Hi, I’m a Patriots fan living in quarantine, so you could say this hasn’t been the best month of my life. It’s not the end of the world… yet. And it’s not the end of the dynasty… yet. But that hasn’t stopped me from checking Bovada for the parlay odds to move.
Maybe the worst part (okay, it’s obviously not the worst part, but humor me) is that once everyone finishes their obligatory COVID small talk, the next question always seems to be:
The answer is maybe. Not because it’s a cop out or because it’s easy. The answer is maybe, because I just don’t know yet. It’s too early to tell. The wound is still fresh. I need more time before I can be sure how I feel.
Why not, right? Being in the NFC, they aren’t in direct competition with the Patriots, and the two teams don’t even play each other this season. The only chance of them meeting would be in the Super Bowl, which would be such an incredible outcome, I won’t dare dream of it.
(But if I did dream of it… Could you even imagine the two weeks of Super Bowl build up? Belichick and Brady would go from legendary to mythical to mystical. What sorcery! ESPN would issue a 35-part documentary for immediate release. The funerals for Patriots haters near and far would fill your weeks like Zoom calls.)
Rooting for a second team to win games against other teams I don’t particularly care about feels like an easy enough task for even the most stubborn of Pats fans. To ignore all the joy Brady has brought to the Patriots—20 seasons and six Super Bowl wins—because a man wears a different color shirt while playing concussion ball is mind-bogglingly stupid. Plus, Tom Brady is on the cusp of some career records that I would love for him to achieve, so that when he retires, there is no doubt about the greatest of all time.
Brady even recruited human bouncy house, and ex-Patriot, Rob Gronkowski to reunite with him in Tampa. Whereas Brady fans have to deal with a lot of Tom’s “eccentricities,” Gronk is everyone’s fun cousin, which should make the Bucs even easier to fall in like with.
Should… Yet it doesn’t.
We knew it was coming and prepared ourselves. Even though we heard Tom Brady and Bill Belichick—the two G.O.A.T.s—repeat the “all they care about is winning” boilerplate, we watched each prepare for mutually-assured destruction.
By adding Gronk and some other pieces to their war chest, the Bucs don’t seem destructed at all. They now have all the great offensive weapons with which the Patriots always suggested they wanted to supply to Brady. And the Pats are left with a seemingly bare cupboard and an actual vision of what could have been, as the other timeline plays out in Tampa.
We had Tom Brady. We had Rob Gronkowski. We could have focused more on getting better receivers. Patriots fans aren’t used to being the ones who blow it so close to the endzone!
It’s possible I’ll enjoy watching Tom Brady keep destroying the NFL and keep kicking the asses of Father Time’s henchmen. But it’s equally possible I’ll watch the Patriots struggle to differentiate themselves from the subpar AFC East, while Tompa Brady goes from a punchline to a knockout.
The answer is maybe.