Celebrating What Is

mwonow

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 4, 2005
4,920
I was actually trying to remember where I saw a king-fu (or Zen?) master snatch a fly out of the air with chopsticks, just by listening to it flying. I think of Bill as being that in tune with speed and conditioning...
 

SumnerH

Malt Liquor Picker
Dope
Jul 18, 2005
25,840
Alexandria, VA
I was actually trying to remember where I saw a king-fu (or Zen?) master snatch a fly out of the air with chopsticks, just by listening to it flying. I think of Bill as being that in tune with speed and conditioning...
Yeah, that was the aforementioned Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid.

 

8slim

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
12,445
Unreal America
They were actually 4-0 against league MVP's if you count regular and post-season.

I loved that 2003 team. That was when they were at peak defense. That was also when the AFC was at its peak level of dominance over the NFC, and the Patriots were Alpha- Dominator. The Patriots played a brutal schedule yet still went 14-2. They pitched 3 shut-outs at home that year.

Other highlights in no particular order were:

Sweeping the the Dolphins in two memorable games. The 1st in week 7 in Miami on that bomb to Troy Brown in OT (that place was, and still is to some extent a house of horrors for New England), and the 2nd was a shut-out during a blizzard at Gillette that caused this iconic snow celebration.


They also clinched the division.
In week 14.
Which is crazy.
The Dolphins were really good that year at 10-6 yet didn't qualify for the playoffs. Like I said above, the AFC was really friggin' good in 2003.

Beating those God Damn Broncos in Mile High. The game with the intentional safety. The defense needed a 3 and out after that, and back in aught 3, you just knew that they were going to get it, and they got it. They took the lead when Brady threw a gorgeous 18 yard TD pass to David Givens with 30 seconds to go. Either Givens was going to catch it or no-one was, the ball was placed perfectly. Deltha O'Neal never had a chance.

David Givens was not a fast man by NFL standards, but he caught EVERYTHING that season. His hands were football magnets.


Sweeping the Jets, including a 5 interception effort on the road in the Meadowlands. The biggest moment of that game happened on the sidelines of course...



38-34 vs. the Colts in Indy. Even though they gave up 34, we were in the beginning stages of the "Belichick is in Manning's head" era. This game is likely best remembered for Willie McGinest doing his best Al Czervik impersonation to buy the defense some time as the Colts were gashing the exhausted Patriots on a drive late in the 4th.


But after a miraculous recovery, made the final play on a tungsten-carbide strong goal line stand that finished the game.




38-30 over Tennessee at Gillette. This was big, because it was coming off of their loss to the Redskins(!!?!) in week 4. Of course they wouldn't lose again until they faced Pittsburgh in late October 2004, but this was a .500 team heading into this game with many question marks, and injuries piling up. Ty Law took a 65 yard interception to the shack late in the 4th giving them a lead they wouldn't give up.

Ty Law was without question the best cornerback in the league that season. The Law, as written in 2003, stated that half of the field was off limits to opposing passing games that season (OK, that was cheesy).


AFC Divisional Round, the Antarctic playoff match-up with Tennessee. Adam Vinatieri just barely cleared the crossbar on what would have been just about any other kicker's most memorable career field goal, but this was like 3rd or 4th best for him. It was an 11 below wind chill and that football must have felt like kicking an oblong shot-put. He put it through from 46 yards.

AFCCG The owning of Manning. They had his giant-ass head confused as hell all game long. It was so wonderful to watch him whine, gesticulate, and completely fall apart.

This was especially impressive considering he was riding into Foxboro with a nearly perfect post-season QB passer rating. The Colts were on such an offensive roll that they in fact didn't even have to attempt a punt while strafing the Broncos and then the Chiefs the two weeks prior.

Superbowl XXXVIII
, we know how that one turned out.

So, two things.

