What a Dynasty!

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Growing up, my family always bonded over sports.  I am lucky to have a loving family that creates great memories.  Sports were very much included in some of those memories.  You could say that my father was the chief architect in molding my sports mind.  So if you like my sports takes then you can thank him.  Although I am a bit more positive with my sports takes, but I suppose I am more positive than most.   I will always remember my dad telling me stories about past players, coaches, games, moments etc.  I enjoyed hearing him relive the past through his own special view.  He remembers a whole lot more losses than I do.  Other than the Celtics, Boston was the city of the loveable losers.  Maybe that explains it.  One incredible moment we did get to experience together was the Red Sox breaking the curse of the Bambino in 2004.  We are mainly a baseball/Red Sox clan so you can imagine how exciting that was.  I will forever remember that phone call we shared after Foulke tossed the ball over to Doug Mink…I’m not even going to Google the name to get the correct spelling.

Photo courtesy of bostonglobe.com
I, like so many Boston fans, have had front row seats to the greatest era in sports history.  All four major sports teams have won titles.  Two of the four franchises have NINE combined championships!  And all four are currently winning organizations.  This is a sports town like none other in the world.  The team in the middle of this golden era is the New England Patriots.

This current run for the Patriots has never happened, nor will it ever happen again.  Since Thomas Edward Brady has been the starting quarterback of New England this team has been to nine super bowls.  Nine!  Nine!  In the last 18 years of my life, I have had plans for the Super Bowl where my favorite team was competing.  NINE TIMES!  It is no longer a debate. Brady is the greatest team sport athlete of all time.  It is no longer a matter of argument.  He has appeared in HALF of the Super Bowls since 2001. In the world’s toughest sport, he has been competed for a championship in 9 of 18 seasons. 

It is known around the globe that Tom Brady is a winner.  Appearing in what will be his ninth Super Bowl, which is the most be any QB.  That’s almost double than the next guy.  That guy is the legendary quarterback John Elway.  Brady has the most Super Bowl wins, playoff wins, division titles, and obviously regular season wins in NFL history.  Wrap your mind around this… Tom Brady, after Feb 3rd, will have more Super Bowl appearances than any other franchise in NFL history!  We are not talking about other players.  We are talking about other organizations!  He is one of the most clutch players in the history of sports.  You would be lying to yourself and your loved ones if you stated that you would rather have any other quarterback in history with the game on the line. Sure he has had his losses, but he is still there at the end of the season.  I mean, Brady is competing for a title HALF of the time.  That’s factually correct.

Not only is Brady a winner, but he also has the stats and accolades.  Since this Super Bowl has yet to start, Brady has been awarded the MVP in four of his eight appearances.  That goes along with his three regular season MVP awards.  He has thrown the most touchdowns in the playoffs and the most passing yards in the playoffs.  Sounds good doesn’t it?  Well it gets better because he has the most yards and TD’s in the Super Bowl too.  Tom Brady is a sports legend.  An icon, and he will never be forgotten.  If this next Super Bowl happens to be his last, then we should all do ourselves a favor and enjoy it.  That goes for you too Brady haters.

Brady is the GOAT. but his coach, Bill Belichick, is a GOAT in his own right.  (Robert Kraft, aka the GOAT farmer).  Bill Belichick is more than just a scowl and a miserable interview.  He is the best coach in football history.  He has been the maestro of the NFL’s most magnificent orchestra for almost two decades.  Belichick has put his team on the right path to win a championship.  Due to his winning ways, he is knocking on the door for 300 career wins.  A feat accomplished by very few.  Belichick has been awarded the AP NFL Coach of the Year three times.  Everyone knows he could have more and is considered one of the best every single year.  This year may be his greatest accomplishment.  The football community counted New England out.  And here they are in the Super Bowl again. 

Old, grumpy Bill is the only head football coach to be victorious in five Super Bowls.   Throughout his career he has appeared in 11 Super Bowls as a head coach or an assistant.  This year will be his ninth appearance with the Patriots. Imagine getting to the championship almost every other year.  Managing through the Fantasy Football playoffs is hard enough.  I imagine leading an NFL squad is a trillion times harder.  Between the sidelines there hasn’t been a better head coach. 

Now as a general manager, you could have a bone to pick with Bill.  He hasn’t always made the correct call when it comes to acquisitions and drafts picks.  I have to be honest, I can’t pretend like Belichick operates like Theo Epstein.  Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t awful.  That’s just a small blemish on the legend that is Bill Belichick. 

