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On Saturday, Charles Barkley attended the New England Patriots’ 43-22 win over the Indianapolis Colts as a guest of owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick. Afterwards, he had some choice words for Patriots fans, which can be seen below. (Warning: Barkleys drops some strong language in the video.)
So Mr. Barkley, you think we take our team for granted, do you? It is true that we’ve won the AFC East division title 10 of the last 11 years, including the last five. Indeed we will have been to the past three AFC Championship games. Yes, we won three out of four Super Bowls from 2001 to 2004, and went to two more since then. And I’ll admit, I was pretty pissed when we lost the last two to Eli Manning and the New York Giants. I thought we should have won both of them (and yes, WE). That sucked. My jaw clenches and veins throb just typing out the past four sentences.
But don’t mistake that for me — or the rest of New England — taking the Patriots for granted. After all, you’re also talking to Red Sox Nation. And us Red Sox fans don’t take competing for championships for granted.
If you’ll remember, Mr. Barkley, we waited 86 years between baseball championships. So we know to appreciate a window of opportunity when it’s there, and that’s why we’re so hell bent on capitalizing on those Super Bowl chances while our Hall of Fame coach and quarterback are still with us.
Before our “team [bleeping] sucks,” as you so eloquently put it.
(Though, do you really think we’re such a naive fan base that we don’t understand that Belichick and Tom Brady are the cornerstones of our franchise’s success over the past 10-plus years? Come on.)
And trust me, sharing a division with the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills ensures we don’t take winning for granted.
Even if what you said was right — that it’s Super Bowl or bust with Pats fans — is it really so terrible to think so highly of your team? Isn’t that the ultimate compliment? To expect no less than a Super Bowl, year in, year out?
Besides, if you are such good friends with Kraft and Belichick, why are you berating their fan base? I guess in your own sweet way you’re standing up for them, trying to implore New Englanders to appreciate your friends for their incredible accomplishments. (Considering you say goodbye to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan by saying, “Okay, baby,” this actually makes a lot of sense.)
But there’s no need for you to be such a Debbie Downer before the media has even left the locker room. We just punched our ticket to the AFC title game for the third year in a row, and we’re trying to take it all in and appreciate it before it’s gone. So let us do that before someone else accuses us of taking Brady, Belichick, and the Patriots for granted.