controversial call ruled a Tom Brady fumble to be an incomplete pass with 1:47 remaining. Raiders linebacker Greg Biekert recovered the fumble, but the play was overturned after review. (The next year, the rules were changed because of this play and it would have been ruled a fumble.) The Patriots maintained possession, and with 27 seconds left, Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri made a 45 yard field goal in the blowing wind and heavy snowfall that barely fucking cleared the crossbar. Bastard. The game went to overtime.
In overtime the Patriots converted a 4th down and 4 and Vinatieri eventually kicked a 23 yard game-winning field goal. Fucking cheating bastards. Damn I hated them at this point. Their unwarranted success continued to fill me with rage at their continued unwarranted success; a vicious circle. But the Patriots would have to go play in Pittsburgh, who appeared to be the much stronger team.
Had Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewart not sucked so terribly at football and thrown two interceptions in the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh might have gone on to win the game, but instead lost 24-17. Fucking Patriots. Oh, how convenient that the Patriots are in the Superbowl only a few months after 9-11. There’s a fucking conspiracy theory for you. Fucking A.
That’s okay, though, the Patriots would have to take on m’boy Kurt Warner, fellow Iowan, and “the greatest show on turf” in the St. Louis Rams in Superbowl XXXVI. With 1:30 left in the fourth quarter and the scored tied at 17, the Patriots got the ball back with no time outs left. What happened next completely sickened me. The Patriots drove down the field and were able to drive to the Rams 30 yard line, and Brady spiked the ball with seven seconds left. Adam Vinatieri kicked the game-winning 48 yard field goal “as time expired,” but you can bet your sweet ass there were still two seconds left on that fucking game clock when the ball went through the uprights. Motherfuckers.
Add to my hatred for them a report from the Boston Globe that reportedly said the Patriots video-taped the Rams practicing the day before the Superbowl. True or not, I hate the New England Patriots.
Through the years the Patriots actually got better and seemed to deserve a lot of their wins, but I’ll never give them due credit of any sort. Fuck them. Fuck them all (except Seau).
The Patriots won two more Superbowls, again by only three points, and lost the latest Superbowl (again by three points). What the fuck is with the three points shit? Probably cheating or something. Also, the Patriots would get additions like Corey Dillion or Randy Moss, and that would just piss me off more. And this next year they’re getting the 49ers first round draft pick, the 7th pick. Fuck! Plus, Brady actually became a good quarterback, then a great quarterback, then a holy-shit-he’s-probably-the-best-ever-now-and-I-just-hate-him-more-because-of-it quarterback. Fucking motherfucker.
So, over the years, with every win and every title they’ve won, I’ve hated the Patriots more. Every highlight and every article featuring the Patriots or one of their fucking players or satanic coach Belichick has had me hating the Patriots evermore. And this year, when they went 16-0 and were set to represent the AFC in the Superbowl… Oh God, how I hated those fucking New England Patriots. So even if it had to be the Giants (and that fucking puke, Eli Manning), who beat my beloved Packers (and thus stole their opportunity to beat the Patriots), I’m just glad somebody fucking did it.
And all of that is Why I Hate the New England Patriots (except Seau).