1. I obviously have a little bit of time on my hands at work.

2. The 2003 team dragged nearly all of their opponents into their chamber of torture of great defense and timely plays. God I loved that version of the Patriots.
What I recall about 2003 was how injured we were by week 4. I vividly remember thinking that if we could just go .500 until week 10 or 12, then we could get our guys back healthy again and make a late push. Of course, instead we didn't lose again for over a year. Being a Pats fan is fun.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
7,311
That 2003 team was one of my all time favorites. And, yes, the string of injuries they had at the start of the season was brutal. They lost their high-profile free agent signing, Rosevelt Colvin, to a season ending hip injury 2nd game of the season. Before you knew it, they had guys like Ty Warren, Eugene Wilson, Asante Samuel, and Dan Koppen playing major roles, all rookies from a draft that Borges once again badly panned.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
26,136
AZ
AFC Divisional Round, the Antarctic playoff match-up with Tennessee. Adam Vinatieri just barely cleared the crossbar on what would have been just about any other kicker's most memorable career field goal, but this was like 3rd or 4th best for him. It was an 11 below wind chill and that football must have felt like kicking an oblong shot-put. He put it through from 46 yards.
If he doesn't make that kick, Tennessee gets great field position and has a good chance to tie or take the lead.

In my memory I tend to conflate that kick with some of the Vinatieri's other kicks and tend to forget how much time there was left. Tennessee actually took the kickoff and marched right down the field to the Patriots 33 in 4 four plays -- right on the verge of field goal range. But Tennessee took two big penalties back to back -- grounding and holding -- and that effectively ended the game. I don't remember who got the pressure. Willie had two huge sacks to help stall Tennessee drives late in the game so I wouldn't be surprised if it was Willie.

I didn't actually get to see that game live. Before that game was scheduled for Saturday night, I had promised my wife that we'd have dinner and see a movie to celebrate a significant work accomplishment she had achieved. She offered to let me out of it, but it was one of those moments where you realize that maybe someone is saying something but not really meaning it. I wonder if I would do the same today.

Anyway, I have a clear memory of turning on the car radio to ESPN radio after the movie and having to wait until the update, which they did every 20 minutes, rolled around. I think the game had been 7-7 when the movie started. I think it took about 5 minutes to get the result. We sat in the parking lot, because I didn't want to be driving when I heard the result. I remember being surprised that there were only 31 points scored, given that both teams had scored so quick to start the game. Anyway, different times for sure. I remember when watching the game after on tape or tivo, after I knew the result, being surprised that it really ended up 17-14. That was a bizarre thing -- watching and wondering, when you know the result, how on earth is it going to end up that way.

Edit: Now my mind is playing tricks on me. I think maybe I might be confusing things and that the game actually was late in the fourth quarter. Ah, who cares. The Patriots won it.
 
Last edited:

DrewDawg

Dorito Dink
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
34,138

simplyeric

aggressively nonsensical
SoSH Member
Feb 14, 2006
12,147
NYC
No, I more envisioned Belichick standing with his eyes closed as the herds thunder by. More mystical than evil.
I’m thinking either Kundun, or Empire Strikes Back training scene.

Safe journey, and safe return...we’re on to Minnneapolis.

There is no try, only do or do not...your job.

(Edit: how is this not a T-shirt I can buy?)
 
Last edited:

simplyeric

aggressively nonsensical
SoSH Member
Feb 14, 2006
12,147
NYC
I was actually trying to remember where I saw a king-fu (or Zen?) master snatch a fly out of the air with chopsticks, just by listening to it flying. I think of Bill as being that in tune with speed and conditioning...
Remember when this guy was our commander in chief?

 

snowmanny

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
10,131
DeShaun Watson saying the highlight of his year was going "toe to toe with Tom Brady"

Around 0:55

"And that last drive I think it was a two minute drive at the end of the game, I'm sitting there with Tom Savage and I'm like 'Yo, have you ever been in a situation where you've seen it on TV and you never thought it was going to happen to you, but you feel like it's about to happen to you?' "

 

simplyeric

aggressively nonsensical
SoSH Member
Feb 14, 2006
12,147
NYC
Well, going toe to toe with TB12 is quite a feat, but man, talk like that would get him benched if he played for Bill Belichick.
 

Hagios

lurker
Dec 15, 2007
672
Great article, but I think it goes beyond Bill being a tough and detail oriented coach. I think a lot of football programs (at all levels) actively hurt themselves because there's such a strong mindset in promoting strength and explosiveness. I remember my old strength books, such as the one by Dr. Squat (first guy to squat over 1000 pounds), arguing against having football players run "to make a man out of them." They felt it was just making them slow and weak, and that view has become mainstream. I went to a very affluent high school and at the time their gym was filled with a hodgepodge of nautilus and free weights, but the squat machines were an afterthought and there wasn't even a power rack, let alone a place to do a power clean. I revisited the school recently and and the center of the weight room features a dozen beautiful Olympic lifting platforms with bumper plates. And on the wall is all the current lifting dogma warning players not to do sets of more than 3 reps.

