This weekend’s hotly anticipated Super Bowl LI has turned into a political grudge match.
On one side are the Atlanta Falcons, whose owner, Arthur Blank, is a longtime Democratic donor and Hillary Clinton supporter, and who recently decried President Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries—one POTUS himself has called a “ban.” If that weren’t enough, the Falcons’ play-making wide receiver, Mohamed Sanu, is a Muslim, and Trump has repeatedly insulted civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis, the Democratic Representative of Georgia’s 5th congressional district, which includes the Falcons’ stadium. “All talk, talk, talk—no action or results. Sad!” Trump tweeted of Lewis, who was marching alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Civil Rights Movement while Trump was busy dodging Vietnam.
On the other side there are the New England Patriots, a team with a rich history of cheating whose legendary quarterback, Tom Brady, has been good pals with Trump for 15 years; whose coach, Bill Belichick, penned Trump a fawning note that Trump read on the eve of the election; and whose owner, Bob Kraft, has been friends with Trump for 20 years, and who was recently shouted out by Trump at a dinner feting his well-heeled donors in Washington, D.C.
In short, the Patriots are Trump’s team, and vice versa.
And so, on Friday’s edition of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, the titular host went in on the Patriots’ love of Trump.
“Go Falcons! For the first time in a long time I really care who wins the Super Bowl, and I have a fierce love of the Atlanta Falcons, because I’m from Atlanta—oh wait, I’m not. I’m from New Jersey and could give a shit about Atlanta, but the Falcons are playing a team where the owner, the coach, and the star quarterback all love and support Donald Trump, so I’d really like for them to lose by a score of a million-fucking-thousand to none,” Maher ranted. “And that, in microcosm, is what Donald Trump has done to me—to us all: he’s made us into that campus nut that can’t buy a chicken sandwich without making it political,” he continued. “He’s made me love the Atlanta Falcons.” The political satirist and stand-up comedian then took the time to personally call out Pats’ QB Tom Brady for his support of Trump, including an incident in September 2015 wherein one of Trump’s signature red ‘Make America Great Again’ hats was spotted by reporters in Brady’s locker. He continued to display it prominently there for months. “Mostly I love [the Falcons] because Tom Brady was one of the first to display a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat, you know, ‘cause America has been so tough on Tom so far,” joked Maher, throwing to a photo of Brady posing next to his mega-mansion and supermodel-wife, Gisele Bundchen. “And back when Tom was asked if he thought Trump would be president, he said, ‘I hope so. That would be great!’ Hey Tom: fuck you! You’re a great quarterback and your political instincts suck.”
Then came Belichick, who sent Trump that aforementioned letter congratulating him on “a tremendous campaign” and for putting up with “an unbelievable slanted and negative media.” Trump read the letter aloud at a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, on November 7th, on the eve of Election Day. “Coach Bill Belichick loves Trump so much he sent Trump a fan letter during the campaign,” said Maher. “Wow, that’s some serious butt-licking, coach! Let me give you some advice for the big game: fuck you, Belichick. Fuck you and your deflated balls you joyless cheating fuck!” “You see what Donald Trump has done to me! I used to be pretty eloquent. Now I’m just screaming ‘fuck you!’” he added. “Is there anything this man can’t ruin? He took something beautiful—a game where millionaires give each other brain damage—and made it tawdry and cheap.”