BOSTON (CBS) — Shannon Sharpe has long been a gleeful antagonist of Patriots fans, especially after the team lost the AFC Championship Game to the Denver Broncos a year ago. Toucher & Rich had him on and gave him a chance to respond to the insults hurled his way, and there were a lot of them.

Sharpe talked to T&R once again as part of the show’s residency at Radio Row in Houston ahead of Super Bowl 51, and once again addressed the topic of Patriots fans and their perceived sensitivity. The Patriots’ unparalleled success over the past 15-plus seasons has Sharpe scratching his head as to why so many fans get so defensive at even the slightest criticism leveled against the team – or even just praise for another player or team.

“What’s hard for me to understand is like if you say somebody [on another team] is good, it’s like you’re taking a shot at [the Patriots],” said Sharpe. “It’s like if you say Aaron Rodgers is good, [you’re saying] ‘Well, Tom Brady sucks.’ Two things can be true. Tom Brady can be good, Aaron Rodgers can be good.

“It’s like, ‘Dude, it’s OK! You can’t win every game. The Patriots are not the only team to have great players, OK? Let’s get that out of your head.'”

SEE ALSO: Shannon Sharpe Takes Twitter Wars On The Air With Toucher & Rich

Sharpe compared the Patriots’ fanbase to that of the Dallas Cowboys when it comes to how seriously they take any perceived criticism against their teams.

“They take it so personally,” said Sharpe. “They’re one of the few fanbases – them and the Cowboys – that it’s almost like if you say something about one of their players, you’re talking about their family. It’s like you cursed their mom or their dad or you kicked their dog or something. Like, dude, it’s not that serious.”

Despite his thoughts on Patriots fans, Sharpe said he hasn’t heard much from them this season – but expects an avalanche of tweets to come his way if the Patriots can win the Super Bowl on Sunday night.

“I think they’re waiting until they win. They don’t want to jinx themselves,” said Sharpe. “They don’t want to be all over me and then they lose the game and then have me come back at them. So everybody’s really really cool right now, but I think I’m going to be flooded once the game’s over and if the game’s in [The Patriots’] favor.”

Listen to the full podcast below:


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