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Super Bowl LI: Michael Irvin defends the Patriots’ winning ways

Former NFL player Michael Irvin visits the SiriusXM

Former NFL player Michael Irvin visits the SiriusXM set at Super Bowl 51 Radio Row at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Feb. 2, 2017 in Houston. Credit: Getty Images for SiriusXM / Cindy Ord

HOUSTON — Can’t stand the Patriots? Then you’re missing a great show.

That’s what Hall of Fame wide receiver and NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin said on Thursday about the legions of fans around the country who are Patriots haters and believe that the only reason they are so good is because they cheat.

“I think we’re doing ourselves a misjustice if we walk around and try to tab them as cheaters,” Irvin said. “We’re missing a great journey. We’re blessed enough to be living in a time when they’re doing what they’re doing.”

So why all the animosity toward the Patriots?

“Because they win so much,” Irvin said. “Nobody loves when you win.”

The Patriots have certainly been involved in a number of scandals over the years, but Irvin said that only proves how good they really are.

“Let’s be real, we talk about these things like Spygate and Deflategate and all those things, but nothing has changed,” he said. “All of the so-called corrections, no more Spygate and no more Deflategate, and they’re still here. They’re still here. It has no merit to try to say that they cheated their way here when they’re still here. And they’re not going away. They’re always here. This is like an annual game for them.

“Are they hating the Patriots or are they showing that they have some hate in their heart from where they are? That’s the way I see it.”

Irvin did admit he is in a unique position to appreciate the Patriots.

“Myself, I don’t mind the Patriots getting another ring,” he said. “I have three myself. I don’t have to say ‘I hate them Patriots!’ I have my three. They can get theirs. When you get yours you don’t feel bad about them getting what they’re getting. I just feel the people don’t like the fact that they win too much.”

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