There is certainly no love lost between Philadelphia Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson and all those affiliated with the New England Patriots. Not only did his team beat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, but he says the Eagles had more fun winning this championship than his opponents did after five.
Needless to say, Patriots fans and alumni have been swift in their responses to Johnson's comments. In fact, he revealed during an appearance on Pardon My Take that he still has not had enough time to read all the hate mail he has received, according to Zack Cox of NESN:
“I just pissed in everybody’s Cheerios,” Johnson said. “And everybody in Boston — hey, I’ve got hate mail I still haven’t read. I’m looking forward to reading it.”
Johnson even doubled down on his initial comments that the Eagles' road to the Super Bowl was much more enjoyable.
“I think a lot of guys just want to be happy playing football,” he said. “The Patriots obviously won five Super Bowls, so it’s the Patriot Way to win the Super Bowl. Does that mean that everybody has to act the same way? Do the same thing? Is that necessarily the guidelines to win the Super Bowl?”
The tremendous backlash should certainly come as no surprise. Ever since the Patriots dynasty started in the early 2000's, their “passionate” fan base has grown along with it.
Fans are not the only ones to respond to Johnson's comments as former players of head coach Bill Belichick have also come to the team's defense. That said, it is clear Johnson has ruffled some feathers in Boston and he seems to be just fine with that.
It goes without saying that there is not one clear-cut road to a championship. However, the Patriots have proven that their way works more often than not. Unfortunately for them, the Eagles' approach proved superior this time around and perhaps that is what stings the most.