For decades, I hated the New York Yankees. Actually I still hate them, although most of the justifications for the original hatred have long since disappeared.
I hated them because every situation seemed to favor them, because they always had the best players, because they always had the most money, because they always had the most luck. And, most of all, because they always broke the hearts of lifelong Red Sox fans who repeatedly saw their heroes come so close before the Yankees invoked the inevitable luck/skill/magic/whatever required to kill their hopes and dreams for yet another year.
And the Red Sox fans weren’t the only ones who hated New York. All the fans of all the other teams felt pretty much the same way. New York was the Evil Empire. They bought wins. They stole the best players from all the other teams, turning them into Yankee farm teams. They cheated. They were cheaters.
All the while, the Yankee fans could not have cared less. The Yankees were always playing when everyone else had gone home for the winter. The championships flowed into New York and their players were seen as the Greatest Of All Time, the G.O.A.T., whether they really were or not.
It must have been great to be a Yankee fan. You spent all those hours watching the games for six months and all that money at the Stadium to see them in person, but, in the end, it was all worth it. When the team won, you won. Your prayers were always answered. God liked you best.
Last night, the Patriots, my Patriots, completed the greatest and most improbable comeback in Super Bowl history. Everything had to fall their way, our way, in the end. And, of course, everything did. Records were broken and opponents’ dreams were shattered. All the detractors who were gloating when it seemed out of reach found that the joke was on them. Again.
In my old age, I finally know how it feels to have been a Yankee fan all those years. All my time and all the attention paid over the last six months was totally worth it. Tom Brady is the G.O.A.T. I’m a good person. God likes me best. Everyone else hates us.
The Patriots won it all. Again.