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This never gets old

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by JaxPats, Apr 13, 2009.

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  1. JaxPats

    JaxPats Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I remember reading this post quite a while back and I apologize as to the author of it reposting it. I just think that this should be seen again. I still get goosebumps every time I read this and wonder, HOW FAR WE HAVE COME!:)

    Enjoy, as often as I have.:D
    Part One
    ***********************************************

    To all you 50-somethings who remember the days in Boston, the merger, and the egress to Foxborough, did you ever imagine a week like this?
    To all you 40-somethings who remember the Ken Sims Bowl, can you believe how far your team has come now?
    To all you 30-somethings who know what Lisa Olson's place in Patriot history is, how does it feel now that the Patriots are at a dipolar opposite from the 1990 season?
    To all of you whose memory of the Patriots only goes back as far as a near-fumble caused by Charles Woodson, you need to go to school. Patriot school. All you know is greatness. All you know is that your team is (ho-hum) driving towards another (yawn) Super Bowl and is on the verge of (zzzzzzz) a 16-0 regular season. All you know is the Patriots have the best owner, coach, quarterback, stadium, and the most Vinces since Y2K. You look at Patriot Place being built and probably think that this team is all about tradition, entitlement and all that is superlative.
    If this is you, then we suggest you pay attention to this one-time offer. Call it a visit from the Ghost of Patriots Past. Long past? No, their past. Maybe yours, too, but mostly the Patriots' past.
    We will begin with this preface. This week may be the most astounding week in Patriot history. The NFL Network is 98 percent Patriot coverage all week long, and they plan to devote six hours of pregame coverage for one lousy regular season finale where the Patriots plan to finish the first regular season undefeated since the schedule grew to 16 games in 1978. Everyone nationwide hates the Patriots because all they do is win. To top things off, the NFL decided on Wednesday afternoon to capitulate to pressure from United States Senators and allow the game on its network to be simulcast on NBC and CBS so that the entire nation will see Saturday night's game. The Patriots will thus get about as much television coverage as the State of the Union address.
     
  2. JaxPats

    JaxPats Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Re: This never gets old.

    Part Two.

    It was a big deal when Chuck Fairbanks came to New England from Oklahoma, not long after Penn State's Joe Paterno rudely spurned Sullivan's offer to come here (some of us don't forget, JoePa). Fairbanks set right to work and drafted Sam Cunningham, John Hannah and Darryl Stingley. Then he got Steve Nelson and Russ Francis. Then he got Mike Haynes and Tim Fox.
    And then he got rid of Plunkett and brought in Steve Grogan
    The Patriots came within a bad official's call of winning Super Bowl XI. Following the historic 1976 season, the Patriots were screwed over again by officials, then jilted by Fairbanks at the end of the 1978 season when he took a job offer at the University of Colorado.
    It figures. The first AFC East title in history, and it ends with the coach leaving and the only home playoff loss in team history, a 31-14 crap-out against the Houston Oilers on New Year's Eve 1978.
    It began with the paralysis of Darryl Stingley in a preseason game in Oakland. Enough said.
    The next six seasons are exhibit B for you to study this week. 1979 through 1984 provided heartbreak, then disgrace. The Patriots in 1980 won ten games, but failed to make the playoffs. The Patriots in 1981 went 2-14 and lost to the Colts on the final game of the season just so they could draft Ken Sims. The Patriots of 1982 were a 5-4 playoff team thanks to a player strike and a snowplow. The Patriots of 1984 saw head coach Ron Meyer fire defensive coordinator Rod Rust, then saw Sullivan fire Meyer, rehire Rust and promote Raymond Berry to the head job.
    Berry led the Patriots to Super Bowl XX thanks to three playoff wins on the road. But even that turned out to be a negative, as the team lost confidence in quarterback Tony Eason to the point of near mutiny, the team suffered the worst loss (at the time) in Super Bowl history to the Bears, Irving Fryar was arrested for assaulting his wife, and several Patriot players from that Super Bowl team were revealed to have taken drugs.
    Exhibit C takes place between 1989 and 1992. 1989 began horribly, as three key defensive starters (Andre Tippett, Garin Veris, Ronnie Lippett) were lost for the season thanks to injuries sustained in the preseason finale against Green Bay.
    Maybe 1990 is what you should take with you into Saturday night's game. The Patriots went 1-15, their worst season in team history. Several players shamed themselves by exposing themselves to and sexually harassing former Herald columnist Lisa Olson. New owner Victor Kiam (who bought the team from Sullivan two years prior) came to the side of the players, and the shaving magnate never did another commercial ("I loved the razors so much I bought the company!") again. In nice symmetry, the final game of that season was the Giants at Foxborough, and the crowd was mostly for the visitors (and eventual Super Bowl champs) for that game.
    1991 and 1992 featured the Dick MacPherson era, but all that was was a bunch of rah-rah gunk and two very lousy teams. The 1991 Patriots won six games, the 1992 Patriots won two. At this time, the Patriots were perhaps in the lowest ebb of their existence, and given how bad the teams of 1970, 1972 and 1981 were, this is really saying something.
    Then along came Bill Parcells in 1993, and stadium owner Bob Kraft bought the team a year later. Parcells led the team to Super Bowl XXXI, but in a throwback to Fairbanks, he jilted the Patriots at the altar and bolted for the Jets just after the loss to Green Bay in New Orleans. Once again, the Patriots got a whiff of prosperity, and the whiff was more like a septic tank than it was perfume.
    The Pete Carroll era will serve as exhibit D, the final one in this course. The Patriots regressed in each of his three seasons and became a soft, leader-less team. Carroll remains a tremendous college coach, but in the NFL he is nothing more than a defensive coordinator. Kraft learned some very tough lessons when he drove Parcells out of town, and sought to make sure that never happened again.
    So, in 2000, he brought in Belichick. Our course ends here.
    Your homework for the next few nights: Study exhibits A through D. They are like the children that hide under the Spirit of Christmas Present for protection, their names being ignorance and want. We won't scare you to death and advise you to beware of any of them, but we do suggest that you come to know them well. If you want to name the exhibits, then let's call them Clive, Ken, Victor and Pete.
    The fact that the Patriots are on the verge of 16-0 is nothing short of astounding to those of you and us who really know what it used to be like to be a Patriot fan.
    That way, when you hear complaints about saturation coverage on the NFL Network, it will not bother you. When you hear people say that they are sick and tired of the Patriots, you will be able to ignore them and smile in private. When you feel like you're on an island just because you root for the Patriots, be more concerned that you have a Corona in your right hand, and that your significant other does too.
    Drink it all in, and never expect to see anything like this ever again.

