Here you are again. Another NFL season comes to an end, and the best organization in the league is making another trip to the Superbowl. It just seems like business as usual for you guys. Hell, for those under the age of 25, this is all they have ever known about your franchise. Steady success and constant relevance. A nice combination, but I don’t think most of them know how you got here.
It all started in the early 90’s with your ‘original’ 3 headed monster of Kraft, Parcells and Bledsoe. A man that loved the Patriots so much, that he decided to buy the team. He then hired a coach that was one of the greatest coaches ever, who then drafted the best quarterback the team had ever had. Since that time, the 3 have morphed into the ‘current’ trifecta of Kraft (The best owner in the league), Belichick (The greatest coach of all time) and Brady (The greatest quarterback ever). Over that 20+ seasons, no team in the NFL has more regular season OR post season wins than the boys from Foxboro. Your team has won 14 AFC East titles. Has had 16 playoff appearances. 10 AFC Championship appearances, and 7 Superbowl trips, with 3 wins. You have had an unprecedented 25 year run, but it wasn’t always this way.
I remember the days when the Patriots found new and inventive ways to lose games. The term ‘typical Patriots’ was one that every fan of the team used frequently. Yeah, I know we loved the guys who played for you back then. Grogan, Mosi, Hannah, Tippett, Morgan, Fryer, James, Babe, Cunningham, Nance, Gino, Nick, Russ and many others, but those players could never put together any sustained success. Y’all got lucky in 1985, and all the stars aligned, but nobody cares about a 1 hit wonder. Especially when you got destroyed in the big game. Tony Eason became the scapegoat for a team that had zero chance of winning the Superbowl that year. I don’t think the fans even had the courage to utter the words ‘maybe next year’ back in those days because we never expected anything new the next year. However, we still remained faithful.
I remember not being able to see half your games every year because they were blacked out. Sullivan/Shaeffer Stadium was not selling out in those days, so all we got to watch was your away games. Considering you were usually pretty bad, we were almost assured of seeing a loss. Unfortunately, you didn’t just lose games, you made an art form out of it. It was so difficult to get excited about watching you play, if you were on that week, but for some reason we did. All the while hoping that things would finally turn around, and that your team would start to get better. In 1993, all that hope and faith began to pay off, and we haven’t looked back since.
However, there have been some bumps in the road along the way. Tuna’s departure. Multiple high profile player releases. A video taping violation. An excellent player turned murderer, and the latest scandal of deflated footballs. Throughout all of these incidents, the fan base has remained steadfast in their support of your team. “In Bill We Trust.” No matter how much the fans have been upset with any of these things, we repeatedly saw that the decisions being made in Foxboro were always true to the mantra, “We’re gonna do what’s best for the team”, and you know what? They always have been. No compromises. To that I say thank you.
However, today I think I speak for all of Patriots Nation when I say this. Enough of the close games in the Superbowl. We are tired of biting our friggin’ nails to the bone because there are 2 minutes left and it’s a 3 point freakin’ game. Can you please go out there on Sunday and just do to the Seahawks what you did to the Colts. Seriously! I don’t want to hear another word about the Legion of Boom. They had the luckiest win in the history of the NFC Championship. Probably the 2nd luckiest win in playoff history, next to the Giants beating you when you were undefeated. They were getting smoked by the Packers, and couldn’t score against a defense that isn’t nearly as good as yours. This game could potentially to be your last shot for awhile, so why make it hard on yourself, or the fans. Please just put this team away early, and don’t take your foot off the gas for any reason. New Englanders have always had your back, and will always defend you against all criticism, but we need some new bullets in our gun. So how ’bout it. Get out there on Sunday, whoop some ass, and DO YOUR JOB!!!