The New England Patriots will take on the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl in two weeks time, and if this Super Bowl is anything like those of years past, the entire country will be jumping on the Atlanta bandwagon. The Patriots have had such success for so long that much of the country has turned on them.
We wanted to figure out which parts of the country have turned on them the most. After much deliberation, here is a ranking of the 50 states of the union, by how much they hate the Patriots.
P.S. This isn't actual "hate." It's sports "hate." There is a difference. Sort of.
Brian SpurlockBrian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
There is no hate here toward the Patriots. Just blind, sick devotion.
At a certain point just north of Rangeley, Maine turns into Quebec, but every other place in the state is obsessed with the Patriots.
Foxborough is basically in Rhode Island, and the people there love the team as if it is.
The only New Hampshire hate in regard to Patriots is directed at those big timers down in Massachusetts that act like the team is all theirs.
Vermont shares a border with New York, so you're bound to have some people there who hate the NFL on moral/ethical grounds. They've always sorta been the chilled out uncle when it comes to New England sports, so there isn't much hate, but there's not as much fervent obsession, either.
The weakest of the New England states in terms of love to the Pats because the Giants and Jets have some pull in the southwest corner.
Montana is chill, just enjoying that Big Sky.
Betting on the Patriots has made a lot of people happy over the years.
You'd think with Miami there they'd hate the Patriots, but the amount of New England transplants who have retired to the state means this is a wash.
"Sure." -- Idaho, on the New England Patriots.
Hawaii isn't getting too twisted up over much. Weather too nice to hate things there.
Adam Vinatieri, who played in four Super Bowls with the Patriots, went to South Dakota State. So they're probably still decently cool with the team.
Wyoming isn't going to get too bent out of shape over a football team from Boston. Just not its style.
Plenty of Broncos fans in Nebraska, among those who care about pro football. Which isn't that many. But still.
Alaska folks tend to pull for the Seahawks, so some hate gets generated there.
Alabama fans like winners.
"Whatever." -- Oklahoma on the Patriots.
Plenty of fanbases here to hate the Patriots, but I've always sensed the state has taken pride in its native son, Tom Brady, doing big things on the East Coast.
Arkansas has never had a sports dynasty and frowns upon them.
Those New Englanders think they're real special with their professional sports franchises and their variedtopography.
The Chiefs have been beaten by the Patriots plenty, though most of Chiefs fans' discontent is directed toward division rivals.
New Mexico doesn't even have an NFL team, and here the Patriots are gloating over another Super Bowl appearance. Eat bricks, New England fans.
The fiestier of the Dakotas could probably muster up some hatred for Belichick and Brady.
Some residual love from the Randy Moss days keeps West Virginia from being overcome with hate, but there are too many Steelers fans here to ignore.
Mississippi likes a scrappy underdog, which the Patriots most certainly are not.
Not a real dog in the fight, but the New Englanders have been pretty garish in their celebrations and that probably rubs Utah the wrong way.
Oregon fans can swing for the Seahawks, so there's some serious hate there, but the Patriots have never talked trash about the Blazers. If they do, watch Oregon leap to the top 5.
Kentucky fans like winners, and the Patriots are winners, but proximity to Tennessee and Missouri means there's some hate bleeding across the borders.
Saints fans hate just about everyone that isn't the Saints, but both teams' fanbases are connected through a mutual loathing of Roger Goodell.
Not a lot of direct hate here, which is reserved for the Bears, but any NFL franchise that's suffered for years and watched the Patriots thrive has to be angry.
Most South Carolina residents either split to the Panthers or Falcons for NFL rooting interests, both of whom hate the Patriots for different reasons.
Delaware is basically Philly extended, so there is a good reservoir of hate here.
It's hard to say the Lions fans have hate as opposed to just misery, but it's pretty safe to say they don't like teams that are successful.
In another universe, the Skins' dynasty continued like the Patriots' has. That is not this universe.
Chicago fans are good at hating.
Green Bay would have the greatest quarterback alive, and maybe the greatest quarterback to ever live, if it weren't for Tom Brady.
The Cardinals cut ties with Michael Floyd, only to see him hook on with the Patriots and be on the verge of a Super Bowl. That and zero Super Bowl wins as a franchise, compared to the Patriots', well, many, will fuel some hate.
Bengals fans hate the Patriots for beating them a lot, while Browns fans hate the Patriots for having a competent organization.
It's been 14 years since the Panthers loss in Super Bowl XXXVIII, so some of that hatred may have faded and been replaced by hatred toward more relevant NFC rivals. It's still there, though.
Texas hates everyone that isn't from Texas, and the fact that the Patriots have taken over the mantle as the NFL's most successful franchise from the Cowboys stings.
Peyton Manning played his college ball at Tennessee, and between their love for him and the Titans' incompetence, it's been easy to generate a ton of enmity toward the Patriots.
The Patriots stole Super Bowl XXXVI from the Rams and then Los Angeles stole the Rams from St. Louis. Those two things aren't really connected, but Missourians' jimmies have been rustled for quite some time.
New England writers are already thumbing their nose at the supposed fairweather fans in Georgia, and I can see this ramping up to some real good sports hate by next Sunday.
Colorado is too laid-back to really generate a ton of blazing hate, but the extended rivalry between Manning and Brady created a situation where they were able to find the venom within them.
It's insane to me that Washington could be No. 6 on this list, but here it is. Following the Malcolm Butler interception to take a Super Bowl away from the Seahawks, the hate is extreme. The Seahawks have plenty of enemies, though, which bumps them down a few slots.
Jets fans, Giants fans, Eagles fans ... it doesn't matter. If you live in New Jersey, you hate the Patriots.
The Colts-Patriots rivalry was the best rivalry in football for nearly a decade, until the Colts faded into obscurity over the last two years while the Patriots have remained excellent. The hate remains, and the Colts' late struggles only intensifies it.
The Ravens' true enemy probably lies within their division, but Baltimore fans haven't been the happiest bunch for a while, and a lot of hate is reserved for the Patriots. The trick plays and wonky offense the Patriots used against them in the playoffs two seasons ago still rankle Ravens fans, who can hold a grudge as well as anyone.
Upstate New York, Manhattan, and anywhere in between -- you hate the Patriots. The Bills have been a doormat for the Patriots for nearly two decades, and the Jets haven't fared much better. The team that has actually bested them -- the Giants -- still hates them, plus Giants Nation has the added indecency of seeing their success written off as fluke-ish as compared to the Patriots' sustained greatness.
The gold standard of Patriots hate. The Eagles lost by a field goal to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX and had to sit by idly as the team was labeled a dynasty. Tom Brady has gotten the best of the Steelers so many times it's become a trend that announcers glibly discuss. Wherever your allegiances lie in the state of Pennsylvania, you hate the Patriots. You hate them so well.