So let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: I can’t stand the Patriots. After spending seven years in New England, I got tired of hearing about how they’re “the greatest football team ever” and “Tom Brady is a god” blah blah blah. You can imagine my ire at their ridiculous comeback victory in Super Bowl LI this past Sunday. They’re the team you love to see lose, and lose badly, but you gotta respect their skill. Then I realized: who else, in the wide wide world of sports, makes me feel the same way?
PPD and PPD-era Evil Geniuses.
Both dudes have a penchant for winning. They also have quasi-insufferable fans that drive everybody else crazy [I’m a Raiders/Eternal Envy fan, and yes, I see the irony in that statement]. As one article puts it, “Americans come together on hating the Patriots.” Dota fans’ feelings towards PPD seem to swing the same way: you either love the guy or you love to watch him lose. There have been periods of time where I wished both Evil Geniuses/PPD and the Patriots would stop winning and give someone else a turn in the spotlight.
As far as their individual personalities go, both PPD and Tom Brady have come under a fair bit of criticism. PPD is pretty famously the lord of salt. He’s come under fire for his words about Aui_2000’s dismissal from EG after their TI5 win, being disrespectful to opponents in a tournament qualifier, and a laundry list of issues from his HoN days. Brady has been cast in a negative light for his alleged ties to polarizing president Trump as well as the whole “deflategate” thing. Patriots fans have reportedly felt conflicted about rooting for the Patriots as they feel uncomfortable about the association with Trump.
I felt similarly about Evil Geniuses. They’re an awesome team. Every player has incredible skill. They’re also the darlings of the North American Dota scene and, until recently, were the only real viable team from the region. But PPD keeps letting me down. He’ll flame somebody on Twitter or make an unnecessarily salty statement about something and it’s just like “dude, I get that it’s part of your persona, but dial it back a bit jeez.” Esports doesn’t have to be super proper, but good sportsmanship should still be a value it strives for.
Interestingly enough, both PPD and Brady were spotted with “Make America Great Again” hats, which stirred up some controversy. And, in both cases, the political outrage may have been misplaced–PPD was apparently wearing it as a joke (unconfirmed) and Brady has never 100% endorsed Trump.
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A trend I noticed during PPD’s bad-mouthing of PaiN [linked above] and the whole deflategate thing is people using the “they’re winners” defense to justify actions. Some PPD fans actually claimed that it was fine for him to flame the players on PaiN because he [PPD] was correct in assuming that PaiN wasn’t a challenging opponent and it was fine because EG “had the skill to back it up.” Brady fans were quick to pull out the “he’s a winner, not a cheater, people are just angry that he wins” defense.
I respect the hell out of both players. PPD earned his place as a top tier captain in Dota and Brady is one of the best NFL quarterbacks to ever play the game. But boy, do both of these guys–and many of their fans–piss people off.
PPD’s back in action with a new squad, WanteD, who just unexpectedly beat Digital Chaos in the DAC qualifiers. PPD fans immediately started in on the celebrations. WanteD later lost 0:2 to Complexity.