Let's be honest, people either love or hate the Patriots. There really isn't any in-between. For the most part, this season has looked like their best since Belichick and Brady came together as the dangerous duo (yes, even over their record-breaking 2007 season). As the Patriots' first playoff game looms near, I thought it might be a nice time to examine seven reasons why people hate New England.
It could be debated that this is was a sign of things to come for New England. On Dec. 12, 1982, the New England Patriots faced off against the Miami Dolphins. Snow poured from the sky, coating the field and making the game almost unplayable. It was so bad that deep into the fourth quarter the game remained scoreless.
That was until-then-head-coach Ron Meyer instructed the snowplow operator to clear a spot directly in front of the goal posts to set up a 33-yard, game-winning kick for John Smith that ended things at 3-0. The following year, the league made the use of snowplows illegal. The plow itself was enshrined in the Hall at Patriots Place and, to this day, Don Shula probably still hates this game.
It might not seem like much, but in truth, teams and fans hate playing on the road, and they especially hate playing in Foxboro. Whether it's the cold, the snow, the wind or the fact that the snowplow is hanging in the Hall at Patriots Place, there's something about Foxboro that forces teams to bring their A-game or go home shamed.
In my opinion, Gillette Stadium would rank in the top three hardest fields to play on. Of course, I have to give a real nod to Qwest field—was there really a tremor detected after Marshawn Lynch scored a touchdown?!
No, it's not the tuck rule..., yet. Opening season 2008. Tom Brady takes the field against Kansas City. Seven-and-half minutes into the game, Brady would see his season come to an end via a low leg hit by Bernard Pollard.
Following the incident, the league decided to amend the 'Roughing the Passer' rule to make it much more protective of quarterbacks. Henceforth it became known as the Tom Brady rule, adding more fuel to the fire that Brady's (now) curly locks were always protected.
On the one hand I agree with the rule—a quarterback is a serious investment, not to mention that he are making a living playing the game—but on the other hand I have to agree with many fans now that the rule has gotten out of control.
Agree or disagree, that's the rule. We've seen it enacted time and time again since that fateful day in New England. In fact what might be missed by most fans (especially Oakland Raider fans!) is the fact that the Patriots had to deal with the tuck rule in Week 2 of that very same season when the Jets were the beneficiaries.
Yes, the Tuck Rule lives on in infamy, not because it was suddenly discovered and enacted that cold day in New England, but rather because it was a playoff game that eliminated the Oakland Raiders from contention.
I have to say that most conversations about Spygate have a lot more to do with the dislike of the Patriots rather than any moral standing on ethics in sports. I'm not going to go into the details of the case—suffice to say that New England has, in the last decade, been able to make the whole event more of a blip on the screen rather than the tidal wave it so seemed to be when it came out in 2007.
Why do I say that? Simple. Because before they were caught with videotaping equipment in the wrong spot in opposing stadiums, their winning percentage was .690. Years after the whole scandal, it stood at .766.
If there's one thing we can agree on, numbers don't lie. Like so many other stories on the sidelines, it's now safe to say the media blew it out of proportion.
You either love him or hate him. You're either on the side of the 'In Belichick We Trust' crew, or you're quick to call him Beli-cheat. Either way, it's hard to argue that he isn't one of the greatest coaches in NFL history.
"The Ice Man," as I like to call him, hasn't been a favorite with the media either. At the beginning of this season, pros, commentators and fans alike stated that this season was a rebuilding year for New England. There were even rumors that the team was beginning to turn against Bill.
In fact Belichick showed that not only could he rebuild a team in motion, he could rebuild a team in motion and make them the No. 1 best team in the NFL regular season with their sights dead set on Dallas.
As if you thought it would be anything else. People love to hate the person at the top. Whether it's with stars, politicians or their buddy who just ranked the highest score on Big Buck Hunter, people love to watch a star burn out and tumble down to their level. On that same note, that's why people love an underdog.
Tom Brady is at the top of his game: he's currently the forerunner for MVP; he's thrown for 3,900 yards this season with only four picks; he's got a laundry list of accomplishments; and the Patriots are looking to make their way to Dallas with him at the helm (oh and let's not forget his golden locks or mega sexy supermodel wife). Seriously, what is there to love about Tom Brady? Well, have you ever seen him throw a football?