Good Times Enjoyed by All
To the Victor goes the spoils. The glow of the New England Patriots Super Bowl victory celebration continues.
Charlie Pierce says the phenomenal game even exceeded the super hype around the Game.
At the end, it takes a football game played by football players to humble something like a Super Bowl, which is no more simply a football game than Woodstock was simply a band concert. In fact, a Super Bowl is a band concert. It is also a festival of unbridled corporate excess, a vehicle for unbridled civic hubris, and a fortnight of heedless consumption that makes Mardi Gras look like the First Vatican Council.
It's remarkable how quickly it all faded to background noise when two teams with concrete chins finished slugging each other for 37 points in the fourth quarter of a game that the wiseguys estimated should have had just about that many in total. There was no spotlight brighter than that in the eyes of Adam Vinatieri after he'd won his second Super Bowl in three years, and there was nothing in the rafters more explosive than Carolina's Jake Delhomme, whose two long touchdown passes seemed culled from some Hollywood football melodrama of the 1930s.
Dan Shaughnessy faces the imaginary monument of Boston sports.
Get out the chisels and sand blasters. Time to put Tom Brady's handsome face on Boston's professional sports Mt. Rushmore Monument. This is no small honor. Only four men have had their faces carved into the side of our imaginary mountain -- Ted Williams, Bill Russell, Bobby Orr, and Larry Bird.
So what's left for Brady after today's parade? He's only 26.
"As great at it was, it wasn't perfect," he started. "There's always things to improve on. I just enjoy playing football. I like going out there and I like lifting weights and I like the offseason stuff and I like the training camps. I do. I like practice. And hopefully I'll just keep doing that for a long time. When I was at Michigan, we used to ask our equipment manager -- he'd been there like 40 years and had a lot of rings -- and we'd say, `Hey, what's your favorite ring?' And he'd say, `The next one.' "
Bob Ryan drops the ball on the Dynasty talk.
Did you say "dynasty"?
No, no, no, no, no, no, noooooo, no!
Two out of three does not a dynasty make. Two out of three is a nice run.
Dynasties encompass decades and centuries. Ming (no, not Yao) -- that was a dynasty. Some of the great royal houses of Europe -- those were dynasties. The power and influence were handed down from generation to generation. Only in organized sport do we feel free to abuse the concept.
Tom Curran is also on the Brady beat.
It is time to stop wondering whether Tom Brady is the next Joe Montana because -- as sacriligious as it sounds -- Brady's ahead of Joe Cool right now.
In fact, Brady is ahead of everyone. Through 50 career starts, he has a 40-12 mark. He has won every one of the six playoff games he's played in, including three of the most memorable in league playoff history (The Snow Bowl and two Super Bowls).
Jackie MacMullan looks back with Adam Vinatieri.
He is the best clutch kicker in the business. Try and tell his teammates differently.
"It never gets old," said Vinatieri, when asked how he felt. "It never gets old."
Two Super Bowls. Two winning kicks. That's something no kicker should ever forget.
Coach Belichick is working the pimp style reports Michael Holley
It's winning without whining.
It's sending the message to all athletes -- and all employees -- that your income, your background, and your pedigree don't matter when it's time to perform. You either can or you can't.
The Patriots can. They did it 15 games in a row, and they did it on their terms. They did it without seeking the attention of celebrities and still wound up attracting the celebrity crowd.
Brady and President Bush? Belichick and Snoop? The latter two found themselves discussing clothing. Snoop was wearing a mink-like top, and he told Belichick that he should try one.
"Yeah," the coach said. "People get on me about the sweatshirts I wear to the games, so maybe I'll give that a try."
Laughter all around.
Fifteen wins in a row, two championships in three years, and a parade thrown by an entire region.
The agony of defeat has hit hard down in the Carolinas. The Cats heartbreaking loss in Super Bowl XXXVIII left the vaunted Panther defensive front four curled up like baby cats on the tarmac of Charlotte Douglas International Airport. This is the first sighting of the 4 linemen since pre-game introductions Sunday at Reliant Stadium.