- Do you hate the New England Patriots? Sorry—do you hate the Super Bowl LIII–winning, NFL-champions-for-the-sixth-time, greatest-dynasty-in-the-history-of-gridiron-football, kind-of-horrifically-unstoppable New England Patriots? I do! All week, ahead of the game, I felt a vague hornet’s buzz in the back of my brain at the thought that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick were about to win yet another title, and then just, like … stand there, being annoying, with their faces.
I’ve been trying to think about why I feel this way. What a silly thing, after all, to hate a sports team. Human, but silly. (I’m tempted to add: like most things to do with sports.) The world has bigger problems than whether the Patriots and their blandly handsome, handsomely smug, smugly bland quarterback lift a trophy. When I say this to myself, though, what my brain sends up by way of rebuttal is: buzzzzz.
I keep coming back to the idea that there are two ways of experiencing football, with the Patriots, for reasons not entirely in their control, having come to represent, for many of us, the second, far less rewarding and enjoyable way. I’ll try to explain what I mean by that.