The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl.  Just as important for some, the New England Patriots didn't.

Don't get me wrong in what I'm about to write here:  I'm typically a fan of sustained excellence in virtually any field.  I look at sports as an industry and a form of entertainment, and as such with rare exception I don't revel in any team's victories nor brood in their defeats.

Today, I'm happy for Philadelphia Eagles fans, wherever they may be.  But I've got to be honest, I'm just as happy that New England sports fans - fans who in the past 15 years went from "guys we'd really wish could enjoy one baseball or football championship, just so they could experience it" to "smug, arrogant, obnoxious ***holes who hopefully never have another championship to celebrate for another 86 years" - don't have another championship to be smug, arrogant and obnoxious about.

Someday Patriots fans will have another championship to celebrate.  But I've reached a point where I hope it's at least a quarter century before that happens, if for no other reason than their fans are just... so... insufferable. 

"Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time!"

"Bill Belichick is the greatest head coach of all time!"

"The New England Patriots are the greatest team of all time!"

Nope.  Sorry.  Are those statements true of this generation of professional football?  Sure, I'll readily concede that argument.  But football is an evolutionary sport; it always has been, and it will continue to be going forward.  There's no "greatest of all time" because the game played in 2017 was so different than that played in 1927, or 1947, or even 1997, makes even indirect comparisons hard to make with clarity.

Brady?  Well before him there was Favre.  Montana.  Unitas.  Graham.  Luckman.

Belichick?  Before him came Walsh. Noll. Landry. Brown. Halas.

The Patriots?  The Patriots have gone to the Super Bowl eight times in sixteen years?  Okay.  The Cleveland Browns went to ten league championship games in a row, and in leagues whose overall talent pool wasn't nearly as diluted.  And before you come back with the argument "But the first four weren't in the NFL?"  You're right.  They were in the All-America Football Conference, which by contemporary reports put forth a better on-field product than the NFL before the leagues merged... a fact evidenced in Week 1 of the 1950 season, when in a game between the Browns and the 1949 NFL champion Philadelphia Eagles, the Browns blew their doors off, 35-10.

So I'm making the argument that the Browns were the best of all time?  Nope.  Only the best of that era, same as the Patriots are of this one.  But one thing Browns fans weren't was smug and obnoxious about their team's victories... and those fans grandchildren and great-grandchildren would settle for having a team in town that wasn't a total mess.  So Patriots fans?  Learn from the fact that everyone around you is reveling in your team's loss today.  Get back some of that humility you had prior to the Red Sox World Series title in 2004.  You could use it.

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