The Patriots and their “Trump Epidemic”

On January 12, 2017, I did what I always do: wake up, get some coffee and troll Twitter and Facebook for hot takes in the sports world. I thought the biggest news today was the Chargers moving to Los Angeles after a 56-year stint in San Diego.

“The Patriots have a Trump Problem.”

Oh really? I seem to think the Patriots biggest problem this week is beating a team they defeated 27-0 with their 3rd string QB.

Today, a SB Nation nobody named Charlotte Wilder decided to make a name for herself. Wilder wrote an article stating the Pats are facing their “greatest test yet” with no substantiated evidence besides quotes from her “mother’s friends,” reiterating Deflategate nonsense every other media outlet has already beat to death and discussing old posts from Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Robert Kraft supporting Donald Trump that every one, in New England or not, has moved on from already.

The only accurate, factual statistic she uses is Hillary Clinton winning Massachusetts with 60% of the votes, but where are her ratings to substantiate that fans are not watching the Patriots because of this, or any other form of evidence proving this point?

Here are the extremely convincing arguments Wilder uses:

  • “Oh, Susan Pease won’t even watch anymore,” one of my friend’s moms said. “She used to watch every Sunday with her family, and now she just can’t do it.”
  • “Pease isn’t alone — at least six other people told me they can’t bear to watch Pats games anymore, either.”
  • “The week of the election, the team lost to the Seahawks. It was close, but New England’s defense couldn’t stop Doug Baldwin and Russell Wilson in the fourth quarter and also couldn’t answer with points of their own. It was one of only two losses in the regular season, and the only game Tom Brady failed to win in 2016.”

Wow, mind-blowing. I may never watch the Patriots again after reading those heart breaking stories from her mother’s friends, one random fan from Massachusetts, and an anonymous six people.

Credit: Matt West

As convincing as those quotes are, ratings say otherwise. Though the Seahawks point was a quote from a fan, Wilder frames it to imply Belichick’s letter was the distraction causing the Patriots to lose. Whether that factored into the play or not, it did not affect viewership negatively one bit. In fact, the NFL has had its own viewership struggles this season, but this game held a promising outlook for them. According to Forbes, this specific matchup earned NBC its top Week 10 ratings since 2011 with 19.24 million total viewers. It was the best Sunday Night Football ratings since Week One.

Oh, and Charlotte, just to put into perspective the amount of both Pats and non-Pats fans watching the game, CBS’ “60 Minutes” scored the first televised interview with President Elect Donald Trump that same night. Though NBC’s SNF did not compete directly with this interview, it drew more than double the demo audience.

In addition to these promising SNF ratings, the Patriots tied for the highest MNF ratings with their win over the Baltimore Ravens. The game had the best MNF Week 14 ratings since 2013. It delivered a 9.1 household rating over 56 metered markets and topped the weekly Boston television market once again.

Clearly, If anyone has a Trump problem, it is Trump himself, not the Patriots. Their viewership, fan base, and winning record speak for themselves. I cannot wait to support them this weekend against the Texans, and whatever else follows and I cannot wait to stop hearing your name.

I did not agree with her, so she blocked me 🙂

P.S. If you are going to continue a career in the sports world, let people challenge you. It is great news to have those who disagree. When we do so though, back it up, don’t hide behind the block button on the Internet. Did you ever play a sport? Learn to embrace the challenges and let them make you better.