Some of you out there are not going to like this. Like those from Lowell and Gloucester and New Bedford and Providence and, of course, Boston.
Most of us hate the New England Patriots.
Sorry, but it's true. What does it say that a New York team is in the championship game and most of the country is rooting for it? It says we hate the other team more than we hate the team from New York. In this case, that's the Patriots.
Of course, those of you from Boston and the surrounding towns and neighborhoods should feel honored, not offended. After all, sports fans don't hate teams that are lousy. Think about it. Does anyone out there hate the Los Angeles Clippers? Or the Kansas City Royals? Or, say, Vanderbilt?
No, we save our hate for teams that are not just good, but really good.
So, with that in mind, here are 10 reasons we hate the Patriots.
They threaten us
1 Most of us have our favorite team. Some are Chicago fans and like to think the 1985 Bears are the greatest team ever. Those from Miami, of course, go with the 1972 Dolphins. Pittsburghers still swear the Steelers of the 1970s are football's best dynasty. The Joe Montana 49ers and the Troy Aikman Cowboys have their supporters. Those from Wisconsin still point to Vince Lombardi's Packers as the original and still best dynasty.
But if the Patriots win this weekend, all of us have to admit that a team that goes 19-0 would have be considered the absolute best of all time. And we would hate to admit that.
Tom Brady is just too perfect
2 This is a guy thing.
He's the guy all of us other guys hated in high school because he got straight A's without studying, drove a Corvette that his parents bought him, played quarterback and point guard and shortstop, and dated the head cheerleader who would never give someone like us the time of day.
Come on, it's just not fair! Dimpled chin. Perfect teeth. Hair always messy, but looking exactly how we want our hair to look. And now he's dating a supermodel? Are you kidding us? This, after dumping his gorgeous actress girlfriend, who turned out to be pregnant? Then, at the end of the day, we have to listen to our wives or girlfriends tell us how dreamy he is?
Let's face it, for us men, Tom Brady is the guy we all want to be, but never in a million years could be.
And what do we think about those guys? We hate them.
3 We're not calling them cheaters. The NFL called them cheaters. That's why the league fined coach Bill Belichick and the team $750,000 and took away a first-round draft pick over the whole SpyGate mess. Paint it anyway you want, Pats fans, but they cheated.
And we hate cheaters. Especially those who get caught.
We're sick of Boston
4 Okay, you know, we all thought it was great when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and broke the Curse of the Bambino and all that - especially because they beat the Yankees, another team we all hate, along the way. Then the Red Sox won another World Series. Then the Celtics start getting good. And now it seems everywhere you go, you run into a Boston fan. Where were all you people 10 years ago when the Red Sox were cursed and the Patriots stunk and the Celtics were putrid?
Before 2004, you could go to a Red Sox-Rays game at the Trop and it seemed like a normal Rays game. Now? The place is crammed with Baahston people screaming obnoxiously. What, they all moved here since 2004? We're just saying that it seems like the bandwagon is pretty overloaded from all the people who have been jumping on it the past few years.
We still don't get the Randy Moss thing
5 Suddenly, Randy Moss is a good guy. Know why he is a good guy? Because he plays on a team that throws him the ball and his team wins. Did everyone suddenly forget that this is a player who essentially quit on the Vikings and got himself traded to Oakland? Then he essentially quit on the Raiders and got himself traded to New England? Now all we hear are people singing his praises, talking about what a comeback he has had, how he's a team player now.
For years, Moss was an immature, whining, selfish egomaniac. He didn't change his stripes in one season.
6 Hey, Bill, a wet cardboard box called. He wants his personality back.
Listen, Belichick is a great coach. Make that a great, great coach. Maybe the best ever. But mix in a smile now and then. Maybe crack a joke. It says something that the president of the United States, with all he is dealing with, is nicer and kinder and can joke with the media more than a man who is incredibly rich for coaching a football team for a living.
Bill Belichick, part II
7 Now that we've gotten started on Belichick, we still don't understand why he was mad at the Jets and the rest of the NFL when he was the one who was caught cheating. Think about it. He does something wrong and now he's going to punish them? Speaking of comatose-inducing personalities, it reminds us of Richard Nixon's paranoia.
Bill Belichick, part III
8 Calling timeouts late in the game. Going for it on fourth down with a big lead. That dead-fish handshake after games. The grungy sweatshirt. The whole running up the score against teams, especially classy Washington coach Joe Gibbs. All of it is just not cool.
They aren't our team
9 The Patriots machinelike precision and robotic reliability only reminds us how inept our favorite team is. Our coach isn't as smart as Belichick. Our quarterback isn't as good as Brady. When the Patriots need a winning drive, they get it. Our team gains six yards on a fourth and seven.
Our team isn't the Patriots. And we hate it.
We have to hate somebody
10 This is how sports works. We love the little guy, the underdogs. We love the Boise States. We love the Appalachian States. We love the Gonzagas and the George Masons of the NCAA basketball tournament. That means we hate the powerhouses - such as Duke basketball. Why do you think so many people took glee in the collapse of Notre Dame football? We need dynasties, mostly because we want to see the dynasties end. We need overwhelming favorites so we can root for the underdogs against them. So, we hate the Evil Empires - the Yankees, the Celtics, Notre Dame, Duke. All those teams we mentioned earlier - Lombardi's Packers and the '70s Steelers and '90s Cowboys and so forth - were hated, too.
And these days, no one is more of a dominant Evil Empire than the Patriots.
So ... we hate them.