Paul Higham brings us the latest from Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta where opinion is split on whether the New England Patriots should be loved or hated.
It's a strange old subject over here that is proving popular this week, and there's kind of no middle ground on whether you're in the Patriots camp or not, whether Brady and Belichick are a joy to behold, or not.
Of course, this is mainly because of their success, but everyone seems to have an opinion. On this subject I was lucky enough to speak to some NFL legends, so see below videos from Terrell Davis and Kurt Warner on the Patriots, and Brady in particular...
Why the anti-Patriot movement ?
As stated above, teams that dominate often become hate figures for the rest of the league – especially in American sports where parity is always the aim with drafts, salary caps and, in the NFL, weighted fixtures giving you a harder schedule if you succeed.
To have a team go to nine Super Bowls in a 19-year spell is just unheard of, and while they’ve gone 5-3 in the last eight under Brady and Belichick, always being there or thereabouts certainly grinds the gears of opposition fans – especially in the AFC.
Belichick may not help with his dour, monosyllabic approach at the interview podium, but for neutral neutrals that makes his ‘evil empire’ all the more entertaining – and when you see the calibre of players these two have managed to elevate into Super Bowl champions you have to just sit back and admire it.Kurt Warner on Tom Brady
Of course, there’s the likes of ‘Spygate’ and ‘Deflategate’ somewhat tarnishing their image for some, but of others they’re just side notes to an otherwise glorious tale of sustained excellence.
Just being able to come back time and time again, whether after success or failure, shows great character, desire and will to win, and that’s the main reason that, regardless of the result, Brady will not be walking away from the NFL after this game.
To the delight of many, to the dismay of others….