The New England Patriots are going to the Super Bowl…again. What this team has accomplished over the past decade and a half is unprecedented. The Patriots are now the late 1990’s New York Yankees of the NFL. They’re the team that has a very confident and cocky fan base. There’s a definitive swagger there and they could care less what you think about it. The Patriots also the team that most of the country outside of their fan base wants to lose. Through it all, Patriots Nation has thrived as this team has continued to dominate the NFL. When it comes to football, Boston has the bragging rights with every NFL debate.
The Patriots are going to win their fifth Super Bowl on February 5th in Houston. Go ahead. Make the argument for the Falcons and their high-powered offense. It’s not happening. The Patriots are on a mission and everything has fallen into place perfectly for them this season. That isn’t about to change against Matt Ryan and the birds. The Patriots will rise their fifth flag at Gillette Stadium in September. With their win against the Steelers in AFC Championship Game, the Patriots became the first team to ever make it to nine Super Bowls. In two weeks, they’ll join the Cowboys and 49ers as teams with five Super Bowl wins and they’ll trail just the Steelers who have six. Pretty amazing considering that twenty years ago, they had only been to one Super Bowl and had never won it.
Being a Patriots fan right now is comparable to being a Boston Celtics fan in the 1980’s. Boston fans knew then that they had a team that, at minimum, was going to compete for a championship every year with Larry Bird and company. It’s the same for the Patriots now. The Patriots have hosted the AFC Championship game in four of the past six seasons. In the other two, they played the game in Denver. Think about that. In four of the past six years, the AFC Title Game has been right in our backyard.
There are many of us who remember what it was like when the Bill Parcells – Drew Bledsoe led Patriots made it to the Super Bowl twenty years ago. It was a big deal because it wasn’t expected. We watched other great franchises like the 49ers, Redskins, and Giants win Super Bowls. Not our Patriots. Now it’s expected every year. There are many fans who don’t know what’s like to have losing teams for a long stretch…especially considering that Boston sports teams overall have made it to fourteen championships since 2002. Fourteen in a decade and a half! To put that in perspective, these same four teams made it to just one championship from 1991 – 2001. Teams don’t win every year like the Patriots have…even the great ones. What Bill Belichick has done here is nothing short of amazing. And, yes, it is indeed Belichick who has been at the forefront of this team’s success.
To many Patriots fans, this championship will be better than them all. For many, this championship will prove that the NFL made a mistake with the Deflategate saga. You tried, but you still couldn’t stop the Pats. It means to many that the league can’t stop Tom Brady. Whether it’s right or wrong, Patriots fans have their beliefs and their sticking with them whether the rest of the NFL fanbase likes it or not. It’s an us against the world mentality and it isn’t changing. Well, at least as long the team is hosting AFC Title Games annually.
Once again, Patriots Nation will get the last laugh in the Super Bowl.
Enjoy the ride.