Even though we’re just fans, we’ve been conditioned to view every Pats game the way that Bill Belichick prepares his players for each game: Business. Even if we can’t control the outcomes other than being loud on defense at Gillette, Pats fans go into our own zones mentally to prep for the game, posting pump up videos or gifs on Twitter that serve only to pump up other people who will be watching the game from their couches.
Thursday was a little different. The game was more about the memory and the spectacle that we had been waiting for for 10 years. Brady and Belichick finally got their 4th, and we feel a sense of completion as fans. And the NFL tried to take down the team because of pettiness, and maybe the best athlete in this city’s storied sports history took on a league that is all about control and dominance and shoved it right back in its face.
Usually during Week 1, you hear a lot of people making the point that it’s good to get out on the season 1-0 and gain ground on the Dolphins, Jets, and Bills as if it’s a surprising fact that the win-loss column is important. This year, I heard much less of that. This Thursday was about celebrating 2014 and watching our team in action our of a sheer sense of enjoyment. It wouldn’t have felt that way if they had lost; we would have been really worried about starting out with a loss if the Steelers had actually pulled the upset, but let’s be real, we knew there was no chance of that happening.
And Brady delivered. He was exceptional, going 25-32 for 288 yards, 4 TD, a 9.0 yards/attempt. Ridiculous. Couldn’t have asked for a better cap to a night that included the Patriots embracing the villain status by trotting out the Lombardi Trophys one by one and having the songs “All I Do Is Win by T-Pain and “Hate Me Now” by Nas being played.
Thursday night is going to be in the “Boston’s Best Games” section of this site on the homepage, but not for the game itself. For the amazing night it was, for Tom Brady, and for being lucky enough to have rooted for this team for 15 years.
Here’s the link to the Patriots.com post about the ceremony. And one last time, here’s the biggest and possibly best play in football history that got us to this point: