Perceptions Matter: How the New England Patriots Rise Above 'Cheating' - Roto Street Journal
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Perceptions Matter: How the New England Patriots Rise Above ‘Cheating’

As an American sailor, I have been fortunate to travel across the world with shipmates from across the country. I’ve sailed with guys from Maine to California, Alaska to Florida, and the Carolinas to the Dakotas — yes, people live there. Everyone of them has their own unique views on life. They all have unique ties to family and friends, views on politics and policies, and attitudes on life and religion.

However, despite where I go and who I meet, when people learn I am from Massachusetts and a football fan, I usually receive the same friendly jab: Fuck Tom Brady!

I typically respond with a far less friendly: “Yeah? Well, Fuck you too!”

“But he wears uggs!’

‘But they made up a rule to protect him!’

‘But his wife is too hot!

‘But he’s a cheater!”

True Patriot fans will defend TB12 and the rest of the New England Patriots until their last breath. We scoff at the notion that cheating, in any way, has contributed to their success over the past 16 years. And yet, the controversies of SpyGate and DeflateGate have unjustly tarnished the reputation of what should be the model franchise in all of professional sports.

But in my travels I have realized that ‘cheating’ isn’t really the issue that non-New England fans have with the Patriots; its ‘winning.’

In the two decades since their first Super Bowl in 2001, the Patriots have easily been the NFL’s winningest franchise. Just how successful are they? Well, in the past 16 seasons, the Patriots have only accumulated one single-digit win season (9 victories in 2002), and went undefeated in the regular season in 2007. During that time frame, the Pats have won 14 AFC East titles, 6 AFC Championships, and 4 Super Bowls.

Don’t you see? Cheating is an excuse that losers make when they fall short.

Has no one else considered the teams that were involved in SpyGate and DeflateGate? The AFC East rival New York Jets reported the SpyGate controversy immediately following the first game of the 2002 season, aka the first game of the Pats initial Super Bowl defense.  Unsurprisingly, the Pats are 22-8 against the Jets in the Brady era. And who complained to the NFL office about ‘potentially under inflated footballs’? Oh, the Baltimore Ravens (Brady is 7-3 against Baltimore) and the Indianapolis Colts (Brady is an astonishing 14-4).

I feel like its the schoolyard all over again.

Jimmy – “Pat has won every race today.”

Bobby – “Yah but only because he filmed my takeoff so he knew that I like to run fast. Oh! And his shoes may have been tied tighter than mine, but we don’t know if that’s true or not. But it would help him, right?”

If anything, the Patriots have been the victim of schoolyard bullying from opposing classmates (teams), and reprimanded by a corrupt principal (Roger Goodell) for simply being better than everyone; plus, all the parents (owners) called and complained that their kids feelings were being hurt because one kid was outshining all of the others, and the idiot principal then tried to tear down his golden boy and level the field to appease these whiners…but failed.

Similarly, the Pats forfeited a first round draft pick for SpyGate and a $750,000 fine. For DeflateGate, the Pats were fined $1 million, lost another first rounder, and missed Tom Brady to a 4 game suspension.  No other sports franchise could recover from such abuse.

But the machine keeps on rolling.

The Patriots realize what the outside world thinks of them too. They hear it when they travel to opposing stadiums and get harassed on social media. They are surrounded by labels that try to diminish their success. And how have they responded? By doing what they have always done under head coach Bill Belichik and QB Tom Brady … Win.

So how sweet would it be for Roger Goodell, the power hungry commissioner to hand over the Super Bowl MVP Trophy to TB12 this Sunday? Too sweet. It would be the poetic justice New England fans have yearned for all year. It would be the fastest kid in the school collecting his first place trophy from that corrupt principal who gave everyone else a four second head start, to no avail.

And you can call this 2016-17 Pats season Tom Brady’s road to revenge, but there is more to it than that. Its a road to redemption for the Greatest Quarterback of All Time, and that group of ‘cheaters’ that realized they were at a disadvantage and not only accepted, but fed off, the ‘Us vs. The World’ mentality. A road that further cements New England as the greatest dynasty this game has seen.

On Sunday, we will see this group of ‘cheaters,” once again, #RiseUp and become champions.

Image result for tom brady champion gif

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