Yes, it's a high school so they're behind the times, but I think conversely Belichick is ahead of the times. If you're going to do 60+ seven second sprints then you can't train like a powerlifter.
 

Ed Hillel

Wants to be startin somethin
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
21,518
Here
This is going to bust one well entrenched narrative about one speaker in particular

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/02/03/many-hall-of-fame-players-call-tom-brady-the-best-ever/

He said this after the Superbowl last year.

Two days ago, he was calling the Patriots cheaters, unlike other successful teams throughout history. Shannon Sharpe played on the 1996-1998 Broncos, the biggest cheaters in modern team sports history. Imagine a team nowadays getting an extra 42 million over the cap.
 

simplyeric

aggressively nonsensical
SoSH Member
Feb 14, 2006
12,147
NYC
This is going to bust one well entrenched narrative about one speaker in particular

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/02/03/many-hall-of-fame-players-call-tom-brady-the-best-ever/

When he did the thing about Brady doing ‘my greatness has to do with this [points at head] and this [points below bottom of screen]...’ I assumed he was pointing at his crotch.
I feel like even if TB12 doesn’t have the most impressive dick at the combine, he surely must use it really really well.
 

Al Zarilla

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
48,864
San Andreas Fault

Deathofthebambino

Drive Carefully
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2005
30,186
I was thinking this morning, when Tom Brady was a rookie, less than 50% of households had the internet, and even less than that had cell phones (camera's in cell phones wouldn't happen until like 3 years later). That's how long this Dynasty has reigned.
 

Al Zarilla

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
48,864
San Andreas Fault
I was thinking this morning, when Tom Brady was a rookie, less than 50% of households had the internet, and even less than that had cell phones (camera's in cell phones wouldn't happen until like 3 years later). That's how long this Dynasty has reigned.
Good, and I kind of have a cutoff with movies: old is pre-cell phones. If there is scene where someone has to get to a phone away from home, and they look for phone booth, so that’s old. We go back that far.
 

Oppo

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2009
1,248
Orlando
Also weird to think that there are guys on this team that were <10 years old at the time of Super Bowl 36
 

Ralphwiggum

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 27, 2012
5,054
Needham, MA
I mentioned this last night, but Tom Brady’s career stats in the Super Bowl (attempts, completions, yardage and TDs) have to be on a short list of modern records that will never be broken. In each category his career totals are more than the #2 and #3 guy on the list combined. He now has the #1 and #2 yardage games in SB history.

Doesn’t make me feel any better about last night, but it’s another testament to how amazing this run has been.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
5,285
Some people were worried about Tom Brady heading into the playoffs, after ending the season with a few subpar games in a row. I openly worried in this forum about him in the AFCCG. But look at his numbers during the playoffs:

Opp (Defensive ranks): Stats
vs Ten (#17 pts, #13 yds): 35-53, 337 yds, 3 td, 0 int
vs Jax (#2 pts, #2 yds): 26-38, 290 yds, 2 td, 0 int
vs Phi (#4 pts, #4 yds): 28-48, 505 yds, 3 td, 0 int
TOT: 89-139 (64.0%), 1,132 yds (8.1 ypa), 8 td, 0 int

I mean, the dude is 40 years old and he just absolutely SHREDDED three playoff defenses.
 

Harry Hooper

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2002
25,029
Some people were worried about Tom Brady heading into the playoffs, after ending the season with a few subpar games in a row. I openly worried in this forum about him in the AFCCG. But look at his numbers during the playoffs:

Opp (Defensive ranks): Stats
vs Ten (#17 pts, #13 yds): 35-53, 337 yds, 3 td, 0 int
vs Jax (#2 pts, #2 yds): 26-38, 290 yds, 2 td, 0 int
vs Phi (#4 pts, #4 yds): 28-48, 505 yds, 3 td, 0 int
TOT: 89-139 (64.0%), 1,132 yds (8.1 ypa), 8 td, 0 int

I mean, the dude is 40 years old and he just absolutely SHREDDED three playoff defenses.
 

