The Patriots Boom
Posted by Ryan on December 22, 2007
I was waiting until the Patriots actually achieved the 16-0 regular season record before writing a post on this season’s achievements (knock on wood, the 14-0 Pats still have to beat the 1-13 Dolphins and the 9-5 Giants). Since the infamous “Spygate” incident in Week 1, all but a few reporters and Jets fans have seemed to have let that go for now since history has been creeping since the November 4 win against the Colts. Living in Jets country, I hear it all the time!
Actually, according to this report the Patriot’s attempt at achieving the perfect regular season, which hasn’t been done since 1972s 14-0 Miami Dolphins, is drawing record crowds, including the most-watched cable program ever (the close call in Baltimore), the highest rated Sunday Night Football Game ever (the other close call against Philadelphia) and the highest rated Sunday afternoon game since 1987 (that incredible November game against the Indianapolis Colts).
The NFL is loving the Patriots right now, fans all over the league are tuning in at record numbers to see possible history being made every week, and this Pats fan loves all the ESPN, CBS, and FOX coverage, along with the national interest in the team.
But, not everyone likes the Patriots. After Spygate and the Pats’ subsequent success, the Pats have become the new team many love to hate. I understand this feeling: I hated the Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s– no one could beat them AND they were cocky about it! The Pat’s head coach Bill Belichick won’t let the team get cocky, and I’ll be the first to admit that the team seemed to peak in November– not a good time to peak.
In fact, if the Pats don’t win the whole darn thing this year, it’ll seem like all the hype was for naught, the team wasn’t really that great, the close games this season become lucky, and Spygate should have resulted in a forfeited game. That’s a lot of pressure for any one player or individual to have to handle. Plus, the last team to beat the Pats in the regular season was the Miami Dolphins!