A dozen thoughts from Alan Miller and Steve Silva while wondering which was more awkward: the Republican presidential candidate intros in Manchester Saturday night, or the NFL Super Bowl trophy presentation after the Broncos upset win.

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There’s a large contingent of so-called Patriots fans that are getting more pathetic by the day. The focus for them has to be on “They Hate Us ‘Cause They Ain’t Us” 24/7/365. Every NFL storyline has start and end with how much better Tom Brady is than any other human being ever to walk the planet. These so-call Die Hards can’t even enjoy America’s holiday, Super Bowl Sunday.

A good number of these nitwits declared on social media that they were looking for something else to watch because the Patriots weren’t invited to play in Super Bowl 50. These are the same folks wanted Brady to fight their tiresome battle with Roger Goodell by skipping the Super Bowl MVP ceremony. These Patriots fanatics had one job during Super Bowl week: To make sure you knew that they think Peyton Manning might have taken some HGH six years ago. Unlike Red Sox fans who graciously honored Derek Jeter’s last day at Fenway, Patriots fans showed no love for NFL legend Manning before his last game in the league.

What happened to the days when fans rooted for the team from their conference and enjoyed the Super Bowl no matter which teams were playing? Those days are long gone in New England. Should it be any surprise at all that the Patriots have passed the Cowboys as the Most Hated Team in America? It’s because of this new generation of fans.

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In addition to his Sore Loser Press Conference, Cam Newton will forever be remembered for freezing when he fumbled instead of fighting for the football, choosing to back off and watch the game essentially come to an end instead. It’s an iconic image that Newton must live with for the rest of his career.

(GIF via Deadspin)
(GIF via Deadspin)

“That’s the way he is. Playing for himself,” Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan said to TheMMQB.com. Aqib Talib chimed in saying of Newton, “He didn’t want it.” And Von Miller apparently agrees with his teammates.

Jus Dab!!! 😎

A photo posted by Von Miller (@millerlite40) on

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In news that might help raise the spirits of a broken-hearted Nation, the Patriots, along with the Seahawks and Panthers, have been tabbed as the early favorites to win Super Bowl LI.

The three teams are 9-1 favorites to win it all next year according to Bovada.com.

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Talib had himself quite the afternoon at Levi’s Stadium. First he pulls off the “on purpose” facemask for his second personal foul of the game.

“It was B.S. flags,” Talib said after the game. “One was on our sidelines — the guy was talking on our sideline. One I just did on purpose, and I just had to show him. It’s probably going to be a fine, but hey, we’re world champs.”

Talib also proceeded to do his best Beyonce when he wiped out while approaching the NFL Network set postgame:

Talib closed out his perfect day with a note about his night.

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PuppyMonkeyBaby was almost as disturbing as NFL Babies, but watching it was infinitely more entertaining than the competing punt and penalty-filled fiasco.

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The next big date on the NFL calendar is not February 9, when NFL teams may begin to sign players whose contracts have expired. And it’s not February 23, when the NFL Scouting Combine gets underway at Lucas Oil Stadium

It’s March 3. That’s when the NFL goes to court to have Judge Berman’s ruling on Tom Brady overturned. Roger Goodell said at his annual State of the NFL address on Friday that it’s not about Brady but about upholding the Commissioner’s powers as negotiated in the CBA. Yeah, right.

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There will be quite the bidding war among the networks for Peyton Manning once he announces his retirement. Fox, CBS, and ESPN will all want Peyton on their broadcast teams.

Manning will be an instant star with his knowledge of the game, work ethic, and sense of humor. The only analyst he won’t replace is Chris Collingsworth on NBC. The guess here is Manning replaces Phil Simms as the lead color man for CBS, joining his friend Jim Nance and giving CBS a team that can rival NBC’s Al Michaels and Collingsworth.

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Deion Sanders is to the NFL Network what Charles Barkley is to TNT. Sanders is smart, funny, and not afraid to speak his mind.

“You are the face of our brand right now, you can’t do that,” Sanders said of Newton’s postgame pout session. “I understand the emotions of losing, but you can’t do that. A Manning, a Brady … all these guys who are a prototypical type of quarterback in our game, they’re not going to do that ever. Would Drew Brees ever?

“You’re opening yourself for more criticism,” Sanders said. Because everybody is going to say you’re dabbing and smiling and smiling and styling. So this is how you go out when you lose?”

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Wade Phillips devised masterful defensive game plans to beat both the Patriots in the AFC Championship game and the Panthers in the Super Bowl. Phillips was a head coach with Denver, Buffalo, and Dallas, and he held the interim title in Houston, Atlanta, and New Orleans. His regular season record was 82-64 for a .562 winning percentage, but he was only 1-5 in the playoffs.

Sometimes great lieutenants are not so great generals. Phillips is a great defensive coordintaor, but just an average head coach.

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In the Broncos run to the Super Bowl championship, their defense in the postseason held Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers to 16 points, Brady and the Patriots 18 points, and Cam Newton and the Panthers 10 points. Those quarterbacks have combined for 6 Super Bowl titles and 3 MVPs. Impressive defensive execution by Denver.

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Opening night 2016 for the NFL is Thursday, September 8. It has to be the Broncos hosting the Patriots.

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(Getty Images Photo via Twitter)
(Getty Images Photo via Twitter)

Fans outside New England hate Tom Brady and the Patriots. Brady was booed heavily as was introduced as one of the Super Bowl MVPs coming onto the field at Levi’s Stadium. Brady grew up 27 miles from the stadium and should have been welcomed back as a hometown hero. Instead he was showered with boos.

Great winners in sports are usually villains everywhere but the cities they play in. Everyone outside of Boston hated Red Auerbach and his victory cigars. The Raiders of the 60’s and 70’s were hated outside of Oakland. And while the Dallas Cowboys were called America’s team, they were looked upon with disdain in the 49 states other than Texas.

But the hatred seems stronger towards Brady and the Patriots. Part of that is due to the animosity people have for Belichick, but a lot of people outside the six state New England region think the Patriots cheat. Spygate and Deflategate have a lot to do with the way people across the country feel about Robert Kraft’s club.