AUTHOR’S NOTE: This list was written during the bye week between the AFC Championship and the Super Bowl in January of 2005. For the most part, the list is still relevant and I will keep it up – without editing it – until the Patriots return to the Super Bowl.
To know me is to know my endless devotion to the New England Patriots. Although I can think of thousands of reasons I love the Patriots, in honor of the team’s appearance in Super Bowl 39, I listed the top 39 reasons I love my team so much. Enjoy!
39.) Gillette Stadium. Opened in 2002, it’s been host to many playoff games in only its third season. Not to mention, the Patriots have an impressive record while playing at Gillette Stadium which led to the defense nickname, “Homeland Defense” in 2003.
38.) Super Bowl 38. After an impressive season and the beginnings of a very long winning streak, the Patriots returned to the Super Bowl after a one-year absence, and I couldn’t have been happier.
37.) Safety Rodney Harrison. C’mon, the guy just rules. He’s tough, smart and nasty. He hits hard and doesn’t mess around, which is probably why he isn’t as well liked as he should be. In just a few short years he has become one of my all-time favorite players.
36.) Super Bowl 36. There is footage of then Ram, Ricky Prohel, saying “Tonight a Dynasty is born.” Little did he know at the time how right he was. February 3rd, 2002 was hands down, the best day of my life. The Patriots walked into the Superdome to play against the vaunted St. Louis Rams. Few picked the Pats to win but when the last seconds ticked off the clock I experienced a rush of emotions I will probably never feel again.
35.) The End Zone Militia. Come on, they just rule. 😀
34.) Willie McGinest. The big linebacker, is always a force to be reckoned with and he just loves sacking Peyton Manning.
33.) The uniform. I may be a football fan, but I’m still a woman that likes a nice style and I think the Patriots have one of the best looking uniforms in the league. The colors, the style and of course, those ever so tight pants.
32.) Walt Coleman. Don’t know who he is? Let me refresh your memory: he is the referee who made the famous/infamous “tuck rule” decision in the 2001 Divisional round of the playoffs. Plus, it’s also fun to know this man has caused torment in the lives of thousands of Raiders fans.
31.) Super Bowl 31. Yeah, the Patriots did lose this one, but it was the first time they went in my tenure as a Patriots fan. To this day, my father is convinced that Bill Parcells allowed the Patriots to lose this one only to spite Robert Kraft.
30.) Former Running Back Larry Garron. He played for the Patriots in the 1960s and I met him at the beginning of the 2003 season when he was dining at my restaurant. He was one of the nicest guys I have ever met! My dad is still mad at me for not asking for an autograph, but all was righted when we were able to get his autograph at a signing and he even remembered me! He’s so nice. 😀
29.) The new and improved Patriots clothing for women. When I first started buying Patriots clothing, there wasn’t much made for women. I bought mostly men’s small sweatshirts. Now there’s panties, velour pants suits, baby doll tees, etc. A great improvement in my opinion.
28.) Corey Dillon. Everyone said his only drawback was his tendency to complain and be ‘locker room cancer’. What they didn’t quite realize was he just wanted to play for a team that wanted to win. Well, he got that and then some and was a virtual steal for the Patriots. Love ya Corey!
27.) The Website. Patriots.com is, by far, the best website for an NFL team. It’s easy to navigate, eye-pleasing and contains more information about the team history than you can find anywhere.
26.) Belichick’s Grey Sweatshirt. I don’t know what he washes this wonder of modern male fashion with, but whatever he is doing, I hope he doesn’t stop. That’s one lucky sweatshirt and it looks good, I don’t care what anyone says. When a coach wins as much as Belichick, does it really matter what he’s wearing anyway?
25.) The ‘Yankees Suck’ chant. Sure it’s an entirely different sport, but, in New England Yankee Hatred transcends baseball. Don’t be surprised if you hear this chant during a Patriots game.
24.) The ‘Bullshit’ Chant. More common in Foxboro than the “Yankees Suck” chant. Sometimes I pity the officials when they must make the calls against the Patriots. This chant has not been heard at Foxboro this year.
23.) The REAL Female Fans. There is nothing I like more than meeting women who are actual Patriots fans, not just Brady groupies. I find it easier to talk to them than most male fans because the male fans are always skeptical and try to test me to see if I know what I’m talking about. It drives me nuts.
22.) ‘Squish the Fish’. Probably the greatest football slogan of all time. Come on, it’s genius! ‘Berry the Bears’ can’t hold a candle to ‘Squish the Fish’.
21.) The 21 Game Winning Streak. What fan wouldn’t want to see their team win 21 freaking games in a row?! It almost got to the point where we forgot what it was like for them to lose.
20.) Super Bowl 20. Yeah, they didn’t win this one either, in fact they got blown out of the water here. But it was their first Super Bowl, my dad attended and he brought back lots of souvenirs for my sister and me, which, as a six year old, was the only thing I cared about.
19.) The New York Jets Rivalry. Onlookers might assume the Patriots top rival would be Miami, but Jets and Pats fans will tell you otherwise. My father tells me it dates all the way back to 1960, and climaxed when Bill Parcells went there in ’96. Curtis Martin’s betrayal was even worse. Pats fans got the last laugh in 2000 when Bill Belichick opted to leave the Jets and come back to New England.
