This is what it’s come to. After a full calendar year of hearing about how the Patriots were standing in their own grave, how the one true great sport dynasty was ending not with a bang, but the whimper of an argument about back rubs , how the franchise player was wearing the Pliability Gauntlet and turning the coach into space dust with a snap of his 41-year-old fingers, the Patriots are answering back. Both with their play and their comments. And so the very people who have driven the “decline” narrative all along are claiming no one ever said a negative thing.
Rather than just acknowledge they were wrong again about the death of this dynasty yet again, they’re arguing the Patriots are way out of line for feeling like they’ve been doubted. Take this little dope slap from USA Today:
The Patriots tweeted a hype video on Monday to get their fans pumped for a playoff run. The video featured all of the talking heads doubting the Patriots because it’s the Patriots against The World. It always is.
The video makes it a point to call out all those tweets suggesting that the dynasty has ended. Only the Patriots would find motivation in this. … Yeah, nobody is actually buying this Patriots underdog story.
For 12 months the media gladly accepted all the clicks and ratings that come from trolling this franchise with anonymous sources, exaggerated Real Housewives of Foxboro story lines and flat out lies. And now that they’ve been proven wrong for the 10 millionth time, they’re back-pedaling faster than a healthy Eric Berry. Now it’s all “What? ‘Suck?’ ‘Decline?’ ‘Dynasty over???’ I never said that.” It’s like arguing with a 15-year-old over whether he promised to put away his laundry.
So they want to know who said the Patriots suck? I’m glad someone asked. Let me count the ways:
Dan Shaughnessy –
[I]t doesn’t feel like another Patriots playoff surge is coming, does it? There comes a time when mystique and aura are nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
Cliff Kellerman –
Stephen A. Smith –
ESPN mathletes –
Rex Ryan –
NY Magazine writer and the man responsible for pinching out the loaf that is Deadspin, Will Leitch –
And perhaps most telling: [Tom] Brady himself is looking old. … Now, he looks further from the Super Bowl than he has in a decade. … [I]it will be an ignominious end for a guy who, theoretically, could have retired after that amazing comeback against Atlanta two years ago and walked off the stage in the best possible way, rather than losing to Philadelphia last year and not making it this season. … [W]e’ll miss him when he’s gone. I sort of miss him already.
Eric Dickerson –
[F]riends, now is the time to say it out loud. Say it with your chest. New England’s reign is over. Thirteen conference title games in the last 16 years, five Super Bowls, all the glory? It’s in the rearview mirror. … This time is the real deal.
Manish Mehta’s anonymous coach in the NYDN –
“I would love that job,” one coach told the Daily News about the Jets gig that will officially be up for grabs when the team parts ways with Todd Bowles after the season finale against the Patriots on Sunday. “The Jets are poised to take over that division. Brady’s time is short.”
NFL Network –
There you go. This is just the Trader Joe’s food counter free sample of what has been an All You Can Troll buffet of negativity and end-of-the-dynasty talk. Argue all you want whether you think they’re not good any more,
… just own it. Don’t claim you never said it. Man up and admit you’re wrong and accept the fact this team is wholly justified in their belief the coverage has been overwhelmingly negative and everyone has been declaring them dead. When the NFL’s official state news agency has Andy Reid as an advantage for the Chiefs over Bill Belichick, then nobody is allowed to say the Patriots are wrong for feeling disrespected.