Celebrating What the Patriots Have Accomplished
Foxborough, MA - On Sunday, February 3, the New England Patriots will face off against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. They will either improve their record in the Super Bowl in the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick era to 6-3 or it will downsize to 5-4. Patriots fans will be euphoric or demoralized. But either way, we have to relax and reflect on all that New England has accomplished since the beginning of the twenty-first century. Let's take a moment to appreciate all of it before getting caught up in the fervor of another Super Bowl (and how lucky I am as a fan to be able to write something like that).
Basically, at this point, the records, milestones, and statistics put up by Brady, Belichick, and the Patriots are akin to video game numbers. Even this may not be true, though, because in almost every Madden franchise mode, Brady retires way before the 2018-19 season. And yet, they're hard to believe.
The Patriots are playing in their third Super Bowl in a row and their ninth since Brady took over, but the eleventh overall. Brady himself has now played in more Super Bowls than any other NFL franchises and if the Patriots defeat the Rams, he will have tied the record for most Super Bowls won with the entire Pittsburgh Steelers franchise with six.
An even more jaw-dropping statistic is that Brady has only been an NFL quarterback since 2000 and yet, after playing against the Rams, he will have played in seventeen percent of all NFL championships. There's no questioning that Brady is the greatest quarterback in the history of football, but now it might seem like he's the greatest sportsman of all-time.
And yet, he's still the same guy he was when he was drafted in the sixth round and had to prove himself as a back-up for the Patriots. He's more famous and brandable now, sure. He's a household name. But still within him is that fire. That drive to show he's worthy of the starting role, never mind an MVP trophy or the Lombardi Trophy. He's still just that hungry kid who wants to maximize his opportunity.
Seventeen years to the day, Brady is going to face off against the Rams, just like he did when he won his first Super Bowl all those years ago. A lot has changed. But Robert Kraft is still here. So's Belichick. So's Brady. It might be a passing of the torch. But it also might be a way to come full circle. To prove that Brady always has been special. He just needed to prove himself.
Against the Rams.