There is no one who is laughing better these days than the New England Patriots’ triumvirate of Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Their unbelievable victory in Super Bowl LI has carried them to the top of the mountain with literally nothing else for any of them to prove. Well, other than beating the New York Giants in the Super Bowl maybe, but that’s a subject for another day. Owner Robert Kraft may not have had anything to do with the on field tactics but he has stood by his staff and his team through thick and thin and there are a number of owners who would not have. Belichick and Brady are already first ballot Hall of Famers but what they accomplished on Sunday and how they accomplished it are what legends dream about. This title, their 5th, meant a lot more than just winning a championship, it was sweet revenge and gave each of them the right, finally, to point a finger and laugh.
That finger point was not in the direction of their opponents the Atlanta Falcons. Yes there might be reason to laugh at them as who in this day and age can give up 31 straight points to lose the most important game of their lives? It wasn’t all on the defence either as my colleague David Seigel pointed out on Monday, Falcons’ Matt Ryan threw it away by not throwing it away. So despite Atlanta’s impressive first half and it truly was impressive, they did make mistakes that cost them the game. But the Patriots weren’t laughing at them for any mistakes or blowing that lead. Tom Brady knows all too well how easily they could have been the losers that night. There were about 30 things that had to go right at the end of that game (including that superb Julian Edelman catch) for New England to win and sure enough, they all did. Yes the Patriots were laughing, but it wasn’t at the Falcons.
They could have (and probably should have) been laughing at their haters and detractors because there sure are enough of them. New England has had a far greater impact on football than the Dallas Cowboys in the last couple of decades, but no one will ever mistake them as America’s team. To many, they are just a bunch of arrogant SOBs, they are cheaters and Kraft, Belichick and Brady are quite simply villains. Whether it was stealing signs or deflating balls, there are a number of fans and NFL teams that will do anything to see them fail. You know these people. I bet you even had a bunch of them at which ever Super Bowl party you attended. They were the ones that were pounding their chests in that first half. They were the ones saying “I told you so” as Lady Gaga fell through the sky during the halftime show. They were the ones that got quieter and quieter and quieter as the game went into overtime and ended. But you know what, they weren’t being the ones laughed at either.
There was only one person that the Patriots were laughing at and Roger Goodell is at the forefront of it all. The absolute embarrassment that was deflategate had more to do with Goodell’s ego than it had anything to do with New England cheating. Give those New Englander’s some credit as they kept their emotions in check and were outright professional anytime anyone mentioned Mr. Goodell. But at the first moment possible after their record setting 5th Super Bowl Championship; after Brady’s record setting 4th MVP award; and after many other countless records regarding comebacks and quarterback stats, they made sure everyone was aware of who they were laughing at.
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