Ever peruse the vitriolic comments following a game recap online when a usually dominant local team loses?

Or a superstar has an off night?

Then I don't need to tell you how demanding and impatient spoiled fans of super successful pro teams or players — and the media covering them — can be these days.

Prior supremacy, it seems, turns many followers and chroniclers into monsters with insatiable appetites for victory.

To hear them, some fans of big NFL, NBA and MLB winners aren't content with a record of anything less than 16-0, 82-0 and 162-0, respectively.

And star players must always turn in outstanding, mistake-free performances.

For their part, much of the media is unapproving, it seems, unless an overwhelming win has been attained each and every outing.

And that's just for the regular season. Come the playoffs, nothing less than sweeps will do.

Recently, this unrealistic expectation of wins wire-to-wire reached a new nadir of ridiculousness.

The New England Patriots started this NFL campaign 2-2. To hear the wailing emanating from Pats fans and all the negativity coming from the greater Boston and national media, you would think we were witnessing the biggest dynastic collapse since the Ming thing in China went belly up many centuries ago.

Bill Belichick was overrated, after all.

Tom Brady was finally washed up.

Yada, yada, yada.

Skin moisturizer stock went through the roof from all the hand-wringing damage.

Then the Patriots went on a 5-0 tear that included scoreboard-crashing pummelings of Peyton Manning led-Denver and the Chicago Bears.

Back on the bandwagon, everyone.

Afterward, though, there were zero hasty judgment mea culpas from either the fickle faithful or muckraking media.

No acknowledgement that even the best of teams get off to slow starts because of varying circumstances.

Not to mention, retro-recognition that nothing or no one is perfect — except God and the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

In the Pats' case, their revamped offensive line needed time to gel and give Brady the pass protection necessary for him to be his former self.

Also, Brady was breaking in several new receivers and in the early going was minus his former go-to guy, tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Once all the offensive pieces — especially the other-worldly Gronk — settled in, Mr. Gisele Bundchen and the Pats starting clicking and took off.

And Belichick regained his super-human coaching aura.

Then, just as Patsanity returned, the sports world turned its attention to the sky falling in Cleveland.

The euphoria surrounding the grand homecoming of Ohio's own LeBron James, quickly dissipated when his new old team, the Cavaliers, got off to a 1-3 start.

Four games — that's how long it took for the sweet talk surrounding King James' return to turn sour.

Not quite the triumphant return we anticipated, groused a number of Clevelanders.

The only thing Cavalier about James, said some, was his attitude.

Many fans and pundits remarked how disengaged, almost bored, LBJ appeared.

Some were even so blasphemous as to hint that his game was beginning to desert him.

Early on, LeBron had found himself trapped in a "damned if he does, damned if he doesn't" predicament.

When James scored 36 points in the Cavs initial win in game two, he was accused of ball-hogging and not involving his teammates.

Too much clearing out half of the floor so LBJ could go one-on-one, critics said.

In Cleveland's next game — a 19-point shellacking by Portland — LeBron seemed to overcompensate in an effort to prove he was a team guy.

He scored only 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting — his lowest output in almost six years.

"Sometimes you have to carry the team, sometimes you have to be a facilitator," was LBJ's explanation for his performance dichotomy.

To his everlasting credit, a mature and classy LeBron maintained his composure amid all the mumbling and grumbling over Cleveland's disappointing start.

"Rome wasn't built in a day" became his public mantra.

It would be a "process" that would take some time and doing, James reasoned.


Well, new coach David Blatt, who was an uber success in the European pro leagues, sought to establish EuroBall in the NBA.

TV analyst and former Dallas coach Avery Johnson said Blatter was incorporating a "Princeton-style offense, with an emphasis on movement without the ball, cutting to the basket and precision passing."

Johnson agreed with James, saying the Cavs just needed time to adjust and they would be fine.

Factor in that Cleveland is also trying to blend James' talents with those of deluxe big man Kevin Love (acquired in a trade) and former team centerpiece Kyrie Irving, a shoot-first point guard, and the Cavs' less-than-awesome start becomes even more understandable.

In Cleveland's fifth contest LeBron, squashed the too much/too little criticism by going for a best-of-both-worlds 24 points and 12 assists in a road win over Denver.

LBJ followed that up with an even better all-around outing garnering 32 points, 11 rebounds and nine dishes in a beatdown of New Orleans.

After which he poured in 42 as the Cavs toppled Boston and then 32 in a 127-96 rout of Atlanta.

That made it four straight Cleveland wins since the Cavaliers stumbled out of the blocks before Monday's nine-point home loss to Denver, but who's counting.

Certainly not the naysayers. Nary a speck of contrition has emanated from the complainer corps.

Similar scenarios are also playing out in Seattle and San Francisco, where the NFL Seahawks and 49ers have NOT been running roughshod over the opposition as anticipated.

What's wrong with the Niners and Hawks has been fodder for every trouble-seeking talk show host and bottom-feeder blogger locally and nationally.

Aaron Rodgers was able to quell a similar pitchfork and lantern brigade hunt for the cause or a slow Green Bay start with his now-famous five letter message.


If MAS was smart, he would get rich pedaling a placebo chill pill to all the panicky, presumptuous sports followers in the U.S. these days:

CHILLAX has a nice ka-ching ring to it.

Contact Man About Sports at: [email protected]