By John Matonich
This year’s Super Bowl teams are set. After two very good championship games, the NFC and AFC will face off on February 3 for Super Bowl LIII (53). The New England Patriots will face the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta. I should also say let the bashing begin.
I mention this because it amazes me how many sports fans simply can’t stand success and now will go out of their way to bash a team that has been a mainstay in the Super Bowl for a number of years. I guess some folks just get tired of watching a well-coached highly talented team once again rise to the challenge and be able to play for the top NFL trophy.
Before I continue, let me clarify that I am a Chicago Bears fan and have been one for almost my entire life. I have been through the dark days with Abe Gibron as head coach to the glory period with “Sweetness” in the backfield and the “Monsters of the Midway” playing defense. My Bears did better this year than most thought they would and probably should have gone a little farther except for a missed field goal, but that’s another story for another time.
The Patriots have been a mainstay of well-played football for a number of years, but no doubt we will all read how tiresome it is to once again have them represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. I know there will be writings where most folks would rather see Nancy Pelosi square off with Donald Trump in a boxing ring than to see Tom Brady once again lead his team in the big game. Actually, I wouldn’t mind seeing that boxing match either and I wouldn’t count Mrs. Pelosi out as she looks like she might have a tough left hook (pun intended).
I am not sure why the Patriots generate so much love/hate with football fans. The last I understood is that all the teams have the same chance to draft, trade and/or acquire free agents with the same salary cap. In fact, the teams with poorer records have the opportunity to draft earlier and theoretically should have a shot at better talent. It seems to me the Patriots have some sharp folks in their front office and on their coaching staff who know how to work with the cards they are dealt.
I know I will get educated by a number of NFL fans why the Patriots should be term-limited out of the Super Bowl for a few years. I am sorry but I am not a fan of term limits either as we have always had them…they are called elections just like there are playoffs in the NFL to decide who goes to the big game. But again, let the bashing begin.
If I remember correctly, Mr. Brady had a pretty good college career with a small school in Ann Arbor and yet was a 6th round draft pick for the Patriots. I guess a lot of teams thought the Wolverines weren’t all that good even though Brady led them to a victory over Ohio State and a trip to the Orange Bowl where they defeated Alabama in his final year. I wish I could remember the last Wolverine team that did that, but I digress.
While I wish I could be watching this year’s Super Bowl wearing my Bears jersey, I will have to keep it in the closet for one more year. I may have to get a Patriots jersey, though and then hope I don’t need Mrs. Pelosi’s help to get out of whatever watering hole I choose to watch the big game at.
And that’s the situation as I survey it …
After a 35-year career downstate livin’ amongst da trolls, during which he built a successful engineering and surveying business, John Matonich is back home in da U.P. His column will appear here occasionally, don’tcha know. His book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” is available on Amazon.com.