With Super Bowl week underway, the New England Patriots and all the Tom Brady haters are out in full force. The reasons are plenty.
They're sick of the Patriots' success over the last two decades.
The list goes on.
As a longtime fan of a team that's never been to a Super Bowl, I would love for the Detroit Lions to someday be the target of those haters. How awesome would that be to have fans grow sick of hearing about the Lions' Super Bowl runs and bored with their success?
No Super Bowl-deprived team has been around longer than the Lions. The Cleveland Browns are close. They are two franchises with a lot of history and tremendously loyal fan bases which can only hope success in pro sports is indeed cyclical.
The Patriots have been riding that cycle of success for nearly two decades, so it may be tough for average NFL fans to remember the lean years in Foxboro.
Not Patriots fans. They remember the mostly forgettable years in the early 1990s when the Patriots stumbled to records of 1-15 and 2-14 during a stretch that saw them go 35-77 until the 1996 Super Bowl season when they lost to Mike Holmgren's Packers in the title game.
But at least they got there.
With all their success, the Patriots aren't the best example of "every dog has his day," but it's still applicable. Only this dog has been hoarding his bone for the last 17 years, reaching the AFC Championship game an average of every other year in that time. Odds are, the Patriots' ridiculous run will start to lose its legs Monday, with the loss of their two coordinators and the uncertain futures of Brady and head coach Bill Belichick.
The Patriots' baseball counterpart in Boston, the Red Sox, finally had their day in 2004, snapping an 86-year drought between World Series titles.
Chicago Cubs fans waited even longer - 108 seasons, before winning it all in 2016.
In its nearly 50-year history, the Houston Astros finally broke through, winning its first ever world championship last season.
Other dogs who had their day.
The Astros are now built for sustained success, which is bad news for the Seattle Mariners which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, but have yet to celebrate even a trip to the World Series. The Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals franchise is the only other MLB team to never play in a World Series.
In the NBA, there are eight teams who have never been to the NBA Finals. The L.A. Clippers franchise is the senior member of that group having been around since 1970.
Can you imagine if one day the Clippers turn things around and go on a title binge like the Patriots? Golden State Warriors fans can relate. They may be the big dogs in the NBA right now, but before winning the title in 2015, they spent 20 years with their tails between their legs, failing to qualify for the playoffs in all but two of those years. They were terrible.
Now, they're a team of superstars who could rake in titles for the next decade, and their fans will deserve every bit of that success.
Which brings me back to my point -- success is fleeting. As redundant as it can be to watch the same teams win year in and year out, those same franchises spent plenty of their existence near the bottom. And as annoying as fans of those winning teams can be, and trust me the 12s have heard it all, you have to let those fans have their day, even if it lasts decades.
Mention 2-14 to Seahawks fans and you'll understand why they've become the loudest and some would argue the most obnoxious fans in the league. They spent the last six years whooping it up, not knowing their team's playoff run was coming to an end.
Looking ahead, there's no telling where their Seahawks are headed now, but at least they took their fans to the mountaintop.
Mariners fans are still stuck in the lodge going through their backpacks. They may live a lifetime without seeing their beloved M's get to a World Series, much less win one.
But if someday it happens, who could ever blame their dedicated fans for becoming insufferable over a 10-year run of playoffs and World Series appearances?
That's why when the cycle of success comes around, you ride it as long as you can.
Enjoy it Patriots fans, because inevitably your ride is coming to an end.
Don't hate on them, folks, because you know you would trade places with them wicked fast.