The Shameful Hubris of the New England Patriots

I’ve been a New Englander and a Patriots fan for almost 40 years (no old-age comments please). I supported the team through SpyGate and DeflateGate. I’ve embraced the “In Bill We Trust” concept through the trades of Vince Wilfork, Jamie Collins, and many others. I questioned why the Pats would choose to not re-sign quality players like Chris Long and L. Blount but figured management knew more than I did. I’ve now reached a point where I’m a skeptical – and somewhat embarrassed – Pats fan.

It started with the trade of Jimmy G, the heir apparent to Brady. He sure looked like a franchise QB in his limited playing time and would serve as a seamless transition from Brady. With the trade of Jacoby Brissett, it seemed clear that the Pats were all-in with Jimmy G – until they weren’t. They traded him for nothing and watched him lead the 49ers to five straight wins. But maybe that was a one-off mistake. Not!

Belichick’s benching of Malcomb Butler is incomprehensible. To me it was indicative of Belichick’s deep-seated belief that he possesses superhuman powers. Even worse, it exposes him as a fraud. Why a fraud? Because he always touts that the team comes first. His mantra is “Do Your Job,” yet he failed to do his own job on Sunday. Only an idiot would believe that benching Butler was an attempt to put the best players on the field. I noticed that Butler was crying during the national anthem, and I thought it was a sweet moment in which he was thinking about a departed loved one or giving thanks for all the good things he’s enjoyed because of football. No. He was crying because he’d just been told he wouldn’t be playing – even though he’d played 97% of snaps during the regular season and playoffs. He was devastated – as would anyone who had the rug unceremoniously pulled out from under them. It was a mean and hurtful action on the part of Belichick – one that hurt the team. No one can be certain that the Pats would have won if Butler had played – but the odds are that they would have.

But that’s not all. I’m getting sick of Tom Brady and his TB-12 branding campaign, his $200 “rejuvenating” pajamas, and the scam artist he’s hooked up with to sell supplements and meal plans that only the rich and famous can afford.

And here’s what I see as the final straw: Josh McDaniels’ decision to back off from accepting the Colts head coach position – after accepting it and allowing the Colts to schedule a press conference. I understand why he chose to stay with Pats as Belichick’s eventual successor – but why jerk around Indy for so long? They now have to start from scratch in their search for a coach. It appears that Josh shares Belichick’s center-of-the-universe syndrome – do what you want when you want and screw anyone who disagrees.

I wish I could say that I’ll never root for the Pats again, but I’m a big fan of Amendola, Lewis, J. White, C. Hogan, P. Chung, and other players. What I can say is that I now fully understand the legion of Patriots haters. They are easy to hate – and becoming easier by the minute.

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