It’s no secret I’m a Patriots fan. I’m not overly vocal, but I’m passionate. When the Pats started out 2-2 last season and every article was demanding Brady to be traded or beheaded, like most Pats fans I calmly asked them to wait and see how the season ended. A long winning streak and a SuperBowl later all was well. Except that things were tainted by Deflategate. With all the distractions and all the sour grapes opinions from losing teams, it made it hard to just watch the games and enjoy the way the team plays football. Combine that with the not so relaxing to watch Super Bowl game itself and it made for a draining post season run for a fan.

That’s partly what made this season so fun. With the appeal of the Brady suspension coming just in time, there was no drama. There was an obvious motivation from that, but the games themselves were removed from it all and it was just about a fantastic team keeping all the wheels turning. It was a real treat for a fan, and obviously the team responded as well, starting 10-0. But there’s a different nagging sensation this season. The injury bug has been threatening to ruin everything and for a second year, what should have been a triumphant redemption parade has had that element where even though things are going to plan, it’s been hard to feel 100% settled in. That brings us to this weekend.

For a 5th consecutive year the Patriots are in the AFC championship game, and it has all the makings of a beauty. The Patriots are expecting to have most of their injured players back and are peaking at just the right time. As a Patriots fan, I get to see the team one more time on a big stage with the lineup that allows them to play their distinct style and approach to the game that I love them for. As a football fan in general, this also has the distinction of possibly being the last game for the great Peyton Manning. That’s something I’d want to watch. Oddly enough, Denver also has its own unique approach to the game and it could make for quite a challenge. It’s Manning vs. Brady one more time. Patriots vs. Broncos. Hurry up vs. audible. Speed vs. power.

So far in this article there are two things I haven’t mentioned: the Indianapolis Colts and Deflategate. Neither of those are relevant. Neither of those are even close to relevant to any discussion to the AFC Championship game. However, with a recent New York Times article about an MIT professor who has debunked Deflategate science with the “Ideal Gas Law”, it’s led to the topic threatening to ruin everything. To all those who want to report on this story, to those who want to mention the 1 year anniversary of Deflategate, to those who want to try and protest any playoff wins this year by mentioning that last year is tainted, KINDLY FUCK OFF. This NYT article is not news. The term Ideal Gas Law has become as old news as the term Tuck Rule to me. This article is not earth shattering, it’s not game changing, and it’s adding nothing new. If anyone has breaking never before heard information, lay it on us by all means. But please don’t mention anything just for the sake of mentioning it, or for click bait,  or because it’s a slow day. That’s Deflategate Gate. Over mention of Deflategate just for attention.  Please just for once in two years let us Patriots fans go into a game and actually be able to enjoy the moment, win or lose. If you hate us that much, cheer for Peyton Manning’s career. Cheer for the Panthers. But for the love of all that is good and decent, don’t say Deflate gate.