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Sure, the Patriots are super, but enough is enough

Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Football

MINNEAPOLIS -- A simple slogan captures the spirit of Super Bowl LII:

Patriots vs. Everybody.

It's on T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats here, and it's not unique. Other teams have used the phrase to reflect their us-against-the-world ethos, including the Philadelphia Eagles, who are also playing in the game.

But with New England in the NFL's marquee game for the third time in four years, and the franchise on the verge of its sixth Lombardi Trophy since the 2001 season, Patriots fatigue has reached epidemic proportions.

"I'm even a little fatigued," said retired tight end Christian Fauria, who won two rings with the Patriots. "Winning takes a lot of energy out of you. Success is tiresome. Which championship ring am I going to wear? Which hat am I going to put on? I get it. It's nauseating to some fans, especially when you lose over and over and over again. And you lose in silly ways, the simple ways.

"You try to mimic what the Patriots are doing, but there are so many major factors that people just don't have."

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Are you still wondering why people hate the Patriots?

Enter the Eagles, who are making their third trip to the Super Bowl and have yet to win one, a sore spot exacerbated by the fact that the three other teams in their division -- the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Washington Redskins -- have each reached the mountaintop multiple times.

"I don't know if there are words that can really explain what Philadelphia would be like if the Eagles win the Super Bowl," former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski said. "It will be the biggest parade ever. I run into people all the time and it's like, 'I don't want to die before the Eagles win a Super Bowl. It's the one thing I have to have in my life.' There's incredible passion for the team."

Never have the Eagles had more fans than they will Sunday in what annually attracts the biggest television audience of the year, more than 100 million viewers. Super Bowls make up 19 of the 20 most-watched TV broadcasts, with the series finale of "MASH" in 1983 being the exception. NBC is charging north of $5 million for a 30-second ad.

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