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Is the heat off the Patriots?

Posted by Albert Breer  April 5, 2010 04:13 PM

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The Patriots were once America's darlings. Then, they won too much, and became hated. And then, 2007 happened, and the hate got turned up to a whole new level.

It's now 2010. Is the vitriol gone?

One thing I missed during my vacation was the case made by ESPN.com's Tim Graham that the Jets -- with their cover boy quarterback, swaggering defense, big-mouthed coach and bullying mentality -- have overtaken the Patriots in the department of "despised". Check it out:

There has been a noticeable turn within the AFC East and perhaps the entire league when it comes to the most hated team. Based on reader feedback and the disdain expressed on sports-talk shows and message boards, the Jets have replaced the Patriots as the team opposing fans love to hate.

While the relatively dull Patriots bowed meekly from the first round of the playoffs, the Jets continued to churn out material upon which their detractors could harp. The ultimate AFC East putdown has changed from Spygate comments to snide remarks about Ryan's weight.

Of course, nobody would say a peep if the Jets weren't good. Being loathed means you're worth the bother.
Do you guys agree? Is it good to be hated? Feel free to fill it up in the comments section.
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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