The Patriots win so damn much that it’s sparked debates of whether their sustained run of success is actually bad for the NFL. Does it hurt the league that they have one team that’s continually at the top and always favored, with the rest simply playing for second?
Roger Goodell would say no.
The NFL commissioner addressed a question about the Patriots’ third trip to the Super Bowl in four seasons and whether it’s bad for business to have the same team in the big game so often. He obviously wasn’t going to say yes to a question like that, but he found an easy way to disagree.
The Pats may remain an extreme outlier in a league designed for parity. But overall, in 2017, the league did get the parity it seeks.
“I think we have something truly unique in this league,” said Goodell. “Eight of 12 teams that didn’t make the playoffs before. Two of the four teams that played in the [conference] championship game were in last place and went to first in their division. That’s extraordinary. I think that’s great for our league. What I think it does say is the incredible achievement that the Patriots as a team as an organization have achieved.
“It’s really remarkable that they’re going for their third Super Bowl in four years, in this kind of system where in keeping that group together, changing whatever they need to change … they do that in a way that still creates success. I marvel at that. I think our other clubs marvel at that. I think fans marvel at that. And I think having the balance of having new [playoff] teams with teams that continue to find ways to win is a great thing for the NFL.”
Funny, Goodell didn’t seem excited about the Patriots’ success when he stripped them of draft picks and money over cheating scandals. So the other owners around the league may not exactly like his comments here.
Fans outside of New England may be getting fatigued over the Patriots essentially making the Super Bowl every other season. But at the end of the day, the league could always use a villain. The Patriots would happily continue to play that role.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.