So this is what it's come to. A promo for Monday Night Football that in no uncertain terms looks like a Bills 2020 highlight video. We are give or take 22 months since the Patriots last championship. One of the truly great title runs of our lifetimes. With an all time classic road win over the No. 1 seed and the league MVP at Kansas City followed by the most dominant defensive performance in Super Bowl history. And now? We get this. Something I don't think I've ever seen before. An ad for a sporting event that doesn't even mention one of the teams. Incredible. It's almost like ESPN is saying it doesn't want the public to know the game will be in New England because they'll tune out like it's an episode of "Get Up!"
This is what the Patriots have been reduced to. They've gone from the team no one could stop thinking about to not even ESPN Promo Mention-worthy. They're a masked wrestler from Parts Unknown. The other high school from "Friday Night Lights." Tiger Woods' playing partner at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The "Visitors" from "Teen Wolf." Buffalo's opening act that gets billed under the word "Also" on the ticket you print out. For a franchise that spent the better part of 19 years as the nation's Black Hole of attention that no TV viewer could escape, this is a new low. They've gone from hyper-revelant to irrelevant practically. It's the early '90s all over again. But at least those teams had a future Hall of Famer around so the networks could say, "The Bills take on Andre Tippett and the New England Patriots"
Save these receipts, Patriots fans. You know the organization is. This is the low point. From here it can only get better. And the rest of the country should remember this moment as well. For decades now you've been dreaming of a world where the Pats are no longer the evil monstrosity you've been despising. Well be careful what you wish for. Say what you will about the Bad Guy, but at least he makes things interesting. Let's see how much fun all this is when you don't have someone to root against. When your existence is all wholesome, lovable, admirable, media-friendly winners you adore. Having a major villain around threatening everything you hold dear might not be everyone's first choice. But at least it's never dull. See how long you enjoy not having the Patriots Dynasty to kick around.
Actually, don't bother. This will not last, I promise you. 2020 will be over soon and Belichick's name will be back at the top of this list where it belongs, I promise you.