Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The Worst People Win Again

Illustration for article titled The Worst People Win Again
Photo: Maddie Meyer (Getty)

All the terrible people are happy today. Robert Kraft is happy, and presumably has a low arm wrapped around an auto show model, because another ring only further burnishes his title of King Of All Owners. Tom Brady is happy because he gets to frame himself as an underdog who overcame impossible odds despite being a wealthy, handsome, world-class athlete who has unrivaled accomplishments and is married to an even wealthier supermodel. Bill Belichick is happy this morning, which is probably unbearable for him. I bet he treated himself to a Belgian waffle before putting his Game Frown on and heading back to his precious tape mines for another season. Brian Flores is happy because he gets to bask in the glow of a championship before going to Miami and quickly realizing he’s in way over his head.


Jim Nantz is happy because the Official Team Of Vineyard Vines won it all yet again, and because he’s another day closer to eating cheese sandwiches at Augusta, and because he got to pimp out Brady’s horseshit narrative about the Pats sticking it to the doubters because Jim Nantz thrives in an access economy and he’ll gladly spew out whatever sewage that economy ladles into his waiting hands. All last week, this was a game in desperate search of greater meaning, and now people like Nantz will be left to wring even more contrived and false narratives out of its pointless outcome.

They’re all happy. The President is happy because he’ll get to “treat” his favorite pet title team to a buffet of White Castle and brag online about how he’s played golf with 60 percent of them. Julian Edelman is happy because he has an MVP and now has license to ride Tom Brady’s coattails all the way to the fucking grave, where he’ll be buried alive alongside him. Gronk is happy because Gronk is always happy and that’s supposed to make ME happy even though his act wore thin 67 injuries ago. He’s now free to retire and go star in direct-to-Netflix chopsocky movies that will prove even duller than what transpired last night. Jon Bon Jovi is happy, which is too bad because his band is fucking awful.

Bill Simmons is happy because he gets to be like “Why was I the only one talking about how much potential this team had?” before embarking on a 30-part podcast series about Bruce Willis’ performance in Color of Night. Terminal shitbag Dave Portnoy is happy because, in his Aqua Velva universe, another Pats victory means he gets to grant himself permission to pathologically harass roughly 200 new women. He also managed to get performatively ejected from the Super Bowl, a limp stunt that will only enhance the imaginary buyout value of Barstool—the FuckJerry of sports sites—before all the VC bros bail and he films himself laying off 300 employees by ambushing them in the shower with the news. In fact, many of the remaining members of the national media are happy today because fucking 80 percent of them root for this team.

Yes, it’s a great day for unrepentant assholes all over the nation. For all the good and honest citizens, it’s puke. It’s a sixth loaf-shaped turd plopping directly into the punch bowl. Normally, the NFL relies on a compelling Super Bowl to redeem an otherwise moribund season. And the Patriots, much as I hate them, have often delivered great television to soothe the league’s bunions. But last night felt like the opposite, with Brady & co. absolutely ruining an otherwise exciting season of pro football all so that they could pad their already lustrous credentials.

Because this WAS a good season, featuring the ascension of Patrick Mahomes, and Drew Brees throwing for 80,000 yards, and Saquon Barkley doing everything that everyone hoped Saquon Barkley could do, and the league reporting that concussions have gone down (insert uncontrollable snickering here)! Yes, it was a fine season, until it ended with a criminally bad 13-3 Super Bowl capstone, a game that featured fully legalized pass interference and somehow represents the biggest blowout in Patriots Super Bowl history. It was unwatchable from start to finish, and I promise you that I didn’t want it to be.


The fact that the Patriots—whose dynasty is like if you took Woodstock ’99 and made it last 17 years—won it all renders all goodwill toward football moot. That game was an impossible bore, and the Rams’ torpid offense was certainly no help.


True that, Andrew. True that. To think that we spent all those months watching these new and potentially fun storylines develop, only for it to end with THIS. At least the Golden State Warriors are likable people, Draymond and KD and trophy sensualist Joe Lacob aside. Everyone associated with the Patriots is scum, and so of course they get to enjoy the spoils of victory once more. It feels like Trump just won Powerball.

Here’s a franchise that had already busted the four-ring barrier and pulled off the greatest Super Bowl comeback that has ever been or ever will be. Now they have a sixth ring, which ties them with the Steelers for most all time. That means we gotta hear TWO horrible, noxious fanbases brag about it and try to trademark Seven Would Be Heaven™ for bad merch over the next year, at the shortest. Yay? I have no interest in hearing how much THIS one matters the mostest to Tom Brady and his feathered mullet owner. Everything about this cherry-on-a-cherry-already-on-a-sundae Pats title is predictably obnoxious and overindulgent.


I wish I could tell you football haters that last night’s debacle represents the league’s death knell—a watershed of monotony that turns even the league’s diehards away for good. But I know better. The NFL was built on this exact kind of lie. They toot their horn about parity and equality and level payrolls and all that nonsense, and at the end of the season it’s the same cadre of rich assholes standing on a dais, further enriched. It’s the worst of America all over again. The NFL hates equality and believes, on principle, that it should be knocked right out of you. Only the terrible people get to feel good. Everyone else gets laid out on the ground.

And as much as the NFL claims to abhor its own violence, it’s more than willing to stand over you when you’re down and sneer at you for being too weak. Fuck them, fuck the Patriots, and fuck all the terrible people right off the side of the Earth.

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.