This year’s Super Bowl was without a doubt the single greatest game of professional football which I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. The game had everything you could want on America's most important unofficial holiday; including an unbelievable comeback to take the game into overtime. Furthermore, the game featured inhuman displays of athletic prowess, a clear hero and a clear villain (you know who you are, Boston) and more drama than the bard could have mustered had he scripted it himself. The match was truly a sight to behold but between the start of the fourth quarter and the Patriots ultimate victory in overtime, I came to realize the extreme degree to which I simultaneously love and hate the Patriots.
I don't just hate the Pats, I really hate the Pats. Not only do they always win, five Superbowls and 221 wins in 15 years, but they do so in a thoroughly classless manner. In 2007 the Patriots were accused of videotaping the coaching staffs of opponents in order to record their play calling. An investigation would reveal an extensive video library stretching back to 2000. In 2011, Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker made 11 references to feet during a 9-minute press conference in the run-up to a divisional playoff against the Jets. The comments were a shot at Jets coach Rex Ryan, who had had the private matter of his foot fetish made public. In 2015, the Patriots were accused of illegally deflating game balls in advance of the AFC Conference Championship that year. Tom Brady would later be suspended four games for his involvement in the affair.
In between, there has been a litany of charges laid against the team. These accusations range from improper use of the injured reserve list to doping and further allegations of spying. However, worst of all is the shamelessness with which the organization engages in these acts.
In spite of this or perhaps because of it, I also love the Pats. I love the team’s philosophy of victory at all costs. I love that they are above the rules. I love that Robert Kraft, owner of the Patriots, has the gall to accept the Lombardi Trophy from Roger Goodell then turn around and lambast the commissioner for punishing his team after the Patriots were caught cheating red-handed. Most importantly, I love that they win. Furthermore the fact that this team manages to win in spite of the fact that it is an assemblage of spare parts, endears the team to my heart.
A combination of dominance, arrogance and ambition have been at the heart of Patriot successes in the Bill Belichick era. These values are simultaneously endearing, offensive, disgraceful and refreshing. Consequently, I find myself at opposite extremes of human emotion in my feelings toward the Patriots. Conflicting feelings aside, Tom Brady is not an elite quarterback.
Michael O'Malley is a senior studying political science at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Are you conflicted about the Patriots? Email your thoughts to Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.