As the media floods the zone with analysis and insight after the Patriots victory over the Rams in Super Bowl LIII, one particular take that seems to encompass the media reaction is that President Trump’s team emerged the victor last night.
CNN expressed that lament on Monday afternoon in a piece titled: “Donald Trump’s Favorite Team Just Won Another Super Bowl.”
Writer Zachary B. Wolf, first draws attention to the fact that Tom Brady audibled to a running play to the right, by saying “Reagan.”
Wolf then points out the strong ties Trump has to key members of the Patriots team and organization.
“Key Patriots — the owner, the coach and the quarterback — are all friendly with Trump. Owner Robert Kraft once reportedly gave Trump a Super Bowl Ring after an earlier Patriot win. Quarterback Tom Brady said Trump gave Kraft a Make America Great Again hat that somehow ended up in Brady’s locker.Trump clearly seemed to be rooting for the Patriots heading into the game. He tweeted his congratulations to them after they secured their spot in the Super Bowl, but offered no such praise for the Rams.
“Coach Bill Belichick wrote Trump a note of encouragement in 2016, which Trump then read at a rally.
“Brady was asked repeatedly about Trump during the presidential election, and without endorsing Trump or his policies, made it clear he was pulling for his friend to win.
“It was these relationships that led Trump to predict a Patriots win before game time.”
Prior to the game, Trump gave his prediction for the game in an interview with CBS. “They have a very special owner and coach, and certainly they have, I guess, the greatest quarterback of all time,” Trump said of the Patriots.
The president’s relationships with the Patriots brain-trust notwithstanding, the fact that New England has the best quarterback in the history of the game along with a very “special” coach and owner, are matters of fact that don’t require personal relationships. One need not be Tom Brady’s friend to know he’s the best quarterback of all-time. All one would require is eyesight and minimal brain power.
Coming to the conclusion that the Patriots would combine all those “special” people to win the Super Bowl, is also not something that requires a personal relationship. New England was heavily favored to win by oddsmakers and millions of fans, the vast majority of whom have never met Brady, Belichick, or Kraft. Wolf points out, however, that despite Trump’s popularity with the Patriots brass, there are those wearing red, white, and blue, who are opposed to the president, and will not make the trip to the White House to see him.
Wolf writes, “But football teams are large enterprises made up of a lot of people. At least one Patriot, Duron Harmon, the safety who stepped up to help the team keep the Rams out of the end zone, said he wouldn’t be going the White House.
“Nah, they don’t want me at the White House, man,” he told TMZ after the game. Although, when asked, he said he’d be happy to follow the lead of the Golden State Warriors and meet with former President Barack Obama instead.
“That Harmon wouldn’t want to meet Trump is unsurprising given he was among a large group of Patriots who knelt during the National Anthem back in 2017. The kneeling protests have mostly faded away. No one knelt during the Super Bowl’s National Anthem.”
Wolf also lists other Patriots — including Brady — who didn’t visit the White House the last time around. Some of them, for reasons not having to do with politics at all. In closing, Wolf acknowledges that Trump should feel good about his favorite team winning all these Super Bowls while he’s in office. Yet, given the statements from players like Harmon and the other notable absences the last time the Patriots made the trip to the White House, Wolf advises Trump to not plan for an overly packed house.
“Trump should be happy that his favorite team has won two of the three Super Bowls while he’s been in office. He just needs to be ready for some Patriots to not visit him if he decides to have them over.”
It’s doubtful that New England’s White House visit will be irrevocably marred, or even slightly impacted by the absence of Duron Harmon or Donta Hightower, or even Brady for that matter. Though, it should be pointed out, Trump likely would have been happy if Los Angeles had won as well.
Rams Owner Stan Kroenke donated $1 million to the president’s inaugural fund.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn