By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Let’s talk about over-confidence.

We see it happen all the time, and the results are never good. Investor and lender overconfidence lead to bad investments and loans which, sometimes, lead to economic collapse. Political overconfidence can lead to horrendous tactical decisions and blown elections, not to name any specific names (Hillary Clinton).

And most importantly to all of us here in New England, great sports teams can be brought down by overconfidence.

I will be backing the Patriots on Saturday night with every fiber of my football-fan being, and I am not predicting anything other than another winning performance. However, I am hearing more abject overconfidence about this game than I’ve heard in a long time before a major sports event.

The Pats are a 13.5 point favorite, which seems reasonable. But to hear the fans discussing it, the game won’t even be that close. This kind of talk frightens me because I remember the 2002 Super Bowl, the only one I ever saw in person.

You may recall that game matched the Patriots against the St. Louis Rams, a team with such a potent offense it was known as “The Greatest Show on Turf.”

Take a wild guess what the pre-game line was?

Two touchdowns.

adam super bowl xxxvi Keller @ Large: Dont Be So Overconfident Patriots Fans

The Pats and Rams were tied 17-17 with 1:30 to go in the game, but Brady led New England down the field to set up an Adam Vinatieri game-winning 48-yard field goal as time expired to give the Pats a 20-17 Super Bowl XXXVI victory. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

But right away, you could see that the Rams came in overconfident, and the Pats were hungry to puncture their balloon. You could hear the contact the Pats were laying on them all the way up in the distant seats where I was.

The rest is history.

And while I’m sure coach Bill Belichick is keeping the Pats focused, it’s incumbent on us fans to curb our overconfidence. Because those who ignore the past are condemned to repeat it.

 Your comments are welcome via email at, or you can reach me on Twitter, @kelleratlarge.


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