Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Pats Fanatic, Feb 25, 2020.
Something to deviate from who the Pats are keeping, losing or getting. Lets go back to the past.
Even after everything we've witnessed over the last 20 years, that AFC Championship in Miami still rates as my favorite playoff game.
The ‘04 AFCCF at Heinz is my favorite Patriots game ever besides Super Bowls. All three are delicious to watch...nothing beats watching the Steelers get embarrassed, especially in front of their loser fans.
1969 Boston Patriots Practice, Umass
In 1976, the Super Bowl was rare, privileged territory for any participant. A few (Packers, Steelers, Jets) won in their first go round.
But most teams would lose their first time at the Big Dance.
Up to '76, The Super Bowl had seen only ten participants, none one of whom was considered a long shot or had no recent history of winning.
The Patriots fell into a category far below even that. They were the local comedy relief, but in the sport they were considered a joke of a franchise. The depth of this disdain is reflected in the fact that even to this day, respect is not attributed to the franchise. Most of the country believes the team cheated in this century.
There were predecessors to the '76 Patriots ('74 Flyers) and successors ('77 Trail Blazers) as teams that people believed had no business even being mentioned in the conversation, let alone be world champions.
In 1985, there was a core of grizzled veterans left over from that '76 team, along with a young, raw, talented group built over the previous decade. They were indeed the best team in the AFC, but the NFC's run of dominance had begun only a year earlier.
The 1985 Patriots' historic journey to the franchise's first ever Super Bowl
Following a 24-20 Patriots loss to the Browns on Oct. 6, [after Ray Clayborn stormed off the field carrying his helmet in anger], stunned teammates watched as [Andre] Tippett went about the task of rearranging the furniture in the visitors' locker room at Cleveland Stadium...Twenty years later, Tippett admits to taking his frustration out on "a couple of lockers and some other things" in Cleveland.
"It wasn't planned. It was pent-up anxiety," Tippett explained. "Who likes to lose? I wasn't trying to show anybody up, but we'd just gotten our butts kicked and nobody fought. We'd just been beaten offensively, defensively and on special teams, and the Browns were giving it to us on the sidelines.We'd not only lost the game, we'd lost the fight. Something needed to be said.We had so many leaders on that team, but something needed to be put out front.We needed to look at ourselves in the mirror a little harder."...
A separated shoulder inflicted on Tony Eason by Bills rookie defensive end Bruce Smith promoted [erstwhile dinosaur] Steve Grogan to the No. 1 quarterback late in the second half of the Patriots' Week Six game with the Buffalo Bills at Sullivan Stadium (as it was still called then). The team immediately got on a roll, erasing a 3-0 deficit on a 16-yard, third-quarter pass from Grogan to Irving Fryar, winning that game, 14-3, and ripping off five more in a row to improve to 8-3.
"I felt I was on the verge of being out the door," said Grogan. "I hadn't played since early in 1984. I was sitting on the bench sort of waiting to be traded or cut loose and things worked out extremely well. I was fortunate to have a coach who respected the fact that I would go out there and work my tail off. [Coach] Raymond [Berry] was secure enough in his position - and he'd been around when Johnny Unitas called his own plays with the Baltimore Colts - so that he turned things over to me and let me call my plays. I was comfortable with that and the feedback I got in the huddle. Also, that was the first time I felt we had the type of defense where we could stop people and didn't have to score 30 points to win. I could be a little more conservative."
If Tippett had done the heavy lifting in Cleveland, it was left for Grogan to pick up the slack after Eason got sacked.
"Steve gave us a huge lift," said wide receiver Cedric Jones. "He came in, called his own plays and just had a knack for the game. He was a tremendous leader who had a swagger. You need that. You see it today. Tom Brady's got it."
"Andre did his thing, then Grogan provided a spark and we got on a roll," Steve Nelson said. "In the end, we were able to play our best football when you want to be playing it.
[After dismissing the top seeded Raiders in LA] "All we'd heard was 'the jinx ... the jinx ... the jinx ...,' how we were oh-and-whatever and couldn't win in Miami," said Jones. "After the L.A. game, a few Raiders players, including Michael Haynes and Lester Hayes, said something to the effect of, 'We just handed Miami a trip to the Super Bowl.'We went down there fed up with it all."
"That year was something unlike anything I'd ever experienced," said Tippett, who enjoyed his second consecutive (of five straight) Pro Bowl appearance as a linebacker with that '85 team. "I'd been to the Rose Bowl with Iowa and there were people running on the field to celebrate, but this was something I'd never seen.
"You'd come back to the airport in Rhode Island during our playoff run and people were actually fearing for our lives. Not in a bad way. It was just there were so many people on the tarmac. It was crazy. It was almost like the Beatles that one season. Those moments were special." Hard to believe they occurred two decades ago. The hair is graying.
But that AFCCG in Miami remains historic. Sweet. Exhilarating.
There really are just too many wins to keep track of, at this point.
The losses are relatively few and far between; but of course the playoff losses hurt the most.
We find solace in that most teams would be thrilled just to be playing in those games.
Speculation is rampant as to how we will deal with the eventual departures of Brady and Belichick, and the expected drop off in success.
As with the Celtics, the standards are all set now, and that will never change.
I remember in '78-'79, the complaining in the media was deafening. The Celtics suck! What a humiliation! Embarrassment! Disgrace!
My fandom wasn't affected at all. Everybody goes through rough times.
"Bill Pahcells is gonna take the Pats to the Supah Bowl"
I went to that Steelers-Pats fog bowl game. Sat in the upper deck, and though it was near impossible to see the game through the fog, it was one of the most fun, memorable experiences of mine growing up. Could just make out Curtis Martin’s blue jersey streaking all the way for a long TD. I only went to about five Patriots games as a kid/teenager, so this one was special.
I will always have a love for the 1996 season. Kind of the like greatness is coming but have to wait but with some of the key players still intact.
Got to love the commercials on that last one and does anyone remember when TNT had the Sunday night games.
Wasn't their broadcast team Verne Lundquist & Pat Haden? I thought TNT's team did a better job than ESPN's team (what a shock).
Ya if I remember right didn't after 8 games ESPN took over every year. I always hated that, TNT was simpler less bombastic
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