It’s January 19, 2002, I’m 14, and I’m at Sugarloaf mountain leaving a dinner party with my brother. We see two girls outside from the party and they ask if they can have a ride back to the cabins with us. We agree and start driving through the snowy night to the cabins. Then one of the girls asks, “Do you guys smoke?”
My brother, who was a freshman in college replies, “Yeah but not with my little brother. Chris get out of the car and walk back.”
I argue with him, get nowhere, so I get out of the car, slam the door, and trudge myself through the snow back to our cabin. There’s a tiny TV and on it is the Patriots vs the Raiders in the AFC Championship. This young whippersnapper, Tom Brady, had been on an improbable tear, winning game after game, after taking over for the injured Drew Bledsoe.
The field is covered in snow and the players are flying around the field tackling each other with reckless abandon. Later in the game, with less than two minutes left, the Raiders lead the Patriots 13-10 and Tom has the Pats on a final comeback drive. Tom Brady drops back and then the Raiders safety, Charles Woodson, comes flying around in on a blitz and knocks the ball out of Brady’s hand in the middle of a pump fake. I think to myself, “Crap, fumble, there goes the season, ugh why can’t the Patriots win at least one title, New Englanders need a championship.” However, because it’s the final two minutes the play is reviewed (while “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins is playing in the stadium, something definitely was in the air that night) and they change the call to an incomplete pass.
HA! We are back in it. Then with 27 seconds left, Adam Vinatieri, with snow billowing down kicks a Patriot’s field goal to tie the game and send it into overtime. In OT, Brady drives the Pats down to the Raider’s 8 yard line. Vinatieri comes on again to split the uprights, the kick is good and the Patriots are on their way to the Super Bowl.
I run around our little cabin celebrating the amazing win I just watched on a tiny tv on the side of a ski mountain. I’m on a Patriot cloud nine, as I go outside pee in some snow and put it in my brother’s snowboard boots (revenge for kicking me out of the car). The win seemed magic and I didn’t know it at the time, but that single game marked the beginning of the Patriot’s dynasty.
17 years later, that young quarterback, Tom Brady, has 5 Super Bowl Rings and is on his way to his 9th Super Bowl next Sunday. New England Patriots fans are spoiled rotten and I love it. 50% of my wardrobe is Pats gear (shoutout to my Tebow jersey), some of my fondest memories are watching Pats games with my friends, family, and traveling to away games to watch Tom & Bill work their magic. Patriots football is even how I began to form a bond with my fiance’s family.
We are extremely lucky to have a team that’s been this good for this long. Each Super Bowl, even the heartbreaking losses, has had better plotlines then most movies and I’m not even sure I would find the Falcons Super Bowl believable if it was a movie. Life has been good to Pats fans.
Eventually, in a few years, Tom will retire and Bill might too. I will retire as a sports fan and just have all our Super Bowl wins playing on repeat in my mancave (kidding…sort of). However, that time is not now. We have another Super Bowl battle in front of us next Sunday vs the LA Rams (do they even have a fanbase?). Bill, Josh, Tom, Ernie, and others are no doubt hard at work cooking up a game plan to confuse Geoff and rest of the Rams.
Hopefully, Brady will earn his 6th ring vs the team he got his first one against. He will be able to complete his Patriots infinity gauntlet and Bill will be able to rename his boat to eight rings (he’s a Nantucket guy too, we have so much in common). However, they need all of our positive fan energy and to get you pumped below is all of the Patriots Super Bowl wins in order:
Note from Atlanta Game: I never lost hope and at half time made everyone at the party watch the half time speech from FNL season one State Championship. Coach Taylor and the Patriots go very well together.
Now, Let’s GO PATS!!!!!!!!!!
(Goat Mask Entrance at my Buddy’s Wedding)
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