Just to address the elephant I myself placed in the room: To the vast majority of you saying “Who the hell is Upton Bell?”, he was at one time the most boring radio host in Boston. But before that, he was the GM of the Patriots during the Late Cretaceous Period who was notable for two things:
1. He once accidentally made every player on his roster a free agent by forgetting to send out their contracts. He didn’t even find out about it until one player’s agent called to thank him. And a team that was already losing money had to run around quietly re-signing everyone with major bonuses before word got out.
2. Once tried to fire his coach but the team’s owner said he didn’t have the authority. So they made a deal. If the Pats lost to the Colts in the final game, he’d get to fire the guy. Meaning the GM of an NFL team was once in the press box openly rooting for his team to lose. Which they were. Until an 80-yard touchdown pass from Jim Plunkett to Randy Vataha pulled out the win and saved the coach’s job. Those are true stories.
Anyhoo … If you were wondering how all the major Patriots haters – and I’m talking about the most radicalized elements of the fundamentalist, anti-Pats extremists – were going to deal with the fact the object of their loathing just got 20 percent more championshippy, here’s your answer in microcosm.
I mean, there’s plenty more out there. I’m just focusing on the names at the top of this radical group’s organizational chart. The leaders. The high-value targets. The ones who set the agenda for the rest. And they’re clearly not going to soften their rhetoric just because of a little unparalleled success. Not a chance.
So Tom Brady added his sixth Infinity Ring to his Gauntlet, making him the most powerful being in the universe. That’s impressive, right? Wrong. He didn’t put up huge numbers, so therefore it doesn’t mean anything. In other words:
-21 for 35, 262-yard, 10.5 YPA, 0 TD, 1 INT, 71.4 Passer Rating while winning the Super Bowl? Not impressive.
-28 for 48, 505-yard, 7.5 YPA, 3 TD, 0 INT, 115.4 Passer Rating while losing the Super Bowl? Not impressive.
It’s on Brady’s permanent record when his defense can’t force the Eagles to punt. It’s on his permanent record when he doesn’t throw a touchdown pass as his defense shuts down the Rams. Meanwhile, let’s never forget to celebrate Peyton Manning “going out on top” with his 13-for 23, 141-yard, 0 TD, 1 INT, 56.6 win four years ago. Because even though his defense was fettered to his corpse as they wiped Carolina off the map, the Lombardi he dedicated to Papa John is valid in a way that Brady’s sixth isn’t. Got it.
And Julian Edelman? He might be the clutchest receiver ever not named Jerry Rice, and still going strong. But putting him in the Hall of Fame discussion is banned speech. Let’s focus instead on the more relevant topic of that PED suspension for the unknown substance the league’s Pee Squad couldn’t identify.
The bottom line is that hatred for the Patriots is, like their own success, unlimited. Whether they’re “pulling out a virtuoso” or throwing to Cronk, there is an inexhaustible supply of hate. But they’re Still Here.
P.S. Never forget that Max Kellerman hates Patriots fans and does not wish to hear from you. So do not contact Cliff Kellerman at @MaxKellerman and remind him many times he’s been dead wrong. Do not do that. It would be bad.