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You Never Had a Right to Feel "Cheated"

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

I know that a lot of the members of the New England Patriots' organization don't feel cheated anymore by the NFL due to the whole deflategate soap opera that hopefully won't be talked about anymore starting in March, but even if Commissioner Roger Goodell made a mistake, you never had a right to be mad at the NFL.  Being mad at Goodell shouldn't be because of deflategate, it should be because of his inability to properly lead the NFL in the progressive era we live in (despite who your president is) starting with domestic violence and player safety.  However, and I'm talking to YOU, Patriots fans, have the least reason of anybody to be mad, even during Tom Brady's four game suspension.  Here is why.

Let me go back to the second Super Bowl appearance that New England appeared in, Super Bowl 31, exactly 20 years ago.  This was the one coached by Bill Parcells, and was against the Brett Favre led Green Bay Packers, who ended up winning their first Super Bowl since Vince Lombardi was the head coach.  Here is every single season record including that season since Super Bowl 31.  One star (*) equals a division title, two is an AFC championship appearance, three is a Super Bowl appearance, and four stars means a Super Bowl title.
1996: 11-5***
1997: 10-6*
1998: 9-7
1999: 8-8
2000: 5-11
2001: 11-5****
2002: 9-7
2003: 14-2****
2004: 14-2****
2005: 10-6*
2006: 12-4**
2007: 16-0***
2008: 11-5
2009: 10-6*
2010: 14-2*
2011: 13-3***
2012: 12-4**
2013: 12-4**
2014: 12-4****
2015: 12-4**
2016: 14-2****
Five Super Bowl titles, eight AFC championships, 11 AFC title appearances, 15 AFC East division titles in 20 seasons, 18 winning seasons

18 freaking winning seasons, forget the Lombardi trophies, 18 FREAKING WINNING SEASONS and y'all are mad about Roger Goodell having Tom Brady sit out four games?  Are you THAT SPOILED?  Look, the Patriots were the best team in football, and I get that, and they proved it by going 3-1 without him, but c'mon, I'm not hating, I'm just stunned at how spoiled you all can be.  I picked 1996 for two reasons, because it is a 20 year span and because I am a fan of the Green Bay Packers, who were the team to beat you in Super Bowl 31.  Also, Green Bay has been the second most consistent franchise, behind New England, over that time period.

I'm not a hater on the Patriots, I like the Celtics and Red Sox and respect what you guys have done these 20 years, and I never have had a reason to criticize New England except for Spygate, but you Patriots fans need to learn what a chill pill is.  Buffalo, Cleveland, Los Angeles (St. Louis), Jacksonville and Tampa Bay all have postseason droughts that have lasted the past decade.  14 additional teams have never been to a Super Bowl or NFL championship in the last 10 years, including five having more than 40 years and a 59 year drought by the Detroit Lions.  Three of the remaining 13 teams have no Super Bowl titles ever (Carolina, Atlanta, Arizona).  

Even the second most fortunate and consistent team of the past 20 years, the Green Bay Packers, have had incredibly terrible defeats in the postseason in recent memory despite having the most talented quarterback in the NFL (and talented does not mean being on the best team, it means having the best raw abilities at the position).  Four teams have relocated since 1996, the Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, and most recently the Chargers and Rams of Los Angeles, and two more, the Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars are at the minimum thinking of relocation.  That won't happen in New England.

My point is, even the next tier of teams with the consistency of the Patriots: e.g. the Packers, Steelers and Colts have gone through their own shares of misery greater than a four game suspension, while some fans have had to suffer through a team moving out of their city.  Since Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl, division rival Buffalo hasn't even made the postseason.  Point being, you have nothing to complain about, and haven't had anything to complain about since you went 16-0 in 2007.  Since Tom Brady was your quarterback, you haven't had a losing record (even without him playing), and since Super Bowl 31 have one losing season.  Shut up about deflategate, because you know nothing of losing, playoff droughts, or relocation.  Congrat-u-freaking-lations.