Friday, September 05, 2008

Football Season, or Why I'm Only Moderately Excited About the Pats in 2008

So, it's football season in New England, just 7 months after the New England Patriots completed the greatest, most perfect season in the history of the NFL!

Oh, wait...

No, they didn't. And THAT is why I am not nearly as excited as I should be about the 2008 New England Patriots. During the regular season last year I felt more excited than I've ever felt about sports, with the exception of maybe the 2001 Patriots season and the 2004 ALCS/World Series. The domination of the Patriots was a sight to behold, and it almost seemed unfair how easily they ran over teams on a weekly basis.

I mean, 16-0! Sixteen-and-freaking-0! That was great, but it only made us Pats fans more excited for the BIG ONE -- the 4th championship in 7 years. We would undoubtedly become the greatest team ever assembled, in any sport's history, this was a certainty.

I'm not going to get into what happened, but I left the end of that game basically happy for Giants fans, and disillusioned with the Patriots. Somehow, all of the hate and vile that people spewed about the Pats and their cheating ways never bothered me during the season, but following that game it all came crashing down onto me. No wonder people hate them, I thought. They can dominate a whole season and then treat the Super Bowl like "just another game." Well, the "just another game" theory works well when you're trying to not get caught up in the hype of the longest single-season winning streak in football history, but you can't treat the Super Bowl like "just another game."

How are the Pats going to do this year? Ah, they'll most likely be pretty dominant in the regular season, and most likely make the playoffs. Will they win the AFC Championship, or even make it? I'm not so sure. I would hope so, as a fan, but I don't think they can pull it off this year. If they do, I'll be pleasantly surprised, hell, even happy, but I can't get as excited about this team as I used to. The allure of, hey, we used to be the worst team and now we're the greatest has worn off. It's hard to feel bad for, or even root for, a team that just seemed to deflate last year on the biggest stage of them all.

Will I watch Sunday's game against the Chiefs? Parts of it, sure, but I'm not going to eagerly anticipate each week as much as I did last year. At least, not because I'm looking forward to the Patriots.


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