The Problem With Classy NFL Franchises

By Drew Magary
|  Friday, Jan 14, 2011  |  Updated 10:30 AM PDT
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The Problem With Classy NFL Franchises

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Robert Kraft bought the Patriots in 1994 for $172 million, and has since won three Superbowls and become the class of the NFL. This season, he's hoping Tom Brady can come back from his knee injury last season to lead his beloved franchise to another Superbowl victory.

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I’d like to confess something here to you NBC folks: I hate classy sports teams. Hate them. HATE them.

I hate any team that is lauded for doing things the “right way,” like the Steelers, and the Spurs, and Duke, and any other team that has been elevated by the media beyond the status of mere sports team and placed in the realm of moral examples for the rest of humanity. I can’t stand teams like this, because I know full well they’re just as flawed as any other. And you can add the Patriots to that list now, in light of Bob Kraft playing the ”we’re classier than you are” card against the Jets:

"I don't want to speak to how other people do things or be judgmental about what motivates other people," Kraft said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press. "But stylistically, I think we do things a little bit different than the folks we're playing this weekend."

"I'm proud of the way the team is conducting itself right now," he said. "We're trying to let our actions speak when we play."

Barf.

Listen, most of these teams that do things the supposed right way do it strictly so that they can Lord over other teams and say they do things the supposed right way. Furthermore, the Pats are the team that was caught cheating back in the early 2000’s by illegally videotaping opponents, not the Jets. And it was Patriot Wes Welker joking with reporters yesterday by mentioning feet anywhere he could as a dig at Rex Ryan (which was totally clever and which I completely approve of, by the way).

And don’t tell me that Bill Belichick is some paragon of moral rectitude. The idea that one team that openly talks trash is somehow of a lesser ethical character than another is a media fantasy for the Rick Reillys of the universe, who like their sports only if they’re turned into the world’s most simplistic morality play.

So if you want to root for New England on Sunday, be my guest. Root for them because you like the way they play, or because you want to see them make history by winning four titles, or because you’re a lifelong fan. But don’t do it because you think their you-know-what doesn’t stink. Because it does, I assure you.

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