This dynasty has seen 9 Super Bowls.  Fans have witnessed their team battle for supremacy nine times!  Remember the three out of four to kick things off in the early 2000’s, and now they have appeared in the last four of the last five.  The Pats are about to be in their third straight championship.  There are so many fantastic moments in these Super Bowls.  Pats Nation has been spoiled over the last two decades.

It all started when the Patriots took on the Rams at Super Bowl XXXVI.  They were supposed to get blown out by the “Greatest Show on Turf.”  Kurt Warner, Torry Holt, Marshall Faulk and the rest of the high powered offense was a shoe-in to be champions.  Wrong.  New England fought hard and, thanks to a walk off field goal by Adam Vinatieri, the Pats were Super Bowl champs.  No one at the time could have ever guessed what that upset would lead to. 

After taking a year off, New England won back to back championships.  The 2003 and 2004 seasons ended with the Patriots hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.  That defense was an absolute force.  Led by Tedy Bruschi, Ty Law and Willie McGinest, this team was loaded on defense.  Carolina and Philadelphia found out real quick that it wouldn’t be an easy day at the office when facing the Pat’s D.  Well, everyone except Terrell Owens, he did work on a broken leg.  The Patriots aren’t perfect, just really, really, really, extremely good. 

In what seemed like a blink of an eye, New England had won three championships in four years and were the NFL’s newest dynasty.  Not only did the Patriots create a dynasty, they also ignited a winning culture that the entire city adopted.  Boston fans are still a part of that winning atmosphere today.

For around 10 years the Patriots went through a drought.  They went 0-2 against the New York Giants, including a chance at going undefeated.  Not the best time in the dynasty’s history, but it makes chapter three a hell of a lot better.  As a Pat’s fan I still wish they could face off with New York one more time.  Who knows, maybe the New York football Giants will weasel their way to one more Super Bowl. 

New England’s drought came to an end when the former Pat’s head coach, Pete Carroll, decided to throw on the goal line.  New England played against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.  I felt like I had a real part in this win.  I was watching the game with some buddies.  We were all in the basement, man cave area.  When the juju of the game went sour, I relocated to the upstairs living room.  I watched the rest of the game up there.  And I believe because of that Malcolm Butler makes that interception.  Go! Malcolm, Go! Was more like Go! Matt, Go…Upstairs!  I remember sprinting down those stairs after that play to celebrate with everyone.  Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” was attempting back to back championships.  But Brady and company dashed those hopes.  Seattle hasn’t played in another Super Bowl since.  Add dynasty killer to Tom Brady’s resume. 

The improbable turned into ridiculous in Super Bowl LI.  The start of that game did not go well for New England.  Atlanta came out swinging.  Another ring seemed to be out of reach when Brady threw a pick six.  He sat on the turf as the Falcons waltzed in the end zone silencing Pat’s Nation.  After falling behind 28-3, the Patriots made the comeback for the ages.  When James White crossed the goal line in overtime I remember running around my parent’s kitchen.  We watched the game with some friends over there.  Brady had a really nice game, almost as nice as my mom’s kitchen.  Seriously, my mom has a really nice kitchen.  I couldn’t believe the Pats won a record 5th Super Bowl.  The parade that year was a lot of fun.  I’ll save that parade story for another time.  Spoiler alert - the night ended after watching a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert. 

Then there was the Philadelphia Eagles.  Blah, blah, Nick Foles.  Blah, blah, blah strip sack.  Like I said before, the Pat’s are not perfect, just really, really, really, extremely good. 

I don’t always make the right call.  Sometimes I get things wrong, actually most of the time I probably do.  For instance, not too long ago, I said on Boston Sports Syndicate’s podcast that the Dolphins “Hail Mary” was the dagger in the dynasty’s heart.  I was wrong!  But being wrong about that has only strengthened my belief that I am not wrong here.  The New England Patriots are the most successful and dominate sports franchise in history led by sport’s greatest athlete Tom Brady. 

I know they have one more game to play this season.  It will be a really difficult game.  I am not overlooking the Rams.  Los Angeles is a talented team and could be the victor in Super Bowl LIII.  But win or lose, and I do think they will win, this dynasty is the greatest ever. 

You can hate if you so choose.  You can be the person in the room who still brings up the tuck rule, deflated footballs, or whether a punt barely scraped Edelman’s thumb.  If you are that person, I am here to say…Let it go.  Don’t cling onto those weak arguments.  Just embrace this.  There will be hash tags that say we are all Rams, or anyone but the Patriots or some other anti Pats tagline.  Ignore that nonsense and just tune in on Feb 3rd and root for greatness.   


Follow me on Twitter @Matty_wests1de

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Boston Sports Syndicate: What a Dynasty!
What a Dynasty!
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