Ajit Pai is not a popular person; he is most famous for striving to roll back Net Neutrality regulations – and trolling the entirety of the Internet while doing it. Reddit, Twitter, Facebook all feature numerous posts insulting Mr. Pai – and Pai has fought back, releasing a hilarious video regarding Net Neutrality that was met with…a poor response by the suddenly humorless masses. Check out the Like/Dislike Ratio on this video:
However, the Internet masses and Mr. Pai likely have something in common. A mutual detest for the New England Patriots’ continued success. While addressing the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee on January 23rd, 2018, Pai opened the meeting with a savage dig at Foxborough’s finest. “Good morning. I have good news and bad news to share with you. The good news is that the government shutdown is over. The bad news is that Patriots are still in the Super Bowl.”He stated.
Ouch, Mr. Pai. And to think, I was a fan. A Pai-san, if you will.
Naturally Mr. Pai isn’t the only high-profile figure targeting New England. CNN’s Jake Tapper (and noted Eagles fan) stated the Patriots are ‘known cheaters’ on CNN, “The Patriots are cheaters, Brooke. The Patriots cheat. This is just a fact as established by investigations. They’re a cheating team … The facts speak for themselves.” He said.
Of course, when you have a run of continued excellence across nearly two decades, exploit just about any competitive advantage you can find, weather a murder trial for a star Tight End, and win the Super Bowl despite your all-star Quarterback sitting out a 4 game suspension, it’s pretty easy to rile the masses. Toss the fact that suspended QB is an outright hunk with a smokin’ hot wife, and a sometimes insufferable, entitled fanbase, and well…it’s actually pretty easy to understand the Patriots hate – it’s fatigue by way of jealousy.
Perhaps The Bill Simmons Mailbag put it best: “Your football team is a dynasty, they’ve won multiple championships, they get accused of cheating, the commissioner has it out for them, and nobody in America likes them. Tell us, how does it feel to be a Yankees fan?”
To be frank? It feels wonderful.
Expecting and getting excellence from your team of choice is a rare feeling, often garnering a feeling of unearned pride. fans like to think it’s ‘their support’ that made it possible, but in reality The Patriots’ success is as capitalist as Mr. Pai – namely working harder and focusing better than anyone else in the league – and exploiting every loop hole and gray area they can find – until they’re slapped on the wrist.
Other teams may spend big money on popular players, only to lack a cohesive whole. Other teams are content to wallow in mediocrity all the way to the bank. Meanwhile, The Patriots have based their entire business model on their system of success. They’re not just a football team, they’re a destination resort. Patriots’ Place sprung up in Foxborough as a direct result of the Patriots’ continued success. Movie theaters. Hotels. Museums. High-end shopping centers. The Patriots have been exploited in a way that springs naturally from the team’s fundamental dedication to nose-to-the-grindstone hard work.
This all means Mr. Pai, should for all intents and purposes be a Patriots fan. Pai loathes bothersome regulations as does, clearly, Bill Belichick. They both bemoan and subtly (and not so subtly) mock uninformed arm-chair second guessers who happily tell them how to do their jobs, despite those second guessers’ total and complete lack of understanding regarding the nuances of what specifically the job entails.
Ultimately, Pai’s shot at The Patriots was an innocuous joke, but on paper, looking at how The Patriots conduct business compared to Pai’s business philosophy, he should be their biggest fan. Then again, maybe the man is trying to remain…ha…neutral.