What planet am I on?
Certainly not the one where having the No. 1 seed in the playoffs and being the favorite to win the Super Bowl is an admirable position. Absolutely not the one where you can take pleasure in watching the greatest coach and quarterback of all-time continue to be at the top of their game.
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What if I told you, in 2018, as the Patriots begin their quest for a sixth championship, people in New England would be talking about trading Bill Belichick for draft picks? Or, even better, what if I told you these same people would be ready to move on from Tom Brady during a season in which he’ll most likely be crowned regular-season MVP for the third time in his career?
Sounds like a disturbing 30-for-30 promo that details the moment everybody lost their [expletive] minds.
“Oh, Danny, don’t spill any of that the Kool-Aid on your Patriots jersey while typing,” some are probably saying.
I can hear them now. Because that’s what it’s come to. I actually have to defend myself against people who have brainwashed themselves into thinking it’s now a sign of weakness and “homerism” to find enjoyment in my hometown football team being the best in the league, still.
Look, if the Patriots lose to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night, then they deserve to be criticized and crushed by fans and media. But, if what I’ve been watching over the last 16 games isn’t a figment of my imagination, then I don’t see how they could possibly lose this Divisional Round game at home.
I expect the Patriots to advance to their seventh straight AFC Championship. Others, like ESPN’s Seth Wickersham, expect Belichick to pack his bags and leave town, regardless of what happens the rest of the playoffs.
By now, you’ve read Wickersham’s highly-exaggerated version of what’s going on behind the scenes in Foxboro. You shouldn’t need me to tell you that Belichick and Brady remain focused on their short-term goal of winning another Super Bowl together. But here we are.
And I mean, how much longer are people going to complain about the Jimmy Garoppolo trade? Whatever the reason you disagree with it, at what point do you eventually come back down to Earth and realize that Brady is still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL?
What, I’m crazy to keep pointing that out? Why? It’s not an opinion. It’s a fact. Any praise for the Patriots over the last two decades is basically just a reminder of the facts. That’s all it is.
Some people don’t like facts. They don’t like the fact that Brady and Garoppolo have the same agent. They don’t like the fact that Garoppolo wasn’t going to sign that contract extension to stay in New England. They don’t like the fact that giving your backup quarterback $25 million under the franchise tag when he still won’t sign that same contract extension next October is the equivalent of taking $25 million and throwing it in a garbage barrel. And they don’t like the fact that Belichick only got a second-round pick for Garoppolo.
But more than anything else, they absolutely hate the fact that, through it all, Brady is still the cream of the crop at 40 years old.
“They’re not on the same page. Something’s going on behind the scenes. Belichick and Brady can’t stand each other. Belichick wants out. You know what, the Patriots should trade Belichick if he doesn’t want to be here. They should’ve just kept Garoppolo and traded Brady, and all this dysfunction could’ve been avoided.”
It’s making my head spin.
Even if the Patriots don’t win this year’s Super Bowl in Minnesota, do you know who’s already the favorite to win next year’s Super Bowl in Atlanta?
That’s right, it’s the Patriots.
And unfortunately, we’re currently living in a world where I have to explain why.
Listen to “The Danny Picard Show” at dannypicard.com. Follow him on Twitter @DannyPicard.