“unfair for you to play back-to-back games at Mercedes-Benz Superdome”

Calling it “tantamount to home-field advantage” and “a drastic departure from forcing both teams to travel the week of the Super Bowl,” the Patriots accused the Rams today of an unfair advantage due to league scheduling. “Last week, the Rams went to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the NFC Championship game. This coming week, they play in the Super Bowl, which is of course bring held in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, in New Orleans, where the Rams already are. There is no need for them to travel anywhere. We would love to be in their position, able to avoid all outside contact as we prepare for the game, which is, again, in New Orleans. Trust us. About wanting to be in their position, I mean.”

The Patriots emphasized the uncertainty of travel in the best of times, worsened by the government shutdown and winter storms. “In an extreme case, should a team be stuck in another city through negligence, the NFL’s rules permit it to declare a forfeit. We will make every effort to ensure our presence, but we would like to clarify that we support the league’s power to declare a forfeit if necessary. I think we can all agree that that would be appropriate. All in favor? … Good, good.”

To reduce the Rams’ advantage, the Patriots announced, “New England players and coaches will be resting during Media Week, so you should not expect to see us there, at Media Week, in New Orleans.” As “a gesture of goodwill,” the Patriots have agreed to sponsor and handle all logistics for New Orleans’s Media Week: “Things might look a little ‘off,’ and some of the normal attendees might not be present, but we will do our best to make it enjoyable, even in our absence.”

In their closing remarks, the Patriots also criticized the league’s decision to start the game at 6:30 Pacific time, “3 hours later than normal, a clear edge for the west-coast Rams.” After the statement, the Patriots spokesman left without taking questions, citing “a need to set my clocks back an hour for Daylight Savings Time. Don’t forget!”

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