O P I N I O N
I was born in Philadelphia and I’ve been rooting for Philly teams my whole life. After moving to New Hampshire in 2001, I quickly learned not only to appreciate New England’s teams, but to love them, too – and have spent the past 17 seasons watching as Tom Brady became not only a great quarterback, but truly the Greatest Of All Time.
So of course, I couldn’t be happier that my two favorite teams made it to the Super Bowl this year, a repeat of 2005. They both earned it, and that’s a fact. It’s also a fact that Philly fans are brutal. They especially hate the Patriots, and there’s nothing I can say to change their minds. That’s why I spent some time crunching the numbers – because numbers don’t lie and they tell their own story:
Side-by-side team stats 2001-2017
209 wins 63 losses 77% 161 wins 110 losses 59.5%
Average year: 12 W- 4 L Average year: 9.5 W- 6.5 L
AFC championships: 8 W- 4 L 66% NFC championships: 2 W – 4 L 33%
Playoffs: 28 W – 9 L 75.5% Playoffs: 11 W – 9 L 55%
Super Bowls 5 W – 2 L 71.5% Super Bowl 0 W -1 L 0%
People in New England didn’t expect to beat the “greatest show on turf,” Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, etc. in their first Super Bowl victory, but they did. Did anyone believe they would win late in the third quarter last Super Bowl, down 28-3? When the Seahawks were a few yards from victory at the end of that Super Bowl, who expected the reigning champions to lose that one? 12 AFC Championship Games and 8 Super Bowl appearances in just 17 years is unbelievable, especially when you consider free agency and the age of parity.
And this year at the home of the Steelers, at the end of that rematch/game of last year’s AFC championship, who believed Ben Roethlisburger would get intercepted in the end zone to seal the deal all the way to Sunday’s Super Bowl for New England?
Even when they lost the Super Bowl to the Giants, the 2007 season remains their finest, 16 and 0 has not been duplicated. In 52 years, only one team has won all 16 regular season games, and gone to the Super Bowl after running their record to 16 and 0. Every season has a Super Bowl winner; only one season has had a perfect 16-0 record.
Going back to square one, in 2000 Belichick/Bledsoe had 5 wins and 11 losses. The next year was a mirror image, as Belichick/Brady had 11 wins and 5 losses — and their first Super Bowl title. Outside of New England, nobody realizes that before Brady and Belichick, they were a mediocre team, at best.
The penalties for cheating were paid in full — loss of draft picks, game suspensions and fines still couldn’t stop Brady/Belichick.
If you want to believe they cheat for two decades to win mercilessly against all others, so be it. I say they have been richly blessed by God, and have performed like no one on earth has a right to.
Numbers don’t lie, that is a job for others!
Jim Robidoux is father of four, lives and works in Manchester, and writes about life in The Life Section – specifically, his own, and how he sees the world through his Christian faith. He enjoys bicycling to work, urban gardening, and watching the Phillies at Billy’s. And he happens to be married to Manchester Ink Link editor Carol Robidoux. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.