As I watched yet another “Best Team in the NFL”, the Eagles, fall last night, it made me think of the spot we are in once again with the Patriots. They are the best team in the NFL, about to clinch their billionth Division Title in the last billion-and-one years, and their 40 year old QB vanquished his “heir apparent” on his way to one of his best seasons yet.
That’s it. I don’t have an interesting angle…a tidbit I’ve picked up…just taken aback by the staggering success of this team, yet again. As someone who likes to rail against yahoo-ism in all its forms, it makes me a little uncomfortable. But listen, objectively, this is the best run in the Super Bowl era, and you need to look back to the Celtics’ or Yankees’ heydays for anything like it in any other sport.
The Shank Shaugnessy’s of the world are quick to point out that the Division, and really the Conference, are a bunch of “tomato cans”, just lining up to be knocked over by the bully Patriots.
While some feel this a slight, I think it even more displays the level of success New England has had during this run. Since 2001, the Steelers, Colts, Chiefs, Chargers, Ravens, Bengals and Jets have all had a run as the next “it” team in the conference…the ones who will dethrone New England. A couple of succeeded in individual seasons, only to recede into the pack, leaving the Patriots as the only perennial contender.
The league is built for parody, not for sustained excellence. It’s never been easier to build a program, to go from worst to first, but nevertheless, the team in Foxboro has managed to withstand all on-comers. They are on the verge of the inevitable AFC East Title, and will likely make their 7th straight appearance (12th in 17 years) in the AFC Championship game…a run so incomprehensible, we’ve all run out of ways to talk about it.
This has all been written before, a million times. We’re almost to the point we’re tired of hearing it. But it just struck me as the Eagles fell, as it occasionally does, how damn lucky we are to be sports fans in Boston at this time.
Oh, and as I’ve told you before, I root for dominance. Underdogs are nothing but teams that aren’t good enough. There is no better example of dominance than the Patriots.