The New England Patriots are in the Super Bowl, again, and this time they go up against another offensive juggernaut that plays in a dome and is not what you would call a "traditional power." Is the comparison to the St. Louis Rams Greatest Show on Turf apt, or just an easy excuse for me to bring up Spygate? Guess what, it doesn't matter, because I just brought up Spygate, and I will now use that to transition into all the extremely valid and irrefutable reasons why you should be ashamed of yourself for even considering rooting for this putrid franchise.
Reason the First: They are Cheaters
Look, they are cheaters. I really can't emphasize this point enough. It is clear that this team will do whatever it takes to get some kind of edge by both licit and illicit means. Everyone associated with this team will go up to the line of what is sporting, shoot a few furtive looks left and right, and then put his or her big toe right over it. Then they will take a few more sideways glances and continue until it is clear that either no one is looking, and keep going, or get spooked that maybe someone is looking and they hightail it out of there. It is dishonorable, and an affront to sportsmanship, competition, and virtue.
Reason the Second: Donald Trump
Again, this one is pretty obvious. Tom Brady is clearly very tight with the guy in high school who was voted Most Likely to Get Elected President of the United States and Immediately Cause Nuclear War or Some Other Extinction Level Event.
Last year, Brady voluntarily left a "Make America Great Again" hat front and center in his locker while talking to reporters, like Mark McGwire's tub of andro, only with a higher concentration of synthetic testosterone. Brady then continually refused to comment on his relationship with the newly-elected president, who recently announced he wants to make Mexico pay for a border wall by taxing US citizens. When push finally came to shove after the AFC championship game, but only after Trump said that Tom Brady called to congratulate him on his inauguration, Brady finally revealed:
"Sometimes he calls me. Sometimes I call him. But, again, that's been someone I've known. I always try to keep it in context because for 16 years you know someone before maybe he was in the position that he was in. He's been very supportive of me for a long time. It's just a friendship. I have a lot of friends. I call a lot of people…Why does that make such a big deal? I don't understand that."
Brady then was asked on the show about having conversations with women who may not like Trump.
"I don't want to get into it, but if you know someone, it doesn't mean you agree with everything they say or they do," Brady said. "You have a lot of friends in your life. I think there are things that are based in your own dealings with someone that is a personal dealing, not a public dealing. Because you have personal experiences."
Tommy, you are being cowardly. It is true that not all friends agree on all issues. How boring that would be! But, here's the rub, and there's really no way of getting around it: the sheer number of issues that Donald Trump is on the wrong side of is staggering. Race, sex, equality, basic human decency, morality, intellectual curiosity. Donald Trump is objectively and defiantly in the wrong regarding pretty much everything. He's a proven liar. You can check for yourself, he's quite proud about it, too. So, the reason people "make such a big deal" about it is that your friend is a scumbag several times over and you should have the balls to say so.
Reason the Third: Bill Belichick
Speaking of bad guys. Here's a guy who was a loser in Cleveland, about as unremarkable as it gets. And then he resigned from the Jets by way of a fucking napkin at an introductory press conference. He found a safe space in New England where he has entrenched himself in a fiefdom of football knob-slobbery. Yes, he is a great football coach. He's also unscrupulous, and actually writes like Donald Trump talks. Sad!
Reason the Fourth: Bridget Moynahan
Tom Brady left his girlfriend while pregnant, even though she has a tremendous sense of humor:
Reason the Fifth: Julio Jones
Dude is a beast and deserves to be a Super Bowl champ more than New England's walking 69-fan Rob Gronkowski deserves to be a two-time champ. Do you know the secret to his success? One of the reasons he has so far amassed 247 yards and three touchdowns on 15 catches in two playoff games this year? Ping pong. He's considered the best ponger on the team and says "It's helped on hand-eye coordination." Ask Gronk about hand-eye coordination and he'll probably start talking about how cool it would be if hands could see.
Reason the Sixth: They Should Have lost to the Seahawks
I mean, come ON. If the stupid-ass Seahawks and Pete Carroll's cocky-gum-chewing ass had simply given the ball to Marshawn Lynch, the Patriots would not have won yet another Super Bowl by the skin of their teeth. I truly believe that the universe has an awareness of what is right and what is wrong, what should happen and what should not—call it karma, call it balance—because that is the only thing keeping people honest. It's the golden rule extrapolated and embedded in the cosmos and you better hope the Pats lose this one to restore order, because shit is really out of whack these days.
Reason the Seventh: Dan Shaughnessy
Do you want this guy to ever in his life be happy about anything?
No. You do not.
Reason the Eighth: Deflategate Vindication
The lie here is that there is somehow a vindication storyline baked into the Super Bowl. The Pats fan wet dream goes something like this: Tom Brady throws for 450 yards and five touchdowns, the last of which is a last second miracle play to Chris Hogan (sorry Jules, you had a good run, though) to win a shootout. Now Roger Goodell has to come hat in hand and present Brady with the Lombardi Trophy, the MVP award, and a notarized apology for making the whole Deflategate scandal up.
Except, here's the thing: the rest of us don't care anymore. Roger Goodell is a craven Speak & Spell programmed by billionaires who deserves to be publicly humiliated until he one day just stops showing up, and yet this giving-Brady-the-Trophy scenario still does nothing for me. Deflategate was stupid. The NFL was stupid. Brady was stupid. Patriots fans were stupid. It's finally over and no one wants to ever think about it again, least of all in literally the final seconds of actual football for months.
What everyone wants to take with them into the bleak sports winter of February is a crushing Patriots loss.