Well, the fans of the New England Patriots just do not learn their lesson- Don't poke the bear! For a team which regularly feeds on the bulletin board fodder provided by opposing players, coaches, and the media, you would think that their fans would have learned their lesson.
In 2012, the Ravens backed into the playoffs with a team just getting healthy on defense. They beat a green Indianapolis Colts team, setting up a showdown with the Patriots and Tom Brady. The Ravens had a secret weapon though- franchise GOAT Ray Lewis had announced his decision to hang up his cleats following the playoffs. So while the media touted the inevitable Tom Brady- Peyton Manning showdown, they overlooked Flacco and the Ravens. Their fans took it one step further, buying a billboard to put up a countdown until Ray Lewis'es retirement party. The rest is history- the Ravens stomped into town, beat up the Patriots on the back of a strong defensive effort and a solid game by Flacco and the offense, and left Tom Brady with his 2nd playoff loss to Joe Flacco in 3 tries.
Fast forward to 2016, and Peyton's last ride. The Denver Broncos are riding a strong defense which earned them a #1 seed and home field throughout the playoffs, despite a flip-flop at quarterback between hall of famer Peyton Manning and his understudy, Brock Osweiler. The Broncos came into this past Sunday, expected to lose once again to the immortal Tom Brady. Fans once again poke the bear, albeit in a lower key way, not risking spending the money this time. The result: more disappointment for Tom Brady and Patriots fans.
The lesson: Don't let a Patriots fan plan your retirement party- you may end up working longer than you hoped.
Thanks to our friends at Russellstreetreport for the photo and the headline: https://twitter.com/RussellStReport/status/691637426712784897