Last night, the Patriots lost to the Ravens. Everyone on my Twitter and Facebook feeds who lives outside of New England was jubilant, while I was morose. I know that it's kind of ridiculous to mourn a Patriots loss in the penultimate round of the playoffs, especially when they so regularly play in the postseason, and have certainly won their share of Super Bowls in my lifetime, but that doesn't lessen the immediate feeling of disappointment.
I'm perfectly aware of the vitriol that most of the country feels towards the Patriots, and I like to think that it's similar to how I (along with millions of others) feel about the New York Yankees [though the comparison falls apart when you remember that the Yankees spend tens of millions of dollars more than anyone else, while the Pats operate with the same salary cap as every other NFL team].
The Patriots are elite year after year. The quarterback married a supermodel, and even does some modeling of his own. The coach is surly and aloof, and the franchise was unlucky enough to be caught filming the opposition's signs (though you're deluding yourself if you think the Pats were the only team doing that).
I fully understand why people don't like the Patriots. If I was from another region of the country, I probably wouldn't like them very much myself. But it does make it hard to deal with a big loss when you know that virtually everyone in the country is celebrating. This experience doesn't make me any less eager to savor the schadenfreude when the Yankees lose, but I do at least feel an inkling of what their fans must feel.