Dave Zirin toughs it out: “The Progressive Case for the New England Patriots (Seriously).”


Dave Zirin once again proves he’s the only sportswriter who genuinely matters, this time by conquering a task many thought impossible.

I’m more interested in our living link to the Spirits of St. Louis, Bob Costas, being omitted from Stupor Bowl coverage. Is it because he talked turkey about concussions?

Take it away, Dave. Click through to absorb every last point, and if you’re a beer lover, ponder this:

Is there a progressive case to be made for New England IPA?

The Progressive Case for the New England Patriots (Seriously), by Dave Zirin (The Nation)

The team referred to as Team Trump is far more complicated than its critics would admit.

Setting aside football franchises named after racial slurs, the New England Patriots are my least favorite team in sports. It’s their annual dominance – now in 2018 it will be eight Super Bowl appearances in 17 years – as predictively monotonous as a metronome. It’s their Hall of Fame head coach, the joyless hooded gnome, Bill Belichick. It’s 40-year-old dreamboat quarterback Tom Brady and his carnival huckster approach to physical health – for $99.99 you too can get the Brady pajamas with “bioceramic particles woven in to reflect back to the body infrared waves.” It’s the way referees seem to love them just a little bit too much for comfort.

The list is long and I know I’m not alone in my disgust. Many have taken our resentments against this team and politicized it, saying in effect that a cheer for the Patriots is a cheer for the Trump agenda. They are viewed as Team Trump because their owner Bob Kraft gave a million bucks to Trump’s inauguration committee and has long touted their friendship. It’s because Belichick wrote a letter of support to Trump that Donald read aloud – almost certainly without Belichick’s approval – where he said, “You’ve proved to be the ultimate competitor and fighter. Your leadership is amazing.”

It’s the “Make America Great Again” hat hanging in Tom Brady’s locker in the summer of 2016 and Brady asking plaintively, “Why is that such a big deal?

For people defending the franchise against these Team Trump charges, it also hasn’t helped that Nazi leaders have said that the Pats are their favorites because they are “consistently NFL’s whitest team.” [That’s not actually true, but facts have never stopped Nazis before.]

Yet I want to make the counter argument to this …