‘Bet Against Us’ – as if the New England Patriots needed more motivation
Julian Edelman revealed a new hype video and Patriots t-shirt on Wednesday, both sporting the slogan ‘Bet Against Us’ as the team prepares for the Chiefs.
Tom Brady doesn’t think the Patriots need any further motivation heading into the biggest game of their season this weekend in Kansas City. He told reporters on Wednesday that “if you’re not motivated this week, you’ve got a major problem.”
"“This is the week where you shouldn’t have to put anything extra in. This is what it’s all about. You sign up any chance you get to play in the AFC Championship Game. I don’t care where, when, time, cold weather, rain, blood — don’t matter.”"
Julian Edelman might not completely agree with his quarterback.
Edelman posted an interesting hype video on his official Twitter account – ‘interesting’ because it spends more time hyping up the Chiefs and their star quarterback Patrick Mahomes than it does the Patriots and their own stars.
Of course, Edelman’s video isn’t an accident. He (or his social media representative) intentionally sings the praises of Kansas City, while unabashedly framing the Patriots as the underdog that nobody believes in. Around the 40-second mark of the video, and right on cue, comes the now-famous Brady quote to CBS’ Tracy Wolfson after the Patriots’ pasting of the Chargers.
“I know everyone thinks we suck and, you know, can’t win any games. So we’ll see. It’ll be fun.”
And fun it is so far for Edelman, who is cashing in on the Brady quote and ensuing media fracas to market a new t-shirt. For $30, fans can order online a shirt featuring the Patriots logo in silhouette with the words “BET AGAINST US” emblazoned over it.
No one can blame Edelman for capitalizing on a rare New England playoff appearance as a plucky underdog. But are the Patriots really a plucky underdog, or are they just manipulating a rather unbelievable narrative into some kind of motivational tactic?
After all, this is the same team that represented its conference in back-to-back Super Bowls the last two seasons. The public rhetoric is that this 2018 Patriots team isn’t as good as those last two squads or any of the previous title-winning teams of the past two decades… but is that really true?
New England’s defense has turned a corner since their bye, particularly against the pass. The Patriots’ secondary is arguably the best of the four teams remaining in the playoffs, and while the big guys up front on the line aren’t necessarily marquee edge-rushers or run-stoppers, they are all multidimensional and capable executors when it counts. The offense also seems to have rediscovered its mojo behind a power-running attack led by Sony Michel.
Brady is correct in saying the Super Bowl should be all the motivation an NFL player needs to play his best football of the season. But don’t fault his favorite receiver for seizing a golden opportunity to profit on a unique narrative – and build further excitement for the AFC Championship Game this Sunday while doing so.