The Media Column: Boisterous Patriots are showing, once and for all, they don't 'ignore the noise'

Alex Reimer
February 07, 2019 - 11:59 am
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Whenever the Patriots get into trouble, their players preach the importance of ignoring the noise. Julian Edelman, who sold “Don’t Bet Against Us Shirts” in the middle of the postseason, told reporters in 2014 the Patriots “ignore the noise around here” in the aftermath of their infamous Monday night drubbing in Kansas City. Tom Brady –– Mr. “Everyone Thinks We Suck” himself –– also talks a lot about, you guessed it, ignoring the noise. Last postseason, in the midst of the Seth Wickersham drama, Rob Gronkowski said Belichick helps the Patriots “ignore the noise.” This year, Gronk told reporters the team knows “a lot has been said” about them and Belichick told Jim Nantz “everyone counted us out” with the Lombardi Trophy in his hand.

Are you detecting a pattern here?

The Patriots ignore the noise if it benefits them. The Chiefs debacle five years ago came on the heels of Belichick drafting Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round and opining about “Tom’s age and contract situation.” Even acknowledging there was a whiff of disharmony would’ve been self-sabotage. That certainly explains why the Patriots didn’t acknowledge all of the doubters in 2018, when Belichick and Brady were reportedly feuding over Alex Guerrero and “Patriot Player of the Week” awards –– never mind even touching the Spygate and Deflategate scandals.

This is not breaking news, but rather a lesson about how the Patriots aren’t all that unlike their mouthy opponents, just in a different way. New England vociferously repeated the “nobody believed in us” mantra all the way through their third straight Super Bowl appearance and sixth Super Bowl win. It is an absurd sentence to type. 

On the Monday before Super Bowl LIII, Brady agreed with Gerry Callahan’s assertion that the world was against the Patriots. “That’s the reality,” Brady said.

Imagine how those three words would’ve been thrown in Brady’s face had Brandin Cooks caught a couple of deep balls Sunday? The winningest quarterback in NFL history, who also happens to be married to Gisele Bundchen, talking about how everything is against him. What a laughable assertion.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, either. The Patriots had every right to feel slighted heading into the playoffs. For the previous year, the conversation surrounding the team had been overly negative. Brady had been called “too old,” as Edelman reminded him on the sidelines at Arrowhead Stadium. 

It feels good to prove doubters wrong. But you can’t ignore the noise, and then make Twitter videos about Max Kellerman and Rob Parker.

The Patriots were boisterous throughout their playoff win, and it’s apparent that attitude came from the top. Belichick showed his cards as the confetti was falling at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

"Everybody counted us out from the beginning the season, mid-season, but we're still here,” he said.” (Look for that slogan to soon appear on t-shirts and hoodies throughout the Patriots pro shop, if it hasn’t already.)

Earlier in the season, Belichick wouldn’t even admit the Patriots had traded for Josh Gordon, despite the deal being announced by the team via press release. And then on the Super Bowl podium, he lent credence to sports talk loudmouths. 

The Patriots haven’t been shy about reminding their critics, both real and imagined, of their latest triumph. At the Rolling Rally, Duron Harmon informed Lane Johnson that playing for the Patriots is, indeed, fun. Kyle Van Noy is in the middle of a four-day victory lap, sparring with Kellerman on "First Take," calling out our own Ryan Hannable on Twitter and some guy named “Ninja.”

So there you have it. During this incredible Super Bowl run, we learned to never count the Patriots out. We also learned that if you do, they will hear it, regardless of their feigned ignorance about everything that happens outside of Patriot Place.

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Boston Globe’s Patriots mea culpa: Last week, the Globe published an atrocious hit piece about the apparent lack of buzz surrounding the Patriots’ Super Bowl run. Reporter Dugan Arnett, in an effort to plead his case, spoke to a dog boutique owner and walked to the Boston Common to see if the duckling statues were dressed in Patriots regalia. It was a flimsy effort at best. 

The following day, Globe publisher –– and Red Sox owner –– John Henry appeared to lambast the problematic piece on Twitter. “How ridiculous is the article questioning excitement about Patriots this week!?,” he wrote. “Media has questioned and doubted Pats all year. It reminds me of their absurd labeling of this Red Sox edition as ‘an unlikable team’ for an entire year.”

Coincidently, the Globe published a pom-pom waving op-ed on Tuesday, telling us, “For the record, the Patriots winning the Super Bowl never gets old.”

It seems like there’s a connection between the two, no?

The Patriots still threw shade at the Globe on Twitter following the Parade. The team did not reply to a request for comment about the tweet. 

Latest Jemele Hill controversy is right-wing trolling at its worst: The same people who bemoan PC culture are once again disingenuously trying to get Jemele Hill fired for something she tweeted. During the interminable State of the Union, Hill tweeted about how superstar congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should shout, “GETCHO HAND OUT MY POCKET.”

The line is an apparent reference to Malcolm X’s assassination, in which his killers shouted the phrase before shooting him. 

The right-wing trolls who cry about the Twitter mob did exactly what they denounce and started a campaign to get Hill fired from the Atlantic. Hill deleted the tweet and apologized, while pointing out she’s used the phrase several times before.

Hill handled this correctly. It was a mistake the crass and ill-advised joke, so no reason to double down. But don’t give into these people who defend Curt Schilling for his social media antics and pounce on Hill. Talk about hypocrisy.

NBA players blaming media for self-infused drama is lame: Kyrie Irving is upset at the media for asking him about free agency, even though he talks about it all of the time. Kevin Durant, who signed a one-year deal, says he isn’t talking to the press, because they speculate about his future. On and on it goes.

NBA superstars create the drama. Fans and media react to it. If they don’t like it, don’t pledge to re-sign with the Celtics in October and then walk it back in February. Sounds simple enough. 

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