Saturday, February 02, 2008

Hater Nation

Boy, they're trying like hell to derail this express aren't they? The 2007 New England Patriots are on the verge of making sports history, and yet it feels like the whole country is trying to knock them down. Mercury Morris we can understand, but why the widespread hatred? Was it like this when the Dolphins were marching in 1972? Were the ink-stained wretches across the country filled with venom when Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott & Co. were trampling the league? Does Tiger Woods get this type of treatment?

Like it or not, the Patriots, should they win on Sunday, will join a most elite pantheon of sports history. They will be inarguably the greatest single-season football team of all-time, mentioned in the same breath as the 60's Packers, the 70's Steelers, and the 80's 49ers. Tom Brady will join Terry Bradshaw and Montana as the only quarterback to have four rings. History and greatness has always appealed to true sports fans. It's part of the whole experience.

So what's going on here? I know that fans with non-rooting interests tend to root for the underdog. Perfectly understandable. If the Giants can pull this off, they will also make their own history. But think about what the Patriots are doing here. It is positively, absolutely AMAZING, a fact drilled home this week by many people who have played the game. Is it the general disdain for Bill Belichick? Jealousy over the perfect life Tom Brady leads? Is it the ridiculously overblown Spygate issue?

Whatever it is, the animals don't need much red meat to get into a froth. National media outlets and fans across the country are actually buying into the absurd comments by Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Sphincter (above left, and anatomic version at right). Sphincter came out on the Friday before the Super Bowl with the declaration that he wants to speak to Commish Roger Goodell about the Patriots' videotapes, which were destroyed some five months ago. He actually compared the video situation to CIA tactics, which alone should subject him to impeachment. Have we mentioned that Sphincter is a diehard Eagles fan, who regularly calls into the all-sports radio station in Philly? And then there's a story on ESPN this morning about a golf pro in Hawaii who used to be a videographer for the Pats. He may be a smoking gun in Spygate, or so they say, but he doesn't want to talk about it, that is unless Sphincter's committee issues a subpoena. Oh, the story was written in part by Gregg Easterbook, that clown who writes about shit that nobody cares about, and who has had it in for the Patriots all year long. So much for unbiased journalism.

Regardless, the story is all over the place as we approach the most-anticipated football game ever. Just what Patriot Haters want. And you know what? Just what the Patriots want, too. As if they didn't have enough motivation going into the game. They will use Sphincter's asinine comments to their advantage, and if you're into betting on the game, you might want to take the Pats straight.

Yesterday, Mercury Morris and a few of his '72 Dolphins mates posed in front of a huge banner that read: "Perfectville, Population: 1". The population is about to double.

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