When the All-Star US Mens Basketball team received a bronze at the Olympics, it was widely viewed as a disappointment. This was supposed to be the Dream Team. By talent alone, they should have crushed all competition. In 2008, the team was called the Redeem Team. And that's a great comparison to the Patriots.
In 2007, Brady and the veterans fell short. It's clear to me that it still haunts Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, and the rest. They still remember that Super Bowl, the Giants celebration, the Helmet Catch. In 2008, the team was hungry and ready for one more run. But Brady get's injured by Bernard Pollard and the Patriots lose out on a tie-breaker to division rival Dolphins. In 2009, the veterans all retire and Brady returns. The team struggles with chemistry and is blown out by the Ravens. In 2010, the team is really a Dream Team. We dump Moss but retool enough to get a season that rivaled our SB seasons. But we again were crushed by hated rivals, the Jets.
That's why this year is the Redeem Team.
When the 2004 Olympic team failed, the 2008 team was much improved. Kobe joined the team and really disciplined them. Other savvy veterans joined. The influence deeply impacted the younger players. Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard credited Kobe Bryant for setting an example of hard work.
This year, we added some savvy veterans and brought back others. We brought back Matt Light, Mankins on the O-line. We added Carter and Ellis on the D-line. Our core really stepped up into leadership. More than ever before, I saw leadership from Mayo, Wilfork, and Chung. Even Slater and McCourty were great locker-room influences. More than any year before, I felt like we saw a locker-room cameraderie. Maybe it was always there, and I'm just noticing the twitter interactions now. Maybe it's overrated or just a media story. But I really believe and the players do too: This team has the chemistry needed to win a SB. And the veteran savvy to guide them there.
Remember all those teams that beat us? Well, we sent Miami's season down the tubes in Week 1, sent the Jets into a toxic deathspiral in our second game with them, beat the Chiefs, and hold the current longest winning streak. We threw the monkey off our back by beating the Broncos (see 2005). Now we come to the other two teams that have thwarted us in recent years. The Ravens and Giants. It is destiny. Sometimes, watching a team, you just know that they have the momentum, the sense of destiny. The Packers had it last year. The Saints had it. The Giants had it against us. The Patriots had it in 2001.
This week, Tedy Bruschi has predicted a Giants-Pats superbowl. He thinks the Patriots will do it for Myra. He believes that this season is special, a dedicated season, a unique one.
A Super Bowl Season.
The Redemption Tour has three more stops. Sunday, the Super Bowl, and the Championship Parade. Let's just pray we get to the last one.
I'm new to Pats Pulpit but I've been lurking since 2008. I've been a Patriots fan forever but only now decided to join. :) How was my first post?