The sixth-seeded Baltimore Ravens face the top-seeded New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs this Saturday, and if fans of both teams can agree on one thing, it’s that the Patriots should be scared.
Maybe it’s a New England thing — I don’t know — but judging by the Internet comments, these Patriots fans are awfully pessimistic about Saturday’s game. An article at Boston.com that called the Ravens a “worthy foe” and spelled out why it should be a tight matchup, was met with an overwhelming number of comments from Pats fans waving white flags and sounding death knells. One user called the game a “[f]lippin night mare scenario for the Pats.” Another laid out three reasons “why the Pats’ season is unfortunately over with a loss to the Ravens.” Another called it “the worst matchup we could have had in the first round.” And they keep coming.
There are plenty of New England fans who are standing by team, of course. But many of the optimistic comments begin with a scornful reference to all the naysayers. It can’t be denied; an atmosphere of fear has engulfed Foxborough. An article at Patriots.com acknowledges “[s]ome angst among the Faithful” and begins: “Your worst fears have arrived.”
I am not qualified to predict who will win Saturday (is anyone, really?), but knowing that fans of the top-seeded team in the AFC are quaking — and just as we are getting comfortable in our familiar underdog status — warms my heart.
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