Goucher Sporting Voices: Are the Patriots Fun to Hate?

Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas.
The Patriots defeated the Falcons 34-28 after overtime. Timothy A. Clary, Getty Images

Michael Layer, Sports Editor

February 15th, 2017

People watching at Goucher is always amusing on game day. One of my favorite things about Goucher is seeing the various jerseys students wear to class, mentally catalogue who supports which team, and see them proudly strut their colors down the Van Meter highway. During the Super Bowl last Sunday, students flaunted their colors in support of their team, watched the game on computers in the Athenaeum, and pretended they were doing work at the same time.

Reflecting on the students’ jersey selections, I can’t tell you how many Patriots hats, hoodies, and jerseys I’ve seen over the course of my Goucher scholastic career. From a neutral’s perspective, it’s disappointing the Falcons didn’t have the same following here as the Patriots. Though several students were outspoken about their support for the Atlanta based team, it was not because the Falcons are their favorite, but simply because they hate the Patriots so much.

One of those students who supported the Falcons to spite the Patriots is junior Business Management major, Scott Mt. Pleasant. A self-proclaimed Green Bay Packer’s fan, the New York native rooted against the Patriots on Sunday. Saying before the game, “They always seem to be in the Super Bowl, first of all, which is annoying, of course… and they get caught with all these scandals… it’s annoying when they seem to get away with it and still win… I just hate that franchise.”

Much of Mt. Pleasant’s hatred went towards head coach Bill Belichick, who after Sunday became the one of the most successful coaches in NFL history, winning the Super Bowl five times. “I just think he’s pompous. His responses to reporters are very cocky… sometimes he doesn’t seem to give reporters enough respect.” Mt. Pleasant continued to criticize the Patriots claiming, that their support is not genuine, “Obviously there’s a lot of people who like teams that are successful, so bandwagon fans will hop on.”

Especially after Sunday, the Patriots’ success is undeniable. Devout Patriots fan and Senior Communications major, David Sibony believes that the Patriots deserve the support because of their success, “I think it’s easy to be a Patriots fan because they’re good. If you don’t look at all these issues of cheating or not cheating… you can see there really has been success.” Sibony was proven right after his team won in overtime on Sunday. The team is considered to be one of the best ever with nine Super Bowl appearances and five championship titles.

Sibony claims that Patriots fans deserve respect for loving their team, not because it is easy to like them, but because it’s been difficult. He believes that it would be easy to love a team if there was never any downs. For him, the test of a true fan is supporting their team despite their faults. However, in regards to their previous scandals like the two in 2015, one in 2007, and the one in 1982, Sibony said, “I don’t want to get into that.” It seems however that because there have been so many highs for the Patriots, the lows become impossible to ignore. Mt. Pleasant had no problem noticing their failures: “I wouldn’t want to say that their rings should be taken away, but at some point, they can’t keep doing this and have no consequences.”

Bandwagon fans or not, cheating or not, Super Bowl wins or not, the passion for Patriots football at Goucher is undeniable. Though Sibony feels that there are more Ravens fans than Patriots fans at Goucher, he said with a smile, “[Patriots fans at Goucher] stand out because we are so spirited. You’re going to see more [Patriots] jerseys than Ravens jerseys on a Sunday night in the Ath. because they’re so spirited.” Mt. Pleasant even agrees, “They’ve very much outspoken about how much they support the Patriots… I guess when you win that much you get to flaunt it.”

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