Yes, there is math behind this headline. The New England region makes up roughly five percent of the U.S. population. Clearly, they have Tom Brady’s back, minus a few New York transplants or people too busy sailing to be bothered with this game of “football.” The rest of America? Not so much, a viewpoint that hasn’t been helped by antics ranging from Spygate to a supermodel spouse demanding friends “pray” for Tom Brady to win yet another Super Bowl.
Then the Pats threw Donald Trump in the mix, as various members of the team—OK, various white members of the team since at least one New England player plans on boycotting the White House—hopped on his presidential bandwagon. (Ironically, The Donald may have hopped off the Pats’ bandwagon at a most inopportune moment, apparently leaving his Super Bowl party right before the comeback.)
The point: A lot of people would have been happy to see New England lose, notably people betting on the Falcons to cover the spread.
Now, however, Brady and Belichick have title #5. Here’s why the rest of America should enjoy it as well.
New England fans, many of us may not like your victory, but rest assured we boo Goodell right along with you.
1. If the Pats are in the Super Bowl, it’s gonna be a good game. Brady-Belichick (call them “Brelichick” for convenience) have now played in seven Super Bowls. This game, featuring a historic comeback and overtime, was the biggest margin among those results. You may not like the final outcome every year—even Pats fans have suffered two crushing losses—but you’ll damn sure be paying attention in the fourth quarter.
2. Every “dynasty” should be so lackadaisical. This Jet fan fully acknowledges that the Pats accomplish more in any given two-year period than we have in the entire history of our sad, sad franchise. It’s still fun to remember that in the midst of their “dominance,” New England managed to go about a decade between titles. (Again, as a fan of another team, this is a lot easier to handle than, say, the neighboring Boston Celtics’ run of eight straight championships.)
3. Coach Belichick has evolved into a fully rounded supervillain. Let’s face it, the world needs “bad guys”: Game of Thrones can’t have a Battle of the Bastards if there isn’t a Ramsay Bolton to face off with Jon Snow. Happily, Belichick keeps throwing new wrinkles at us, whether from a fashion standpoint or otherwise. For instance, we now know that he loves finger puppets and is a weirdly good roller skater, particularly when dressed up as a pirate. (Really.)
4. Tom Terrific was genuinely terrific. Even when he’s not being sacked, he’s getting knocked down. His running game’s not doing much. He’s behind by 25 points in the second half. He’s 39, an age when the average quarterback is well into an exciting routine of starting a second career interspersed with regular knee surgeries. Then he shreds the Falcon defense so totally he keeps the Falcon offense off the field, as if he realizes he needs to play D too. Guess there’s something to that whole strawberry-free diet after all.
5. It’s going to be interesting hearing Peyton Manning fans explain how their guy is really the man. Like Brady, Manning won a Super Bowl at 39. And that’s where the similarities end, as Peyton’s second title saw him throw for 141 yards with no touchdowns and a pick in a season when, including playoffs, he threw for 11 touchdowns and 18 interceptions over 12 starts. Of course, Tom Brady doesn’t worry about these things. He is a man focused only on winning. That and humiliating this next guy.
6. Goodell gets his. After over a year of court battles and who knows how many millions spent, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell successfully suspended Tom Brady four games this season for his role in Deflategate. Meanwhile, Goodell originally intended to suspend Baltimore Raven Ray Rice and New York Giant Josh Brown three games between them for abusing their significant others. For all this, it was revealed in 2016 Goodell took a pay cut…. to a mere $34.1 million. New England fans, many of us may not like your victory, but rest assured we boo Goodell right along with you. And, of course, the biggest pleasure is knowing that however many Super Bowls the forces of Brelichick win…
7. They still lost to the Sanchize. January 16, 2011. Jets at New England. Three Mark Sanchez touchdown passes later, the Pats are out of the playoffs. And yes, things have taken a turn New England’s way since—in the sense a Jets QB threw for six interceptions in a single game this year, more than Brady threw for this season in the regular season and playoffs combined—but that’s a mark that never goes away.
8. If nothing else, three words: Lady freakin’ Gaga.