It was January 19, 2002. I remember the day rather vividly. My dad and I were heading up to the old Foxboro Stadium one last time before it was going to be demolished in favor of what we know now as Gillette Stadium. We were on Route 1, in my dad's old white pick-up, the snow had already began to fall. We knew we were in for something special.
What we didn't realize was that we were about to witness the birth of the greatest sports dynasty that the world has ever known.
Nobody was really sure what to think about this 2001 Patriots team. Sure, they had won 6 straight games and clinched a home playoff appearance, but they remained an enigma that was led by a back-up Quarterback that the Head Coach decided to play over the franchise Quarterback that had just signed the most lucrative deal in team history before the start of the season. But, that strategy got them to that point, so he was going to stick to his guns.
And luckily, that decision worked out best for the New England Patriots. That back-up, our Tom Terrific, Tom Brady, is heralded as one o,f if not the, greatest Quarterback of all-time. The coach, The Hoodie, Bill Belichick, is also spoken of as one of the best ever. That franchise quarterback, Drew Bledsoe, was out of the league after 2006, but I hear he makes a great wine.
I can honestly say that I do not remember much about the game simply from being there. You all know what happened, there is no need for me to retell it. I can tell you what happened because I watched the Road to Super Bowl XXXVI VHS and DVD religiously after it happened. You can't blame me too much, I was only five years old at the time. But what I do remember is the feeling that I had while watching the game transpire.
I wish everybody could have the chance to feel the type of electricity that was going through that old building that was hosting a football game for the final time. At five years old, that was the point in which I knew I wanted to do anything to be a part of that. I realized quickly that it wouldn't be as an athlete, so I have spent the rest of my life trying to figure out what will be my way in to feeling that energy again and again and again.
Having been a Patriots fan for all of my 19 year life, I have been very spoiled. I don't know what it is like to having the Patriots regarded as the league's laughing stock, and I never want to. The Patriots excellence over the past 15 years has been absolutely remarkable and admirable. Take a good look now, because continued success like this over the period in which they have done it will almost certainly never happen again.