Who believes in the Patriots? Almost everyone, actually

Tom Brady stood at the podium after winning his eighth straight divisional-round playoff game, wearing a black ski cap on his head, smiling patiently as he listened to a question attempting to summarize the sentiments of his haters, who are apparently numerous. Hey, Tom, the questioner began, as one does when greeting a friend, or loved one. Once again this week, there was a lot of talk about how this was the end of the dynasty, and how you’re were going to fall off a cliff. I’m sure winning is sweet, but is it even sweeter when you continue to prove people wrong? Brady, who still had traces of eye black faintly visible on his 41-year-old face, mulled the question for several seconds, trying to stifle a wry grin that would potentially reveal far more than his answer. « I just like winning, » Brady said, seeming to stare directly into the souls of his critics, who are obviously many in number and certainly not a small quilt of talking heads, entertainers and straw men he has mentally woven together to use as motivation in his quest for a sixth Super Bowl ring.

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