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Another Glorious Night: 10 years ago. AFC Championship Game

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by 3 to be 4, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. 3 to be 4

    3 to be 4 Rookie

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    We are blessed to now have a franchise with so many significant dates to celebrate.
    It was 10 years ago tonight, January 12, 1997.
    Otis Smith picked up the fumble and ran it into the end zone, sending the Patriots to New Orleans for Super Bowl 31.

    This was the game that established our big time credibility in the Bob Kraft era. Bill Parcells had done it. He took us the big game. It was his high point as Patriot coach. Very few of us knew that it was already over. Very few of us could know that within 2 weeks his era here was not only over, but over in an ugly way. Drew Bledsoe had done it. the big time draft choice had taken his team to the Super Bowl. The defense of Al Groh, with more influence on it by a guy named Bill Belichick than most of us knew, had matured into a championship force.

    living in Franklin at the time, it was so cool watching the Patriots in the big time, NBC,Dick Enberg, Phil Simms, Paul McGuire, the blimp hovering over Foxboro Stadium. And I looked at that and kept thinking "thats right down the street from me!!"

    What are your memories of that time, of that night? 10 years ago tonight.
    Incredible. And its only gotten better since then.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2007
  2. Sean Pa Patriot

    Sean Pa Patriot Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Remember the place I worked at had no TV's had to run up and down kitchen stairs to listen to the radio.. Was beautiful to see them win it, 1996 was a great time to be a Pats fans, but it does not compare to the run we are on now...
  3. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    Here's a weird one: I was on vacation in Mexico. I saw the game at an old planatation turned hotel on the grounds of the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. The staff dialed in the game for us, they were very cool.

    And at the end when the Patriots raised the bowl, the Chef who had come out to have a beer and watch the game, he stood up and yelled, Campeones!!
  4. 3 to be 4

    3 to be 4 Rookie

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    one thing i'll never forget is that up until that point i had never really heard Kraft speak much. I have a tape of the game and i swear he was BOMBED when he gave his speech on the podium. He gave Parcells the compliment "the greatest coach of the moderen era" and Parcells was like "thanks Bob" yet behind the scenes they had already split. I was moved when Parcells gave credit to Sam Gash.

    I was just so happy that night. I couldnt believe they were going to a 2nd Super Bowl in my lifetime. My, have our expectations changed!
  5. DGameguy

    DGameguy Rookie

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    Wasn't that the night the lights went out at the stadium and they had to stop play for a period of time? I LOVED that game. I was ten or eleven and had finally grasped the ideas and rules behind football, and the Jags were my favorite team other than the hometown Pats. Sam Gash was a MONSTER.
  6. 3 to be 4

    3 to be 4 Rookie

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    Yes! I forgot that. And everybody screamed "We need a new Stadium!!!"

    I started to panic that they would have to postpone the game and i'd have to go through the anxiety all over again.
  7. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    The thing I most remember is Denver lost. If they own us now, they OWNED us then.

    Living in Texas in the 90's, I basically got to see the Pats when they played the Oilers, so I didn't know diddly about Jacksonville. But I knew they weren't Denver. I know i watched it, but i don't remember much.

    Looking back at the Parcells-Kraft Fiasco and the Bobby Grier era that followed shows the problems didn't stop with Billy Sullivan's departure.

    The ship wasn't righted until Belichick was hired.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2007
  8. Patjew

    Patjew PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    My wife-to-be and I drove from North Dakota to... Wisconsin. We were returning to RI from Montana after a failed attempt to move out there. We listened to the game on the radio and I was going nuts, of course. That was when she realized how obsessed I am, I think. And she was crazy enough to still marry me. 3 kids and 3 Super Bowls later, all is right.
  9. 3 to be 4

    3 to be 4 Rookie

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    I wasnt righted completely until Belichick was hired, but it started with the Parcells hiring, Kraft buying the team, and in some ways, the drafting of Bledsoe. Parcells gave the team credibility and Kraft stability and management know how. While I give Bledsoe lots of credit for generating a lot of excitement, i still think with Parcells and Kraft things would have righted for the better no matter who the QB was. But i am very grateful for Drew Bledsoe and his accomplishments.

    The stretch where the Patriots made the playoffs 4 out of 5 years (1994 thru 1998) was something we older fans could have only dreamed about years earlier. The difference between watching what was going on in with this franchise by 1997 compared to the dark days was already amazing.

    So while Belichick ( and Brady and Pili etc etc) brought excellence, the ship was moving in the right direction starting in 1993, and the 1996 Patriots were in themselves, a magical memory for me.

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