ATLANTA — Like the 1990s New York Yankees before them, the New England Patriots largely are hated by folks who don’t live in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island and the eastern half of Connecticut.
Robert Kraft says let ’em hate.
Speaking Wednesday after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s annual Super Bowl week address, the Patriots owner said the widespread dislike of his franchise is a testament to how successful it’s been since Bill Belichick and Tom Brady arrived in Foxboro in 2000.
“Well, I think it’s good for our TV partners because it brings passion on the other side and it’s more interest,” Kraft said. “For us to get to the point in less than two decades where people are rooting against us because we’ve won, that’s a high-class problem, and I hope we keep it going for quite a while. I’m actually honored by it.”
Super Bowl LIII this Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams will be New England’s ninth Super Bowl appearance of the Brady/Belichick and the 10th since Kraft bought the team in 1994.
The Patriots have appeared in four of the last five Super Bowls and each of the last three, becoming the first team since the early-’90s Buffalo Bills to win three consecutive conference championships. They’ve won five Super Bowl titles under Kraft’s watch.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images