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Every sports fan in the world first started rooting for their team for a reason. The majority of sports fans become fans of the team closest to where they live and for others it’s because they are fond of a player or coach on the team. But for some sports fans, it’s the success of a team that pulls them in.

No other team in the history of the NFL has had as much success in the last 20 years as the New England Patriots. Since Tom Brady took over in 2001, the team has not had one losing season. The future Hall of Fame quarterback has led his team to thirty playoff wins and nine super bowls, winning six of them. That kind of success is rarely, if ever, replicated throughout all of sports.

Over the last two decades, football fans throughout the country have adopted the Patriots as their team. These fans ‘jumped on the bandwagon’ because the Patriots were good. They liked cheering for a team that is successful.

Now that Brady is gone, will the Patriots be able to consistently win and make playoff runs? If they have a down year it will be hard for some fans to stick with the team. These fans have adjusted theirselves to the winning ways of the franchise and simply won’t be able to handle losing games.

In the 90s, basketball fans throughout the U.S. loved and cherished the Chicago Bulls. The Michael Jordan led team won six championships between 1991 and 1998. However, in the early 2000s the Bulls’ success ran out as they had six losing seasons from 1998-2003, and the fan base drastically fell off. To this day, it has never made a recovery to where it was when Jordan was with them.

Comparing the 2000s Patriots to the 90s Bulls, after a few rough seasons for New England they are more than likely to lose a large amount of their fan base. The Brady fans will stay fans of his, but cheer for Tampa Bay. The bandwagon fans will probably find the next team that satisfies their winning needs. The ones that remain will be Patriots diehards and people from the Massachusetts area who’ve been fans for life.

Despite Brady leaving, if Jarrett Stidham can find success and the team’s young offensive pieces work out, it doesn’t seem like Patriots fans around the world are going anywhere anytime soon.

Photo credit: FieldTurf