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For years, I knew these days were coming. I'd complain and express my fear on the air. I knew that the day Tom Brady left Foxboro, things would change forever.

As we all know, that day came back in March, but it really hit Patriots fans in the gut on Week 1, when Brady trotted out in a Tampa Bay uniform against the Saints. That was a definite reality check.

As the conclusion of the first quarter of this strange NFL season approaches, I'm finding it difficult to maintain that same level of enthusiasm and passion I once had for this football team.

Make no mistake about it, this has nothing to do with Cam Newton. He has done a terrific job leading the Patriots' offense throughout the first two games, and a decent job in yesterday's game. He's been fun to watch. In fact, I'd say Newton has surpassed my expectations, and it seems like Coach Bill Belichick is thoroughly enjoying the radically different approach the offense is taking.

Maybe the new uniforms aren't helping, but it's hard for me to watch the Patriots and feel that same emotional connection.

I don't think it would have made any difference if you brought in Aaron Rogers, Drew Brees, or any other NFL quarterback not named Patrick Mahomes. It's safe to say I'd get used to Mahomes taking over as the Patriots' QB very quickly.

As a football fan, this should be as exciting as it gets. A new, potentially franchise quarterback on the team. A chance for Patriots fans to begin to settle the age-old debate, "Who was more important to the dynasty, Belichick or Brady?"

So far to me, though, when I watch this version of the Patriots I feel like I'm watching some other city's team. It just doesn't feel like my team without Brady.

Then, you flip on the 4:15 game to watch Brady and Gronk. To be honest, as nice as it is to have a secondary team of interest, I feel disconnected from that team, too.

The situation has me feeling like a kid caught in the middle of two divorced parents. You just want the family back together, but it's just not going to happen.

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