Number45forever

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 16, 2003
1,938
Vermont
Tom Brady is so great, it's getting beyond comprehension. Can't wait to watch him destroy the league with Edelman back for next season.

That's all I have.
 

Silverdude2167

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Oct 9, 2006
2,084
NYC
Tom Brady is so great, it's getting beyond comprehension. Can't wait to watch him destroy the league with Edelman back for next season.

That's all I have.
Seriously, this is why I think I did not take the loss too hard.
At this point, I am all about protecting the legacies, and this game just enhanced his. He was insane and probably would have won the game if not for one lucky swipe.
 

Boston Brawler

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 17, 2011
8,879
Brady
Edelman
Gronk
Cooks
Amendola

Put a slightly improved defense on the field to allow those weapons to work.
 

Number45forever

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 16, 2003
1,938
Vermont
I'm REALLY excited to see an offense with Lewis, Edelman, Gronk, Cooks all healthy at the same time. They are going to score a fuckload of points if they get 12-14 games out of each of those four.
 

wiffleballhero

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 28, 2009
1,462
In the simulacrum
Yeah, it is hard not to be pretty optimistic about next year too. As I said at the end of the game, "well, I wonder who we get in the AFCCG next year." Maybe a little over confident, but I like the Pats chances.
 

staz

Intangible
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2004
12,386
The cradle of the game.
As much as a gut punch/crash landing it is... for me, as a fan, it’s a little bit cleansing. All the conspiracy theories, all the b.s., the obsession with the relationships, the coach, the QB... I’m frankly glad it’s over. Of course, some of that’ll come back to a degree next season, but it won’t be so “31 teams versus the Patriots.” At least until #6 is hoisted in 363 days.
 

wnyghost

lurker
Aug 8, 2010
149
As much as a gut punch/crash landing it is... for me, as a fan, it’s a little bit cleansing. All the conspiracy theories, all the b.s., the obsession with the relationships, the coach, the QB... I’m frankly glad it’s over. Of course, some of that’ll come back to a degree next season, but it won’t be so “31 teams versus the Patriots.” At least until #6 is hoisted in 363 days.
It is a bit cleansing. The animosity is just over the top. Hopefully we have reached the peak of the anti-Patriots rage.

It would be great if my 11 year old could be a fan of a great team, not a team that cheats.
 

DeadlySplitter

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 20, 2015
17,385
We took a hit as far as being head and shoulders above everyone else in the league. Especially from a coaching standpoint, that took a huge hit last night.

But Tom's legacy really grew. Everyone thought he would go win the game despite everything because the 2nd half was perfect football on offense until the sack. Undisputed GOAT at this point. That is something to celebrate, no matter what the final total of rings is at this point.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
31,089
We took a hit as far as being head and shoulders above everyone else in the league. Especially from a coaching standpoint, that took a huge hit last night.

But Tom's legacy really grew. Everyone thought he would go win the game despite everything because the 2nd half was perfect football on offense until the sack. Undisputed GOAT at this point. That is something to celebrate, no matter what the final total of rings is at this point.
Being in a Philly section, the fear of Brady in the 4th quarter was palpable. And if not for the strip sack, he probably gets it done with the way he had been going.
 

Pandemonium67

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
4,423
Lesterland
It's a shame the D sucked so badly, the Pats ended up losing, and there's a Malcolm Butler controversy -- because it takes the spotlight away from what TB and the offense did. Over 600 yards against a highly rated defense, moving up and down the field almost at will, and without Cooks and Edelman. That performance was magnificent -- one of the best we've ever seen.

No, they weren't perfect, but they were pretty damn close. If Josh McD does walk away, he can do so with head held high. That was a virtuoso performance by his offense.
 

Ale Xander

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
21,564
Being able to tell people in Eagles gear "congrats on the first, it's the sweetest one" takes a little bit out of the sting out.
 

SoxVindaloo

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 20, 2003
909
Titletown of the Aughts
Defense was historically bad in the Super Bowl, and they still almost won.
Hope for fully revamped defense to allow renewed domination in 2018.
I'm with you, though I do wonder (echoing SN's thoughts n another thread) how much we can improve on D in the offseason. It is amazing when you can almost write a trip to the AFC CG in ink for this team next year.