I can come up with a bunch of examples of how sports team have talked trash all week and still won the game. The Giants both in 07 and last year come to mind....
But even if I DID think any of those things, I refuse to root for someone whose balls will forever be washed because he won three Super Bowls while his teams broke the rules for competitive advantage.
Brady is a guy you hate while he is playing and miss when he is gone. Like it or not he is a Maestro. One of the best to play the game. That said I hope we knock him silly first time he drops back to pass and goes home calling his wife Mistress Helga.
I think the pre-game humility is all an act. There is no whinier player in the NFL (look at how many times he begs for a flag on incidental contact). He acts spoiled/entitled, etc. But you can't take away the fact that he is one of the top 10 QBs ever to play the game. His resume alone should get him included on that list (5 AFC Championships, 3 NFL Championships, the most postseason wins by any QB in the history of the league).
I have no love for the guy, but give him his due. We may not like him, Baltimore, but we have to respect his abilities and his career.
Since 2009, the Patriots and Ravens have played 5 games, twice in the playoffs. The Patriots have won 3 games, the Ravens 2. NOTE: 4/5 have been in NE.
1 passing TD
0.4 rushing TD
24.2/39 for 62%
1.8 passing TD
0 rushing TD
21.6/33.4 for 64.7%
5 passing TD
2 rushing TD
9 passing TD
0 rushing TD
33-14 (playoff W)
20-23 (playoff L)
On a whole, Flacco has outplayed Brady. Of course Brady has played a tougher overall Ravens defense. I think Brady probably has his worst career numbers against the Ravens, of all teams. Plus we have the anomaly of the blowout playoff win where Flacco attempted just 10 passes for 34 yards.
The last 3 games have been decided by 3 points or less, both in NE and BAL. Take out the blowout and the loss margin only grows to 6 points (thank you Mark Clayton!).
Imagine if more of these games had been in BAL...
I can't be bothered to dislike the Patriots.
It's always been easy to hate the Steelers; their team has been populated with assholes, creeps, and cheap shot artists for *years*.
I just can't be bothered to hate the Patriots. They've had a few real toolbags over the years, such as cheap shot artist Rodney Harrison and that other safety, whose name I forget, who headbutted Todd Heap, but for the most part they're just football players.
Belichik appears to be a real deal asshole, but that's not really enough to get my blood boiling.
I still hope we kick their asses. I'm just not persuaded to think of them as the bad guys of the league.
(a) That's Belichik, not the players on the field, and
(b) The "cheating" was not exactly Ethan Hunt and his team of super spies stealing playbooks. They were stealing signals, which is bad, but when it happens in baseball nobody gets very excited. It wasn't slipping barbituates in the Jets' Gatorade cooler or anything. *That* would have been cool.
When I see Hines Ward, Joey Porter, James Harrison, Ben Roethlissberger, Knowshon Moreno, or most of the other so-called "stars" for the Steelers for the past fifteen years, I'm pissed all over again because they are various degrees of worthless human beings.
There have been precious few Patriots who bring that out in me.
Sure, Belihcik qualifies as a worthless human being. I hold him responsible for the cheating and he pops up in the news every now & then as a philandering asshole, but he's on the sideline, and really he's the only guy on that whole team who I feel that way about.
There have been some estimates that Brady knew well over half the opposition's defensive audibles because of it. Unless Brady is Manti Te'o levels of stupid, he would have known it wasn't normal for him to have that information.