Taylor McCloud — Pats Militia
(Disclaimer: It’s a bye week. I woke up sad. I’m writing this so I can think/talk about the Patriots.)
I was watching Alabama/LSU last night and one thing kept bugging me — I know Jalen Hurts is probably going to win a national title or two.
He’s a true freshman now, he’s playing lights out football, and he’s surrounded by the most talented roster in college football. Him winning a couple rings is pretty much guaranteed.
It was with that revelation that I realized something — being a non-Patriots’ fan must really suck.
Seriously, think about it. Other fans are out here rooting for garbage teams. Their players are trash, their front offices are trash, everything’s trash. And they’ve constantly gotta look up at the Pats.
Since 2001, this team has been the best in football. They’ve been to 10 AFC Championship Games (last five in a row), six Super Bowls, and have won four of those.
Sure, other teams have had their shining moments, but they’ve come and gone. For the better part of two decades, the New England Patriots have been the dominant force in the NFL. Their staying power is incredible.
And that must suck for the other guys.
Knowing that Belichick & co. are always there and prepared to take over the league every single year can’t be enjoyable. It’s awesome for us, but it’s gotta be the worst for everyone else.
Obviously I can’t put myself in the shoes of another NFL team’s fan, I’m pretty engrained in my Robert Kraft Air Force Ones, but I can look at other sports for comparison.
The San Antonio Spurs won five NBA championships from 1999-2014 with the same core of players. That’s fifteen years of sustained excellence with the same guys. Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan lead the way, and everyone else followed suit. You could say they’re the Patriots of the NBA.
This one hurts, but the New York Yankees were the same way through the late 90’s. They certainly had their hayday back in the 1920’s as well, but that’s not relevant to me, I’m 18.
Anyways, Joe Torre joined up with the Bronx Bombers in 1996 and the team took off. Won a title that year, in ’96, skipped ’97, and won three in a row from 1998 to 2000. But it’s not like they just fell off. From 2000 to 2009, they racked up three World Series appearances, and grabbed another ring. Again, 10+ consecutive years of dominant success.
I don’t need to tell you about Alabama football. No one needs to be told about Alabama football. If you call yourself a fan of this game, you know about them. From Bear Bryant to Nick Saban, their success is unparalleled.
Let’s look at the Saban era specifically, though.
Since arriving in Tuscaloosa in 2007, Saban’s Crimson Tide has won four National Championships, and if it weren’t for a couple crazy occurrences, (2013 Iron Bowl, 2014 Ohio State becoming a damn juggernaut) they’d probably have a couple more. But even without the extras, no school in the nation can even hold a candle to Alabama. In the nine years since Saban’s hiring, only three schools have made more than one appearance in a championship game, and neither of them have been to more than two. The Tide has been to four and won four. That’s excellence.
Now, besides being great, what’s the common thread between all of these teams?
I hate them.
Seriously, despise all three.
I’m from Massachusetts so the Yankees thing makes sense, but you’d think I like the other two a lot. They’ve had success comparable to the Patriots. They’re built like, and operate like, the team I base my life around. Yet, I can’t stand them.
I said earlier that it was bugging me to know Jalen Hurts would probably win a national title or two, but it more than bugged me. I was pissed. I hate that Alabama is so dominant and have been for so long. I hate that the Spurs are the same way. (And that the Yankees were that way.)
All three organizations (yup, college football is an organization) do things the same way. They build teams, whether through recruiting, the draft or free agency, full of the best talent, but also the best character. Their guys buy in and they win championships because of it. But I hate it.
So I get it. I understand why other fanbases hate the Patriots, and I understand why it would suck to be on the outside looking in. To see this team, year in and year out, operate the way they do and have it work out every single season has to be frustrating as all hell.
Now, does this mean I’m sympathetic toward those other fanbases? Absolutely not. I’m still a dickhead Pats’ fan. This is my team, this is how they do things, and I love it. I just don’t when other people do it. Does that make sense? Probably not. Do I hope I gave you a little insight as to why everyone else hates us and our team alike? Yeah, that’s the point of this blog.