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Ravens fans can’t root for Tom Brady, right?

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Can Ravens fans bring themselves to root for one of their rivals?

AFC Championship - Jacksonville Jaguars v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Tom Brady is undoubtedly one of the greatest football players to take the field in the NFL. His team, the New England Patriots, are also one of the Baltimore Ravens’ biggest rivals, outside of the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, some believe that people that root against the Patriots aren’t accepting of his greatness.

“I would argue if you are hating Tom Brady and the Patriots, you are wasting one of the great experiences of your life as a sports fan, and that is being able to embrace true greatness,” said FOX Sports Radio’s Clay Travis.

Imagine being a fan of the Detroit Pistons or Boston Celtics during Michael Jordan’s with the Chicago Bulls. Then someone tells you to “appreciate his greatness.” That is essentially what seems to be going on here. Despite the pleas for appreciation from Travis, I disagree with the assessment that “haters” aren’t embracing greatness.

A short history of the rivalry

One has to understand that much of the heartbreak that Baltimore fans have received over the years has come from New England. The Ravens-Patriots rivalry has been quite lopsided during the regular season. New England has an 8-1 advantage over Baltimore in the all-time regular season series. However, Baltimore and New England are tied in the playoff series at 2-2.

Baltimore’s playoff games against New England have been close for the most part, save for a 33-14 thumping that the Ravens placed on the Patriots in 2010 AFC Wild Card game in Foxborough. In their next playoff game on January 22, 2012, in the AFC Championship Game, the Patriots defeated the Ravens 23-20, propelled by a Billy Cundiff miss. Baltimore would win next season on January 20, 2013 in the AFC Championship Game, 28-13. Then, Baltimore played against New England two seasons later, losing to the Patriots 35-31.

Why Baltimore fans shouldn’t have to appreciate Tom Brady

New England is one of Baltimore’s greatest rivals. The history between the two teams is one of legend and whether fair or foul, there have been many questionable calls made in favor of the Patriots and especially Brady.

Though one can appreciate the rivalry itself, no one should have to grovel over the greatness of said rival. If you aren’t a fan of Brady and his success comes at the expense of your favorite football team, there is little to no reason for you to have to root for him. It doesn’t make you a hater, it makes you a fan of the Ravens.