We here on this fair site have a deep deep hatred for the Patriots. Their “success” and the reaction of their fanbase to this success has fed the hate and kept it at a nice even temperature long enough to smoke all the cattle in Texas.
In a similar vein, the outspoken majority in the Commentist Party hates Donald Trump and thinks he is the worst thing to happen in the history of the world. This country is split in half with very little attempt to find common ground.
I’m here to tell you something that you won’t like: Trump and the Patriots are not evil incarnate.
Now, I know for some of you this will be like trying to explain to you that the color red is not the blue you think you see.
Trump and the Patriots are simply opportunists taking advantage of weakness in the opposition, weakness in rules/enforcement, and a general public starved for greatness where it hasn’t found any.
Is it any wonder the Pats are Trump’s favorite team?
If you think about it, this goes way back to how Robert Kraft got his wealth and his team. How exactly did he “earn” his wealth? He married into it and took his first company from his father-in-law. How did Trump get his money? He inherited it and has taken full advantage of bankruptcy laws and legal loopholes.
When did the Patriots win their first Super Bowl/become relevant? Nearly five months after 9/11/2001. Now, I’m no conspiracy theorist and I’m not going to tell you that the league rigged the Super Bowl so the Pats would win.
Roger Goodell is not that smart.
What they did do, though, is cash in on that happenstance and that last second field goal that broke St. Louis Rams fans’ hearts (until Kroenke decided to REALLY mess with them). If you don’t think the league was ecstatic that those Patriots t-shirts didn’t have to go to Nicaragua, I don’t know what to tell you.
So, the league promoted the team and instructed its media minions (Hi Peter King!) to write up the fairy tale story. What was a super close Super Bowl win that could have gone either way became the “start of a dynasty”.
Donald Trump is a master of manipulating media. Even back in the 80s, he was able to get his face on TV and get his name/brand out to the public. He had no business being on late night talk shows like Late Night with David Letterman yet there he was:
He understood better than anyone that a public starved of something will flock to someone that will deliver it. He played up a New York tough guy persona of someone that has all the answers and will actually do something about those dirty whatevers and got ratings, exposure, and favorable reviews. Why do you think he still does the same schtick today? It works.
In his business dealings, he had many failures but he covered up his failures by exploiting loopholes in laws and successfully using bankruptcy laws. Some people would consider that cheating. Some people would also consider filming opponents cheating. Why did they do it? Because they could.
That speaks to a pragmatic world-view that both Trump and the Patriots organization hold that sees nothing wrong in taking every advantage even if it doesn’t seem “fair”. In their view, “fair” is for idiots. The NFL agrees.
Why do you think Roger Goodell destroyed the tapes after handing out a fine that, to a billionaire, amounted to a slap in the wrist? Do you honestly think he was going to kill his golden goose? The NFL wanted to ride that post-9/11 extreme nationalist hysteria as far as it could. Heck, it even started doing those troop “salutes”! And charging the US Government for them! Talk about opportunist…
Hillary Clinton was a weak opponent in the general election. The Republican party, in the primaries, put out a potpourri of Jets, Browns, Rams, and 49ers to challenge Trump and he wiped the floor with them. Or maybe I should call them Jets, Bills, and Dolphins.
Seriously, that division has sucked ass since 2001. From 2001 to 2017, the Patriots have won the division every year but twice. In 2002, the Jets somehow won the division and in 2008, the Dolphins somehow won the division despite the Pats having an 11-5 record. The Pats, incredibly, did not get a playoff berth that year, the first team in history to not make the playoffs with such a record.
If you have no or weak competition, how difficult is it to stay ahead? It doesn’t take greatness to succeed with that level of competition, it just requires that you not make the same mistakes your opponents make.
Hillary fucked up the election beyond belief. From the approach to Bernie Sanders, to the refusal to visit certain states, to playing what our own blaxabath called “prevent defense”, she made mistakes that Trump didn’t. Trump stuck to his base knowing that it would deliver him the White House. Yes, it’s frustrating when Trump keeps throwing five yard outs within two seconds, but it keeps the chains moving and the sacks at 0.
That’s what counts for winning in today’s NFL. And in politics. Don’t fuck up. Let your opponent fuck up and you’ll be fine. It reminds me of one of the great quotes from that great 90s movie Go:
You know what wakes me up in the middle of the night covered in a cold sweat? Knowing that you aren’t any worse than anyone else in your whole screwed up generation. In the old days, you know how you got to the top? Huh? By being better than the guy ahead of you. How do you people get to the top? By being so fucking incompetent, that the guy ahead of you can’t do his job, so he falls on his ass and congratulations, you are now on top. And now the top is down here, it used to be up here… and you don’t even know the fucking difference.
It’s not an exact parallel, but you get the gist. “Success” is now the lack of failure, not actual success.
Where do we go from here? Unfortunately, I think we’ve reached the point of no return. The NFL will never be the same and neither will politics in this country. When you worship false gods, this is what you get.
Alls I know is that there is a great game Down Under that doesn’t have these issues. You should check it out.