Patriots fans a quiet bunch at Gillette

Not much went right for the Patriots and their fans last Sunday.
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Last Sunday confirmed the thoughts of many. The Patriots have the worst home field advantage in the NFL.

Fans began filing toward the exit signs with under three minutes remaining in the 20-18 loss to the Cardinals. This was prior to the first down by Arizona’s Ryan Williams and later his fumble on 3rd and 13. Worst case scenario – the Patriots would have gotten the ball back with 25 seconds remaining. For Tom Brady, in today’s NFL, that’s an eon.

All this came after fans loudly booed the best NFL team of the past decade for a few three-and-outs in the second quarter.

Now, the booing doesn’t bother me too much. I’ve long been of the belief that if a fan pays good money to buy a ticket, he or she can do just about anything they want outside of urinating or stabbing someone (both of which actually happens at select NFL stadiums). I also believe that the cynical Bill Belichick actually enjoys negative crowd reaction at home and uses it as just another way to motivate his team.

But leaving a game early? No excuses. 

There was once a time when those in this city ridiculed places like Los Angeles, Atlanta and Miami for having fans that were more into “being seen” than rooting on their team. Fans in those markets didn’t “get it,” we said, and we laughed that they routinely showed up just before halftime and left midway through the fourth quarter.

The laundry list of excuses does not have to be read aloud anymore. This was a 1 p.m. game on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. It was the home opener. The Patriots were in need of a lift as they struggled against an average-to-below average team.

Yes, the way Gillette Stadium was built is an issue, this is true. The noise routinely whips right past the light tower and under the bridge before spilling out onto Route 1. But fans in the stadium have managed to be loud in the past (look no further than last winter’s two postseason games for proof). The issue here is that the decibel levels don’t reach peaks until either:

 1. Fans are told to be loud by Tom Brady (embarrassing that it ever came to that). 

or

2. A Super Bowl berth is a win or two away.

In last Sunday night’s Lions-49ers tilt, the fans at Candlestick Park made things brutal for the visitors from Detroit. Deafening noise when the ’Niners were on “D.” Near silence when the ’Niners had the ball. In other words, they behaved exactly how a football crowd should behave.

It’s possible that this is just a Northeast thing (though we’re supposed to be the ‘tough ones,’ remember?). The New York Giants have always had issues with an “older fan base” that hates attending night games and doesn’t make any noise until it absolutely has to. It’s a fan base that, like that Patriots’, is used to winning.

The issue in New Jersey is that the lowly Jets fans show up the next week and scream (and drink) until they pass out, making the Giants fans look timid.

Do we want to become Jets fans? Absolutely not. 

But there has to be some sort of happy-medium here. The Patriots have been the model NFL franchise of the last decade. It’s time for Patriots fans to start living up to their end of the bargain.

- Matt Burke is the Sports Editor at Metro Boston. Follow him on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.
Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Send submissions to letters@metro.us.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

Future Boston Alliance invites you to #RidetheLine, support…

#RidetheLine aims to show the city, the nation, and the globe our creative impact as Boston citizens.

Local

(Update) Body of missing BU grad Eric Munsell…

The dead man pulled from the water at Boston's Long Wharf Wednesday afternoon was that of missing 24-year-old Boston University alumnus Eric Munsell, Boston Police said today.

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

Music

Championship of Collegiate a Cappella: Students who are…

Tickets to this Saturday’s International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella reportedly sold out within 11 hours of going on sale.

Music

M.I.A. talks 'Matangi,' divinity, spontaneity and holograms

"There’s pressure for me to become a theatrical production like 'Glee,' or something" says M.I.A., "It’s like, 'the pressure’s on, bitches.'"

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

NHL

NHL video highlights: Bruins edge Red Wings in…

NHL video highlights: Bruins edge Red Wings in overtime of Game 4

MLB

MLB video highlights: Yankees rout Red Sox, 14-5

Felix Doubront struggles for second time in five starts

NBA

Jason Collins named to Time's 100 Most Influential…

Jason Collins was named to the list after coming out as the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.