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Patriots Fans Getting Ranked 3rd Worst in All of Sports is Shamefully Disappointing

Matthew Healey. Shutterstock Images.

Frederich Nietzsche once warned that, "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster." 

I bring this up because we have witnessed that relatively small but fierce, passionate, loyal, and damned sexy subset of the American population who identify as New England Patriots fans do exactly that. In the span of a generation we've evolved from a marginalized, ignored, downtrodden people into North American sports' greatest monsters. And we got this way from battling monsters. We earned it. 

Yes, there was a time when the country seemed genuinely happy for us. When the 2001 Patriots broke through with an upset win that killed the St. Louis Rams dynasty in the nest, it was what the movie posters used to call "The Feel Good Hit of the Summer!" Prior to that, the franchise was really only known for:

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--1970s: A brilliant former college coach had built them into an absolute wagon, only to get caught taking a job with another college program while still under contract (even making recruiting calls from his office), derailing everything he'd built.

--1980s: A respected Hall of Fame player coaches them to an improbable Super Bowl, only for them to get disintegrated by the greatest team in NFL history. Then a drug scandal erupts two days later, derailing everything he'd built. 

--1990s: A brilliant, respected pro coach had built them into an absolute wagon, only to get caught taking a job with another NFL team while still under contract (even making calls to them from his Super Bowl hotel room), derailing everything he'd built. 

So yeah, the world was pretty nice about the whole "Finally Won Something After 40 Years of Futility" narrative. Plus, the region hadn't won a championship in any sport in 15 years. The Red Sox were still famous for their collection of the most excruciating losses in history. Rick Pitino finished the utter destruction of the Celtics. In an absolute lowest of low points, the City of Boston held a parade for Ray Bourque so he could show off the Stanley Cup he'd won. In Colorado. And life was filled with headlines like:

But that goodwill lasted a few months, at most. By the time the banner was being hung in the first stadium we'd ever had that wasn't a crumbling, inadequate example of Eastern Bloc architecture, America turned on this team and its fanbase. To everyone else, they were lucky because of the Tuck Rule. We were bandwagon jumpers. Mr. Kraft was the raging egotistical rich kid who'd chased Bill Parcells away. Bill Belichick was (in the words of the Boston Herald, "duplicitous pond scum" who'd hosed the NY Jets. And all of the above were, in a word - a word we'd hear a lot of in the years to come- arrogant.

Then came the Tom Brady backlash, the rules changes designed to stop whatever things this team did best, the overblown scandals, the fake scandals, more rules changes. And through it all, Patriots fans became the monsters I mentioned above. Angry. Defensive. Highly motivated. Galvanized. Internet-savvy. Armed with the weaponized truth. Ready to defend this team to the last fan standing. And the harder we've fought, the more we've been hated. 

We weren't born like this. We were made this way by a cruel world. Like a comic book supervillain. And it's been magnificent. 

Which finally brings me to this USA Today ranking of the 10 Worst Fan Bases in Sports, which includes both college teams (No. 9 Notre Dame football) and pro (No. 7 Golden State Warriors). And here's a portion of the list:

5. Red Sox fans

I'll take it easy on you since you're probably still grappling with desegregation. 

4. Boston Celtics fans

See No. 5.

3. New England Patriots fans

Truth is, I actually like Patriots fans. They have watched that franchise go from one of the most putrid in all of sports to one of the best, and unlike other fans like, say, New York Giants fans, who ignore the team when they lose, and run like the Flash to get on that bandwagon when they win, Patriots fans stick with the team.

Putting them here is more about my Constitutional duty as an American to acknowledge just how much other fans absolutely despise Patriots fans. They may be the most hated fan base in sports. The Patriots' fan basic philosophy is: "We're great, suck it. And stick Deflategate up your ---."

I respect this life philosophy but can see how it's highly annoying.

I won't use USA Today's content only to steal their clicks by giving away their final two picks. Instead, let's focus on the fact three of New England's four major teams cracked the Top 5. One of them is paying for the sins of Tom Yawkey. The other is lumped in with them, despite the fact Red Auerbach essentially laid down on the barbed wire of racial equity and let the rest of the NBA step over his back. But that's a discussion for another time. This is about Pats fans. 

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Third worst? THIRD? I don't know when I've ever felt more disrespected. After all I mentioned above, we not only get the Bronze medal for Worstness, we get two-plus paragraphs heaping praise? Even getting a dig in on the asshole Giants fans who've been making our lives miserable since 2008, just to further appease us? I feel like Bugs Bunny the time he finds out the bounty on rabbits is only 50 cents so he goes on a reign of terror to make himself Public Enemy No. 1:

Giphy Images.

Sorry, America's silliest newspaper. You don't get to play nice after all these years. I mean, I appreciate the olive branch. But we haven't fought off universal hatred from 44 other states just to be grudgingly respected in 2022. 

But that's on Pats fans. We have to do better to get back to the top spot. Be more obnoxious. Get even louder in our defense of my pal RKK and Belichick. Yap more about Mac Jones. Turn up to more road games in huge numbers, create a sea of blue jerseys (that game at Las Vegas in December seems like it'll be a huge destination game) and start more barguments about kissing rings. And above all, do whatever it takes to get back to our rightful spot as the most detestable fan base in all the land. Do. Your. Job.

P.S. I do actually remember the last time I felt so disrespected. When SNL did one of their rare Family Feud skits, and the only New England celebrities they could come up with besides Casey Affleck were Gisele, Belichick, and ... Lady Gaga? 

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Getting third place in the Obnoxiousness Power Rankings is disrespectful. This was downright insulting.