Most Patriots fans don’t have a lot of love for ESPN, and they aren’t afraid to show it in the pettiest ways possible. They think The Worldwide Leader in Sports engaged in an unnecessary witchhunt during the whole Deflategate debacle in an effort to take down Tom Brady, and they’ve gone above and beyond to let ESPN know just how much the average Patriots fan hates them.

With that in mind, you can only imagine what most Patriots fans thought when they woke up on Friday to read ESPN’s latest New England-related report. ESPN’s Seth Wickersham put together a lengthy story about a major rift that has apparently developed between Brady, Bill Belichick, and Robert Kraft, and it suggested the end could be near for the trio that is responsible for winning five Super Bowls over the last 15 years and putting together one of the best dynasties the NFL has ever seen.

The Patriots have already dismissed the report and downplayed many of the details within it. Without mentioning ESPN, Brady, Belichick, and Kraft released a joint statement on Friday morning and called the "theories" brought up in Wickersham’s piece "unsubstantiated, highly exaggerated, or flat out inaccurate."

But before they even did that, many Patriots fans were already firing back on ESPN and filing Wickersham’s story in the good old (sigh) "fake news" category. The backlash against the story has been extremely strong in some NFL circles, especially those located in the New England area.

We’ll probably never know exactly how much truth is in Wickersham’s story. But even if it turns out to be 100 percent true, you shouldn’t expect Patriots fans to give ESPN any credit anytime soon.