1) In 2002, the Patriot dynasty begins as they wrap up the 2001 season with a win over the St. Louis Rams. Tom Brady was a feel-good story about a guy who was making league minimum and waiting for his chance behind Drew Bledsoe. So why was I irked that the underdog Pats took home the win over the heavily favored Rams? Because of these words, spoken by the play-caller not 15 whole seconds after the game clock hit zero:
"How fitting is it that, after the year this country has had, a team called 'The Patriots' wins the Super Bowl?"
I felt physically ill and was left to contemplate how 9/11 changed everything.
2) As the legend of Tom Brady grew, there were signs that maybe it was a little too much. The last straw was a moment watching a Patriots game with my brothers where a 15-30 minute tribute to Tom Brady's brilliance was played before the game kicked off. Immediately coming out of that video package, the first words out of the mouth of the commentary team were
"I think Tom Brady is the most underrated quarterback in the NFL."
Brady would continue to get mind-numbing press coverage to the point where he was the complete opposite of a feel-good story.
3) Even before the nonsense with the spying on other teams(I'm so glad that Congress has taken an interest in this...that's way more important than little things like health care, war, or a failing economy), Bill Belichick's rep as a total genius paired with his heinous press conferences and more heinous hoodie tired me out pretty quickly.
4) Prior to the start of this season, the Patriots became everyone's pick to win the Super Bowl by signing Randy Moss. A guy who admitted to taking plays off. A guy who sat on huge piles of money he was being paid to catch footballs and said that he wasn't happy enough to catch footballs. I would have hated to see this jackass rewarded with a Super Bowl ring.
5) Haterade. I won't lie, at least a small part of my joy over the Patriots loss could be described as schadenfreude. I'm okay with that.