    Thanks And KUDO'S to the author for this.
     
  3. Gwedd

    Gwedd PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    Re: This never gets old.

    Oh heaven's yes!

    My wife would constantly implore of me to sit back from the edge of the couch, to relax, but I never could. Still can't. Every game I still sit there, on edge, pinching myself to believe we really, truly, have a team this great.

    Newer fans don't remember the Old Patriots Games. They had a consistancy to how they played out. the Patriots would jump ahead early, fall behind, rally late, then fall short as time expired. A dropped pass, a shanked kick, a sack, a fumble, it didn't matter. Somehow, someway, the Patriots would find a way to lose, to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I saw it week in and week out.

    Now, I sit on edge and wait for them to return to form. I know they won't, that they will find a way, usually, to pull ahead and stay there. But everytime they slip behind, I still see those old ghosts, still hear the roars of disbelief, and feel that knot in the pit of my stomach.

    Still, I watch. I can't help myself. I am a fan, and I bleed red white and blue. When Ben Watson ran 100 yards down field and knocked the ball into the endzone for what should have been ruled a touchback at Mile High Stadium, I was in the hospital. I was recovering from surgery to replace a detached retina. I was forced to lay face down for five days straight. I had the nurse angle the TV down towards my bed, and used a small mirror held in my hands to watch the game, and see Watson make that play. I was heartbroken we lost. Still, I'm a fan. They're MY team too, regardless, and I root for the laundry. Just don't ask me to sit back from the edge of the couch. I've been there too long. I remember the past, and thank God for the present, and hope for the future. But sit back? Can't do that...

    And my wife wonders why I drink... :rolleyes:
     
  4. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot In the Starting Line-Up

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    #12 Jersey

    Re: This never gets old.

    it would have been fantastic a 1976 Super Bowl win
     
  5. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    These are the best of times...
     
  6. Patjew

    Patjew PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    I remember when just being on Monday Night Football made me really proud.
     
  7. zoostation

    zoostation In the Starting Line-Up

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    Good point. I remember feeling the same way. It was almost like the NFL was validating the Patriots to the rest of the nation.
     
  8. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    Three road wins to get to the Super Bowl was pretty damned hot, though. All the old demons [Raiders, Fins] vanquished. And the Jets.

    Of course i did expect Belichick to quit Football before the SB.:D
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  9. Patjew

    Patjew PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    Exactly! It was like, "We really are in the NFL! These announcers know who our players are!"
     
  10. Gwedd

    Gwedd PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    I also remember the constant harping by all the "Talking Heads" about how "No team has ever made it to the Superbowl by winning all three road games". They were constantly patronizing in their remarks, and then flabbergasted when the Patriots won the first game, then the second, and finally the third to go on to the Superbowl.

    I was in Heaven then, and even though we lost (and I was crushed for weeks) it was still a wonderful ride!
     
  11. JaxPats

    JaxPats Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I'm also hoping for a part three and four someday. Maybe make it a movie!:D
    These are great times we live in my friends!:singing:
     
  12. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Is it just me, or isnt the sore thumb in that story what followed it?
    Frankly, I'm still not over the loss.
     
  13. JaxPats

    JaxPats Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I don't think everyone is either, but look at it this way. All the years we were the red headed stepchild and we had a boatload of disapointments. What was one more. Consider what has been accomplished for what it is and be thankful that it happened well for the most part recently. There will be more history made this season. Of this I am sure.:D
     
  14. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah, just struck me that the primary thought i had while reading it was it was written just before infamy.
     
  15. RoughingthePasser

    RoughingthePasser Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Great Post Man!
     
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