Just like any other typical day of the week, I was watching the Red Sox game and browsing the Internet for some interesting sports stories and whatnot. Naturally, I eventually would up on good old Patriots.com (one of my go-to websites), and stumbled across an article about how the New England Patriots have one of the best fan bases in the NFL.
The top five fan bases in the NFL, according to the articles are the Cowboys (somehow the Pats haven’t passed them yet), Patriots, Eagles, Giants and Steelers. The Patriots definitely deserve to be on this list; they have fans all across the country, and even all around the world. They will probably go down as the greatest dynasty in football history. You could literally travel to any part of the United States and it wouldn’t be a shock to see someone wearing a Tom Brady jersey.
While the Pats might be among the top fan bases in sports today, the interesting thing is that it wasn’t always like this. In fact, before Brady and Bill Belichick came to Foxborough, and before Robert Kraft purchased the team, the Patriots were one of the saddest and sorriest franchises in the NFL. Long before they became the big, bad Patriots, whom lots of fans love to hate because all they do is win (and cheat, according to the biggest of haters), they were the ‘nobody cares’ Patriots … because all they did was lose, they played in the old Foxboro Stadium, one of the all-time great dumps of the NFL, and nobody really cared.
The Patriots couldn’t even sell out games until Drew Bledsoe arrived in 1993 and breathed new life into the team.
Just before Kraft bought the team in 1994, their previous owner almost made them ditch New England and move to St. Louis. People in Boston would’ve cared, but other fans around the country barely would’ve blinked.
Twenty-four years later, after the Patriots miraculously became the most dominant team of all time, suddenly now you see Pats fans everywhere you look. They could double the size of Gillette Stadium, and they still would sell out every single game. And now, there isn’t even the slightest possible chance that this team will ever leave the New England area. All because they started winning, they went from being one of the most pathetic franchises in the NFL to having one of the league’s top fan bases.
It’s amazing what winning will do for you.