There will be two groups of fans for Sunday’s championship matchup.
Those who want to see the Patriots win and those who want to see the Patriots lose.
The Falcons don’t engender much on the emotional scale. Matt Ryan is a great quarterback into whom the public has made zero investment. Sentimentality for names such as Jeff George and Andre Rison and John Settle and Jeff Van Note just don’t move my needle.
But the Patriots ... Now there’s a team we all can get into a lather about. I’ll be rooting for the Patriots, and not because a fifth title will make a speck of difference to Bill Belichick’s and Tom Brady’s legacies. And if you’re a Bills fan, then what do you care if they win another? In fact, doesn’t their dynasty make the Bills’ simultaneous playoff drought a little more comprehensible?
The reason I want the Patriots to win is to make NFL Great Leader Roger Goodell come full circle on his shameful deflated-footballs inquest – by handing the Patriots the sterling-silver Lombardi Trophy, a football you don’t need to inflate.