Game of Thrones: The Patriots play for their place in history

By Sterling Pingree


I can’t conceive of it. I can’t wrap my head around it and the insinuation that it could happen is more than my fully developed mind can comprehend. On Sunday in Houston, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots organization could own five Super Bowl championships. This week’s moment might be nothing more than the recitation of how glorious the New England Patriots are, but when you’re potentially traversing through such untraveled waters and reaching such virginal peaks everything is fair game.

The Patriots are playing in their ninth Super Bowl. Their ninth. Nobody has ever played in nine Super Bowls before. When I hear something like that I think about NFL films and the images of legends presented with that epic music and “The Voice of God” John Facenda. When I was a kid these films were larger than life and told the story of the league before I was born. I loved the annual Super Bowl video the most. I can still hear Facenda saying things like: “That’s when the 49ers went for the knockout blow” or “the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field” while immortalizing Pittsburgh’s “Steel Curtain” and dubbing Dallas as “America’s Team.”

ESPN would run these Super Bowl specials seemingly on a loop for two weeks leading into that year’s game, sort of a refresher of how monumental this game is. As a kid however I knew that these films were important, much more important than the New England Patriots because growing up the Patriots were only featured in two such films. Super Bowl XX against the Bears and Super Bowl XXXI vs Green Bay. Neither of those games went very well, so if you’re scoring at home there were only two NFL Films about the Patriots and neither one was something that a Patriots fan would want to subject themselves to willingly. So it’s a little hard to believe that just 16 years later the Patriots not only have positive NFL Films, but at this point they have enough for their own DVD box set that’d feature more episodes than Bill Simmons’ Any Given Wednesday.

Nine Super Bowl appearances, more than Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Dallas and San Francisco. If they win, they’ll tie the Cowboys and 49ers with five Lombardi Trophies and break their tie with the team Lombardi made famous. The only team they would trail is the Steelers who have won six. It boggles my mind that kids are now looking at the Brady, Belichick, Kraft and the Flying Elvis logo the same way that I looked at the Steel Curtain, Chuck Noll, the Rooney family and the black helmets with a logo on only one side.

With all of this context, 4 paragraphs of context to be exact, we arrive at the mother lode of what these numbers mean. If the Patriots win, Brady and Belichick each win their 5th Super Bowl and each become the all-time leader in this category. New England would be home to the greatest coach in football history and the greatest quarterback in football history at the same time. The amazing thing about this is that we are living in this time, it is an active and living breathing thing. As great as NFL Films are to remember moments from the past, it only makes it that much more remarkable that in 2017 we are watching history made every time the Patriots take the field and that will never get old.


Sterling Head ShotSterling Pingree (@SterlingPingree) is a co-host on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.