Are You Ready?
It’s that time of year again! Summer is coming to a close. The days are getting shorter. Those mornings are getting a little chillier. Our thoughts start shifting from beaches and campfires to pumpkins and leaves. One thing we all have in common – our Patriots are the defending World Champions!
After a season marred by the ridiculous and baseless suspension of Tom Terrific, the boys in blue rallied, put a foot on the gas pedal and never looked back. Through it all they displayed the perseverance, professionalism, and passion that we have loved from all our teams. Once they made the playoffs with the #1 seed we knew this season could be special.
As fans, we allowed ourselves to imagine Tom Brady holding the Lombardi high at the end of the same season that people all around the country told him he cheated. The players and coaches of all other NFL teams supplied the same answers that we knew to expect. “This next game is no different,” and “This season is no different.” But we all knew. We knew that they wanted to win a Lombardi. And to do it this year would have *wink-wink “extra meaning.”
Why They Win
Fast-forward to the playoffs, when they played like a well-oiled machine. The kind that can bring an unprecedented fifth Championship back to New England. Unprecedented because in the modern era it’s ridiculously hard to win one, let alone two or three NFL crowns within a decade. But our team has battled through many trials and tribulations in order to win five within 16 years.
During the Big Game (and I’ll remember this for the rest of my life) doubt crept into the New England faithful. Soul-crushing despair gripped the hearts of fans around the world. My response was always the same. “We still have plenty of time, especially for this team.” Even down 28-3 with just minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter, it was still, ‘there’s plenty of time.’ Sure enough, a couple mistakes on the part of the Falcons and some good drives by our boys completed the greatest comeback in sports history! Of course Tom Terrific had some help. James White set some records and Edelman’s incredible catch will surpass the helmet catch till the end of time. After a cowardly hand-off of the championship trophy by the latest New England villain (hint: initials RG), we got to see Tom Brady celebrating with his family and holding another Lombardi that he was bringing home to the greatest fans in the world.
What’s on the Line for 2017?
And the Pats don’t look close to slowing down. If anything, they approached this off season as if they had not been to the playoffs in 16 years. Belichick has attacked the off season by targeting veterans that can meld into the Pats culture to help the team. Brandin Cooks, Dwayne Allen, Kony Ealy — all stand to make significant contributions as we start getting rings fitted for the other hand. Tom Brady is also on the cusp of breaking some impressive personal records. If he sticks to his plan of playing into his 40’s he could be threatening some of the vaunted records from Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. No Days Off, indeed.
Why We Watch
All these achievements and accolades may have you asking what more can we hope to achieve as fans? Do the Pats really need a high level of fan support for a team that’s just going to win it all anyway? The answer is a resounding YES!! The New England Patriots are the epitome of professional sports excellence. They approach the game with the single-minded purity of winning within the rules. They don’t care about the final score or personal highlights. Just one question: did they execute their jobs to the best of their abilities? Period.
When we reflect back on this era of American sports, we may well be looking at the most unique phenomenon in the first quarter of the 21st century. This is greatness. We need to soak it in, enjoy it for what it is and be prepared for it to end. It may not be tomorrow, or the next day. But it could be soon. Let’s get out there and support our team in all the ways possible! Enjoy the 2017 title-defense season and Blitz for Six!
Written by: Andrew Lykins
Follow him on Twitter: @ALykins32