There are certain unwritten rules in sport.
Thou shalt not text your Liverpool-supporting fan at half-time in a Champions League final, thou shalt not video a penalty behind the goal and thou shalt not wish success upon the New England Patriots.
But the times they-are-a-changing.
Let us just consider that Tom Brady hasn’t actually mastered time and Bill Belichick won’t be the bloke they try and clone because he simply sticks around forever. As much of a relief as it will be for every other team under the sun, we’d have our heads in the sand if we didn’t admit we’d miss how they went about their business.
Some teams overcomplicate their offences. Brady simplifies everything.
Have a pass called in the huddle; if you don’t like the play, shout ‘alert’ and point to your helmet. They usually run the ball. As clever as every NFL coach thinks he is, winning is about numbers. If you have three deep safeties, don’t throw deep. If you have six blockers against five defenders in the box, then run the ball.
So while the young pretenders like McVay are wasting a fortune on premium whiteboard markers simply for style points, the Patriots are beating you to death simply because they don’t need to be flashy.
This Patriots team isn’t that good. They’ve one above average receiver, a freak tight end who can’t move anymore and a host of running backs who can catch the ball.
For all the matchup issues they should face, they consistently bypass them and find ways to win.
The Rams are headed by the smugness of Sean McVay and the prep school blondie poster boy in Jared Goff. They have a lot of arrogance on their defence (hello Marcus Peters), have no significant fanbase and they abandoned their actual support in St. Louis in the hope of making a quick buck in Los Angeles.
We’ve been denied a Brees v Brady Super Bowl that absolutely everyone wanted and only because of a missed pass interference call on Nickell Robey-Coleman.
There are now two ways to reach a Super Bowl, it seems: be Tom Brady, or sign a rookie quarterback, exploit his low salary for the duration of his contract and add quality pieces around him.
This is the tale of the tape, as it was last year – well, at least as it should have been.
Sometimes the old enemy can become a familiar foe and respect somes from their success. If you’re this good for that long, why not let them school all these up-and-coming coaches and learn the hard way?
The funny thing is, by beating Brady and co, they’ll just become like the Patriots organisation in their heads as soon as the final knee is taken, with very little basis for it. Our stubbornness and self-pity has blinded us from one of the best sporting organisations to ever play a sport. In a league designed not to feature lengthy winning tenures, the Patriots have mastered it through simplicity.
So while trends come and go, New England have been the permanent benchmark for success. They lost to Philadelphia last year. In truth, them making a Super Bowl is every bit as annoying as them winning one.
It’s time we all just sat back and applauded a level of genius that all of us are striving for.
New England are actually more likeable than the epitome of an American franchise that jumped ship to a city where nobody wants them.
If you’re going to be great, be bloody brilliant and don’t relent to the flavour of the month.