By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
For the first time in four years, Patriots fans will hold no major rooting interest on Super Bowl Sunday. The game may feel like foreign territory for Pats fans, whose team has played in the Big Game in three straight years and four of the last five.
It’s been so long, that many in New England have expressed they’re not quite sure what to do with themselves Sunday afternoon. Super Bowl plans became a sort of ritual or tradition in these parts over the last few seasons with the team making it year-after-year. This is relatively uncharted waters for an NFL fanbase. In fact, the only other group who could relate to what Patriots fans will feel on Sunday is early-90’s Bills fans. Imagine Patriots fans and Bills fans having common ground on anything?
Perhaps the silver lining to the Patriots being bounced in the Wild Card round this year is Patriots Nation can actually sit back and enjoy the Super Bowl. Not that winning titles isn’t fun, but the way the Patriots play Super Bowls, the fun is usually in the result, not the actual contest which often is a wire-to-wire nail-biter.
So for those intense fans who may have forgotten how to enjoy the Super Bowl, here’s a reminder of some things you can enjoy about the game Sunday night instead of locking your focus on the Patriots performance.
Participating in Prop Bets
Prop bets are a staple of Super Bowl Sunday. From ‘Squares’ to the National Anthem over/under to the color of the Gatorade dumped on the winning coach, there’s money to be made from start to finish. It can be tough to focus your attention on these ‘trivial’ matters if your team is playing in the game, but this year, bet away!
Enjoy the halftime show
The number of Patriots fans who can’t name the halftime performers from the team’s nine Super Bowl appearances during the Brady/Belichick run is surprisingly high. Maybe because people have tended to use that time to go outside, get some fresh air, and catch their breaths after what have been emotional first halves. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira isn’t the best act to come back to, but hey, it should be more enjoyable than a 21-3 deficit.
Twitter isn’t as much of a nightmare as usual
The last thing fans want to see when their team is playing poorly in a big game is uninformed Twitter GMs reminding their team is playing poorly in a big game. For Patriots fans, that’s a non-issue this year. Instead, enjoy one of the best social media events of the year, relatively troll-free.
The commercials are fun again
Nobody wants to see Jason Momoa taking a bath or Rick and Morty yelling about Pringles when their team is clinging to their championship lives. Yes, the quality of the commercials has severely dipped in recent years, but they’re bound to bounce back eventually. With the Patriots getting eliminated so early in the playoffs, it feels like anything is possible this year.
No late-night partying in the streets for Patriots fans this year. No lying in bed until 3 a.m. planning your call to Felger & Mazz to defend the wall and blame the refs for a Pats loss. Nope, once the game ends finish your beer, grab all the leftovers you can, and go home and go to bed. Hey, if it’s a blowout you can even turn it off and go to bed early! Feeling well rested the Monday after the Super Bowl? In New England? Who would have thought? Not us!
Look, the point is to just enjoy the game this year, because one of two things is going to happen: Either Tom Brady and the Patriots will be back and Super Bowl LIV will be remembered as a nice reprieve from being stressed the first Sunday of February, or they won’t be back and Patriot-less Super Bowls is a reality we all need to get used to, so we might as well start now. Plus, after this is just the XFL and two straight months of Brady Watch.
Alex Barth is a writer and 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. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Hate mail? Let him hear it on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com