People have made arguments against the New England Patriots being the best NFL dynasty of all time, but there is one thing that no one can deny: the Patriots are the most exciting team in the history of modern sports. Excitement being that the ending is always in question, until the very end. Now, football has an easier time doing this, since the championship is only one game instead of seven, but look what has happened in the Super Bowls in which these Patriots have played.
It is very possible that head coach Bill Belichick’s Patriots teams could be 8-0 in Super Bowls, and it is also very possible that they could be 0-8. Two game-winning field goals, a last-second interception at the goal line, and a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to force the first overtime in Super Bowl history should be proof enough of that.
Now think of the moments: the Malcolm Butler Pick, the Helmet Catch, the Mario Manningham Catch, the Tuck Rule (which happened not in a Super Bowl, but is still worth mentioning), 28-3, and quarterback Tom Brady’s final drive in Super Bowl XXXVI all stick out. There are probably many others, but those are the biggest and most memorable, in my eyes.
Let’s look at the competition across other sports. The most exciting series of the 1990s New York Yankees was them losing to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and none of their four championships went past five games. In basketball, meanwhile, Michael Jordan had the Flu Game and the crossover against the Utah Jazz, but none of the Chicago Bulls’ finals series ever went past six games.
Now let’s turn to the NFL. The San Francisco 49ers had The Drive by Joe Montana, but their next closest title game was a 6-point affair against the Bengals — and the Bengals scored with only 20 seconds left to even cut their deficit to six. The game was basically over at that point anyway. The Cowboys in the 90s had one close Super Bowl, against the Steelers, in which they scored late in the fourth to take a 10-point lead. Was it close? Yes. Was it in serious doubt to the end? No.
Win or lose, you can almost guarantee that when the Patriots are playing in the Super Bowl, it’s going to be a great and exciting contest. This may take years off Patriots fans’ lives, but it does make watching the games all the more entertaining for everyone involved. With all of that being said, I’m still rooting for a blowout tonight. Based on previous history, however, it’s unlikely to happen.
Pat is the host of The Patriot Nation Podcast
Interact with him on Twitter @plane_pats