It’s been a rough year for Patriots fans. It started with a first-round playoff loss against the Tennessee Titans. In that game, the lack of offensive talent that plagued the Patriots all season struck again. We had to deal with fans of the Kansas City football team as Patrick Mahomes won the Super Bowl with an overabundance of offensive talent. Then on March 17th came the worst news possible. Tom Brady was leaving the Patriots. The Savior of Boston, Lord of the Endzone, King in the North, and the Greatest Of All Time would play for another team.
That led to some fans hoping that COVID-19 would cause the NFL season to be canceled. If there were no games, then Brady couldn’t play for another team and it wouldn’t hurt as much until the 2021 season. But the show must go on and Goodell needed some way to wield his unjust, tyrannical power. So the season went on. Patriots fans were just starting to get excited about future legend Jarrett Stidham when they received news that Cam Newton signed with the Patriots. At the time, this seemed great. Newton had won the NFL MVP award in 2015 and taken the Carolina Panthers to a Super Bowl. But that was not the Cam Newton that the Patriots got.
The 2020 season was, overall, a disaster for the Patriots and their fans. League-leading opt-outs, record-high injury reports, and COVID-19 combined to cripple the Patriots roster. Goodell, who has done more harm to Patriots fans than 2020 could ever hope to do, forced the Patriots to play against the defending Super Bowl champions with a severely depleted roster. After rescheduling the game. And forcing the Patriots to play the same day they traveled. And while Goodell didn’t force the Patriots to start Brian Hoyer, he was probably ecstatic that it happened.
To top it all off, the Patriots failed to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2008 season. Which, as you’ll recall, was when Tom Brady missed a year with a torn knee. (I’m not a statistician, but I know a trend when I see one. No Tom Brady = no playoffs.) But through it all, Patriots fans have circled the bandwagon. Gone are the fake fans who only watch the Patriots when they’re winning. Despite not being able to attend games in person, those true fans that remain have proved their loyalty and love for this team. For that, I award this week’s Game Ball to you, the best fans in sports. You’ve experienced the great highs of six Super Bowl wins and the devastating lows of playoff losses. The passion that makes other fanbases jealous and bitter was on full display, whether the Patriots won or lost.
We don’t know what the future holds for our beloved Patriots. And we have to figure out how to get through January and February without Patriots football. But we still have the strongest fans ever. We have the Greatest Coach ever. Most of our key players will return next season, and hopefully, games will be open to the public again. And as Bill Belichick says, We’re on to
–Travis Baltes is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage and covers the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @TravisBaltes