By Jon Keller

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:

  1. I am thoroughly enjoying the Patriots and their season that has ended up with them in Houston. It’s been one of the best seasons, since…. we beat the Seahawks with an amazing fourth quarter play by Tom Brady and the memorable game winner by Malcolm Butler.

    And after spending 9 months daily talking to other NFL fans, and listening to their unreasonable, biased and unfair approach to determining that the Patriots were the villains of the League, I’ve since discounted what they have to say. They can dislike us all they want, our team and their fans have thrived throughout the past two years of venom directed at us and have grown closer together. Win, Lose or Draw, they’ve already won my appreciation and respect just for getting here.

    And the Falcons QB – well he’s from Boston College, right? So another past Boston sports figure on the other side of the ball. And from what I read, he and Tom text each other and Matt Ryan, who while he was developing as a QB, spent a lot of time studying film of….guess who? Tom Brady. So…Falcons are having a good season. And if Ryan gets the MVP, I’m fine with that. He’s had a great season.

    Many Patriot fans would just really like to see the Patriots win ONE MORE Lombardi, which I think would be seen as the just result of an unjust 2 year witch hunt by Goodell and the condemnation by the rest of the League. Go Pats!!

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