By Carter Smith
THE PERISCOPE — Carlisle, Pennsylvania
When many Americans think about a sports dynasty, the first thing that comes to mind is the New England Patriots. Ever since Tom Brady took over as the starting quarterback in 2001, the Patriots have clinched 17 division titles, 14 AFC Championship appearances, 9 Super Bowl appearances, and a most impressive 6 Super Bowl wins.
The Patriots started as an underdog story when then-backup quarterback Tom Brady and first-year coach Bill Belichick played in their first Super Bowl together. Many fans adopted the Patriots as their favorite team as they began collecting more championships.
Since then, the tables have turned for the Patriots. While the dynamic duo of Brady and Belichick have gone on to win many titles, their support has dwindled as fans are getting tired of their annual success.
According to an article from CNN, Super Bowl viewership has steadily declined in the past three years, and the Patriots have been in two of those games. Super Bowl viewership reached an all-time high in 2015 with 114 million U.S. viewers, but last year’s game had only 103 million Americans tuning in.
For this year’s Super Bowl, America chose a heavy favorite, and it was not the Patriots. A map based on geo-tagged Twitter data concluded that 36 states favored the Los Angeles Rams in this year’s championship, while only 14 states favored the Patriots. Six of the states rooting for the Patriots were from their home of New England, leaving only 8 unbiased states rooting for them.
Last Sunday, the Patriots did it again, and Brady led his team to their sixth Super Bowl title, winning 13-3 versus the Rams. In the defensive showdown, the Patriots held the Rams to just 3 points, while scoring 10 points in the 4th quarter to secure their last minute win. The final score was 13-3.
Although the Patriots were up late celebrating on Sunday, those within the NFL front office were certainly not. The frustration is being felt all around the country, including among students at Carlisle High School.
“It was really hard for me to see the Patriots win the Super Bowl again,” freshman Cameron Lyons said. “I was ecstatic last year when the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl, but this year I realized that their win was just a rare occurrence because the Patriots will continue to dominate NFL until Tom Brady retires. It’s because of this that I’m really starting to lose my interest in the NFL as a whole.”
When it’s all said and done, the Patriots win was truly a loss for the NFL. With sports like basketball and soccer on the rise, the last thing the league needs is for viewers to become disinterested because the same team is dominating every year. After Sunday night’s win, it looks like the Patriots’ dynasty remains far from over, and the NFL should be worried about its future as it enters its 100th year.
Photo Credit: Ben Tauteoli