Pats Fans, on the Outside Looking In

The Super Bowl has become our biggest national holiday. There is no other event that even comes close to grabbing the attention of just about every American, even more so this year with the addition of Taylor Swift into the mix.

For the 19 years from 2001 to 2019, the Patriots made it to the big game nine times, an amazing run, especially when you consider that they made the playoffs in 17 of those years and therefore their success rate — measured by how many times they made it to the Super Bowl — was better than 50 percent.

We often wrote during those years that we shouldn’t take the Pats’ success for granted because even the greatest of dynasties eventually comes to an end. We were around when the Celtics’ dynasty ended with the retirement of Bill Russell in 1969 after winning 11 championships in 13 seasons and the next season and the Celts went from top dog to a near doormat (although they soon rebounded when they drafted Dave Cowens.) 

So as we were watching the Chiefs and the 49ers, and all of the hoopla surrounding the Super Bowl (which somehow gets even bigger and bigger every year), we were reminded of the Pats’ glory years, when our entire region was united in the common cause of rooting on Tom Brady and the team. Our kids wore their Patriot gear to school and businesses of all kinds exhibited support for the Pats.

But those days seem like a lifetime ago. With the Pats now having been out of the Super Bowl picture for five years (and with no hope of getting there anytime soon), watching Sunday’s game made us feel that we were on the outside looking in at a party to which we had not been invited.

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