BOSTON (CBS) – According to a national survey by Public Policy Polling, 53-percent of Americans will be rooting for the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, even though I bet 98-percent of them couldn’t name a single Falcon.
Just 27-percent want the Patriots to win. Only 19-percent of those polled have a negative view of the Falcons; more than double that, 42-percent, view the Pats negatively.
No surprise here.
When you are a sports dynasty over a long period of time, all the losers build up a good head of hate. It happened to the Celtics and the Yankees too.
Back in the NFL, even though they haven’t won a Super Bowl in 22 years, residual resentment of the once-dominant Dallas Cowboys is strong enough to put them in a virtual tie with the Pats for most-hated team, 21-to-19 percent.
And you know what? I understand the Pats hatred – as long as it’s based on envy and frustration with their consistent success.
It’s human nature to resent the winners when you’re always the loser; we Red Sox fans get that.
But I have no use for the fans out there who hate the Pats because of you-know-what-Gate and the myth, endlessly perpetuated by single-digit IQ sports-talk hosts and ESPN analysts, that the Pats are somehow more ethically challenged than other NFL teams.
Yes, the Patriots have made mistakes – Coach Bill Belichick has acknowledged he ignored a league rule about where a camera could be located to tape game action. You-know-what-Gate, however, was a total crock.
I would challenge anyone to prove, using real facts, that the Pats are one iota less honest than any other team.
So let the haters hate.
I prefer to kick back and enjoy it as the winners continue to win.
Listen to Jon’s commentary: