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Fire alarm being pulled at Steelers hotel does nothing to silence stigma around the Patriots and their fans

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The Patriots have a bad reputation in the NFL for pushing the boundaries of legal and illegal, and their fan base clearly followed their lead on Saturday night.

NFL: AFC Divisional-Houston Texans at New England Patriots David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Just think about it for a second.

Spygate.

Deflategate.

Issues with communication systems.

The list goes on, but these are the major infractions which the New England Patriots have been accused, and in some cases proven guilty, of in the past. Combine these accusations with the consistent winning of Bill Belichick and company, and you have yourself an ‘Evil Empire’.

It was the reason why most NFL fans weren’t upset with Mike Tomlin calling the Patriots “A—holes” in his post game comments after their win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional round of the playoffs. The Patriots win so much, and they push the limits in regards to the rules, most NFL fans despite the franchise and everyone associated with it...even their fans.

If you’ve had any interaction with the typical New England / Boston fan, you know all about the bravado which encompasses being a supporter of the franchise. Some fans, not all, have even taken the “competitive advantage” excuse a bit too far.

You might not have heard yet, but a Boston man pulled the fire alarm in the Pittsburgh Steelers hotel at 3 a.m. ET Sunday morning. The Boston police have already arrested and charged a man in connection with the crime.

To be crystal clear, this isn’t about this incident somehow impacting the football game. The game won’t be played until almost 7 p.m. ET, and the team will have plenty of time to get their needed “shut eye” before hitting the gridiron in the AFC Championship game. However, what this doesn’t do is silence the stigma surrounding the Patriots, and their fan base.

I’m sure this isn’t the first time this has happened in an NFL city prior to a game, and I’m sure some adult beverages might have been consumed prior to the fire alarm being activated in the wee hours of the morning, but it doesn’t excuse the behavior.

This fan will be prosecuted, but I’m sure the majority of fans who woke up today in Boston laughed at the thought of Ben Roethlisberger, James Harrison, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown evacuating their rooms early in the morning, throwing off their usual game day routine.

As if the Steelers didn’t have enough of an uphill climb facing the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, going against Tom Brady and Belichick, battling a stomach bug going through the team, and coming off the annoying media crazed distraction of the Antonio Brown video, the last thing this team needs heading into tonight’s big game.

Nonetheless, here we are...

Overcoming all of this will only make a Steelers win that much sweeter as they try to advance to Super Bowl 51.