18.) Indy Colts QB Peyton Manning. Despite always being heavily favored when coming to play the Patriots, it seems the Pats know just where his Achilles heel is and they masterfully make the superstar quarterback look less than stellar.
17.) Richard Seymour. I like to refer to the Patriots’ defensive lineman as the “Gentle Giant.” He’s very soft-spoken but mean as hell on the field.
16.) The Underdog Mentality. Who cares if Vegas is picking the Patriots to win. They are the ultimate underdog.
15.) The 45 yard Field Goal. The 45 yard kick made in the 2001 Divisional Round against the Oakland Raiders. It’s been referred to as the greatest kick in NFL history and it is surely a moment I, as a Patriots fan, will never forget.
14.) Former Patriots Quarterback, Steve Grogan. Watch some of this guy’s highlights and you’ll like him as much as I do. My dad taught me to say he was my favorite quarterback when I was three years old. To this day, he is still my dad’s favorite Patriots player of all time.
13.) Former Guard John Hannah. I was only a little kid when John Hannah played, but watching old film of his, there is no better spot for him than Canton, Ohio. The man cut through defensive lines like a hot knife through butter. Yes, butter.
12.) Tom Brady. Hello? Young, rich, handsome, starting quarterback for the Patriots, it’s hard NOT to like him.
11.) Former Patriots Quarterback, Drew Bledsoe. His poise and class after losing his job to Tom Brady was admirable. Funny thing, even when the Patriots beat the Bills in the final game of the 2003 season, every single person I talked to about the game mentioned that they felt bad for Bledsoe. We still love him here.
10.) Troy Brown. What’s better than a wide receiver? A wide receiver who can play cornerback. Anyway, if anyone can defend against a wide receiver, it’s another wide receiver.
9.) Former tight end, Ben Coates. For some reason, the tall and bulky Ben Coates was ALWAYS open in the end zone.
8.) Bill Belichick. I remember when he was the defensive coordinator for the Jets. He devised a defense to completely destroy anything Drew Bledsoe did. It was terrible! Thank goodness that coach is on my team now. In 2003, he not only won the AP’s award for NFL Coach of the Year, he is took the Patriots to their second Super Bowl in three years. Pretty impressive. What’s more, this past season, he surpassed Vince Lombardi in postseason victories!
7.) The Patriots 2004 Secondary. They said the Patriots secondary wouldn’t be able to do anything now that the illegal contact rule would be enforced. Hmmm. Randall who? Assante what’s his name? They said we couldn’t stop Peyton Manning without Ty Law. I think they showed them, eh?
6.) Tedy Bruschi. ‘BRUUUUUUUUUU!’ Bruschi is one of the most underrated linebackers of our time. He’s intelligent and it shows one the playing field. He’s also emerged as one of the most important team leaders on the field and in the locker room and one of the most popular players off the field.
5.) D Y N A S T Y. What’s more fun than one Super Bowl? What’s even more fun than two Super Bowls? How ’bout three Super Bowls in four years! Yes my friends, my dad and I could have never imagined that this is how the cookie would crumble four years ago when the Patriots started out their 2001 season getting creamed by the Cincinnati Bengals. My, what a fun ride it’s been.
4.) Adam Vinatieri. Two Super Bowls have been won off of his foot as well as countless playoff and regular season games. He’s insanely popular in this area, honestly, how many other kickers can say that their jersey is a top seller? Mark my words, he’s going to be a hall of famer.
3.) Gino Cappelletti. He reigns as the Patriots’ all-time leading scorer with 1,130 points (42 TDs, 176 FGs and 342 PATs), he led the American Football League in scoring five times and had two of the top five scoring seasons in pro football history – 155 points in 1964 and 147 points in 1961 (14-game seasons). He is the all-time leading scorer in the American Football League. Cappelletti is among the AFL’s all-time top ten receivers, in yards and in receptions. The Patriots’ third all-time leading receiver with 292 catches for 4,589 yards, he holds Patriots’ records for extra points attempted (353), extra points made (342), FGs attempted (333) and FGs made (176). (from here). Can we get him in the Hall of Fame already?!
2.) The True Fans. I’m not talking about these newbie, bandwagon jumping, fair-weather pieces of junk fans. The real fans sat through bitter cold, rain, snow and sleet to support our team. We are a passionate bunch here. I mean, come on now, have any of you ever seen what the old Foxboro Stadium looked like? One word: DUMP. And people actually paid big bucks to spend their Sundays there and most of the time, the Pats weren’t winning!
….and the number one Reason to love the New England Patriots is….
1.) Patriots owner, Robert Kraft. I cannot stress this enough, Bob Kraft is responsible for everything the Patriots have done in the last 11 years. At the time he bought the team, ticket sales were very low, the team was losing consistently and there was talk of moving the team to St. Louis, Missouri. All that changed when he bought the team. He’s created a team that has now gone to the Super Bowl four times and he privately financed Gillette Stadium, which in its second season is STILL considered the best in the NFL. Robert Kraft is the perfect example of what happens to a professional sports team when their owner is a fan first.