Is it moral, ethical, civil, even patriotic, to hate the Patriots?
As a life-long Yankees fan I say, yes, definitely. It comes with the territory when your team wins too much.
I bring up the Yankees because, in their several hey-days, they were lambasted by opposition fans for their annoying habit of playing in and then winning the World Series...seemingly every year. The complaint was always the same: they bought the pennant. Free agency changed all that; and in 2018, nine major league teams spent more money on players than the Yankees did, including the Nationals, the Mets (!), and the Red Sox, the eventual Series winners. The Sox came in second only to the San Francisco Giants—who should probably ask for either a refund or some smarter shoppers. In fact, one might say that in 2018 the Red Sox bought the championship. Nobody would care less than a Red Sox fan.
Their success in the 21st century is extraordinary, but the term “the hated Red Sox” will require a lot more winning before it rolls off the tongue with any credibility. However, their neighbors down the road in Foxborough have arrived at and gone well past the perimeter of abhorrence. Step outside the six New England states and, aside from transplanted New Englanders, the chances of finding a Patriots fan are about the same as finding a Pence supporter at a Planned Parenthood meeting.
But unlike the Yankees of their gilded age, the Patriots cannot be accused of buying their championships. In the more sophisticated 21st century, cheating has supplanted spending, and today’s haters don’t point to the deep pockets of Patriots owner Robert Kraft (though deep they are), but instead to some sinister cabal of referees and officials—even the gods who control the weather. Even worse, the Pats are one errant pass to Wes Welker and one lucky grab by David Tyree away from having two more 21st century Super Bowl victories.
Odd, isn't it? Two teams with names straight out of Americana, and yet....
Confucius said hatred was like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone. Meanwhile, you get burned. If so, grab an oven mitt and let the vitriol flow if you're so inclined, and remember the words of Tom Brady: “We’re going to win. We’re going to win so much, you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning, you’re going to come to me and go ‘Please, please, we can’t win anymore.’ It’s too much. It’s not fair to everybody else.”*
*Upon further review, apparently those weren’t Tom Brady’s words at all; instead that promise came from another celebrity. The difference, or course, is that Brady usually delivers on his.