It’s a fact of life that success can breed resentment and that prolonged success can breed prolonged resentment. New England Patriots then, thanks to their six Super Bowl wins since 2001, are the NFL team that fans of other teams love to hate.
But it’s not just their success that has everyone cheering their defeats, it’s also the controversy that has surrounded Bill Belichick’s team while they’ve achieved it. Getting caught spying on rival teams, ‘deflategate’, getting caught spying on rival teams again…Then there’s the long list of conspiracy theories dreamt up by overzealous rival fans about rigged games, which also wouldn’t look out of place getting the Oliver Stone treatment.
Yet, the reign of Patriots being everyone’s ‘anyone but them’ team could soon be coming to an abrupt end. The GOAT of the franchise’s reign, Tom Brady, is now 42 years old and is in the twilight of his career. They were eliminated in the first round by the Titans, and many noted that the sense of magic that once surrounded Brady every time he held the football throughout the last 20 years has dulled significantly.
And now, he has decided to move on from New England. He’ll now begin his free agency tour and many are linking him to the Los Angeles Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But regardless of where he goes, the Patriots will have to dig in and find someone to fill his shoes.
Replacing Brady with a quarterback who can fill those gigantic shoes and carry the franchise forward to the same elite level will be an almost impossible task. With the prospect of such massive change happening in New England, it’s conceivable to think that their last visit to the Super Bowl back in 2019 was their last for a while.
So which franchise will step up to take the place of the Patriots and become the new NFL team fans love to hate? Here are three teams that could take the Patriots’ place.
Kansas City Chiefs
This option might have people scratching their heads at first, but remember that line about success breeding resentment? Sure, the current Super Bowl champions are being rightly heralded as worthy winners, and most people are happy for Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes to get their ring. But they also – due to Reid being a fantastic head coach, and Mahomes now being the best quarterback in the NFL – have the ability to become a dynasty. If they manage to add another couple of Super Bowls to the trophy cabinet, then soon the positive vibes sent their way could turn into dismay and animosity.
The Eagles are already a team whose fans come with a no holds barred reputation. Remember that this is the fanbase that, all the way back in 1968, threw mountains of snowballs at some poor 19-year-old dressed as Santa Claus. Ok, that was a very long time ago, but come on, it’s Santa Claus.
Since then, they’ve built upon that incident and found infamy for their rioting and raucous ways. Not ones to be put off by this stigma, some of their fans wear it as a badge of pride. You can hear the chant ‘no one likes us, we don’t care’ reverberate around the Philly streets after an Eagles win.
If head coach Doug Pederson can build upon the 2017 Super Bowl win, then on-field success could elevate them to everyone’s favorite team to beat.
Ah yes, the self-dubbed ‘America’s team’. Proclaiming yourself as the franchise of the American people without their approval is never going to go down well. In fact, before the Patriots became the juggernauts of the league over the past twenty years, the Cowboys were most fans’ answer to which club they hated most.
You’d think that having someone to replace them from that particular title would please Cowboys fans. But that insistence that they are still the NFL’s biggest club, harking back to their five Super Bowl wins (the last of which was won way back in 1995) and the size of their stadium, continues to really wind up opposing fans.
Ok, so they are the world’s most valuable sports team, with a value of $5 billion, but if they aren’t getting the results on the field what difference does that make? Well, it makes their controversial owner, Jerry Jones very happy. He is a personality that divides opinion, to put it lightly, with some of his actions.
Now that the Patriots’ dynasty could be rapidly deflating, the Cowboys might find themselves back atop their perch.