There’s something special about sport rivalries in the modern-day NFL that bring out so much hate and emotion from one side upon the other, and no one does it more passionately than Terrell Suggs when he talks about how much he and the Baltimore Ravens hate the New England Patriots.
It’s no secret that the Pats aren’t the most popular team in the NFL. Success is often a reason for nationwide hate, but there’s more to it. When they won their first Super Bowl they were underdogs, and it was still a cute story when they won their second won. When they won the third against the Philadelphia Eagles, it was a dynasty, with Bill Belichick presenting himself as the best head coach in the NFL, and Tom Brady becoming the best, or one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
The strange correlation between Brady’s rise in prominence while the Patriots have failed to win that fourth Super Bowl ring has been discussed quite often. It still hasn’t stopped the fascination with the Pats and the desire to watch them fail fade away in any way. Spygate was bad, but it pretty much depends on your view of things. Some say that the Tuck Rule and Spygate is what brought the titles to New England. Others say it’s just misdirected anger.
Suggs and the Ravens have been harboring quite a lot of hate for the Patriots, and even after both beating them in the AFC championship game and winning the Super Bowl, it’s still strong and burning there. Some say it began in that 2007 game, during the Pats’ perfect regular season. Whatever it is, it’s not going away anytime soon, as long as there are those feeding and building the flames.
The NFL is not very big. You think we don’t talk to guys that have played for the New England Patriots, that have been on the New England Patriots that have been like, ‘Oh, it’s been like this. It ain’t just me. Why did Bart Scott say the same thing? You think it’s just us? You think it’s just got something to do with us? No. This is because we have inside information. We know.
It’s true to say that the players who get ejected from the Patriots usually bad-mouth the team and Belichick. It’s not a player friendly system; you do as you’re told or you’re out. But that has worked in bringing in double digit wins each season, or almost each season. The Patriots do have an arrogant demeanor about them, especially on the field, which got the Seahawks so riled up this season. But to say the entire NFL hates them? Ed Reed would love to go play for the Pats, if I remember correctly.
Ravens – Pats isn’t going away, not for the near future. The Ravens feel that they were disrespected, and not treated as real rivals by the Patriots for quite some time because of the Super Bowl titles disparity. Now that is changing, but it doesn’t mean that the premier way for the Ravens to motivate themselves before games against New England is going away.