By Ernie Palladino
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It has gotten to the purpose the place seeing the New England Patriots within the Tremendous Bowl elicits extra shrugs than raised eyebrows.
A lot for parity.
As they go for his or her fifth Lombardi Trophy of the Invoice Belichick-Tom Brady period Sunday, their document of accomplishment stands as a thumb within the eye to the NFL’s general aim of aggressive equality. In an period the place groups go from final to first and vice-versa with superb regularity, the Patriots have compiled a exceptional report, the achievements of which go far past any aggressive edges controversies the “Spygate” and “Deflategate” scandals offered.
No secreted sideline movie or lacking PSIs in a soccer can outline an period the place the Pats have reached the final six and eight of the final eleven AFC Championship video games, gained thirteen of the final 14 AFC East titles, and suffered just one dropping season — Belichick’s first in 2000.
The remainder of the AFC has borne witness to soccer’s longest dynasty with a mix of confusion and dismay, for good cause. The one constants have been Belichick, a failed head coach with Cleveland, and a flippantly regarded sixth-spherical quarterback in Brady. Aside from these two, the Patriots have had a revolving door of expertise each offensively and defensively, setting them far aside from the standard dynasty that retains a strong core intact, solely to enter a downswing after the celebs depart.
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San Francisco had its eras with Joe Montana and Steve Younger, Jerry Rice, John Taylor, Roger Craig, Tom Rathman, Dwight Clark, Freddie Solomon, and Brent Jones. Pittsburgh had an enormous run within the late Nineteen Seventies with Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, and the “Metal Curtain” protection of “Imply” Joe Greene, Jack Lambert, Mel Blount, and Donnie Shell.
They got here and gained. However once they went, each dynasties gave strategy to the painful activity of rebuilding.
Not so with the Patriots. Whether or not it’s discovering youth from the ranks of the undrafted, or choosing previous expertise from the NFL’s scrap heap, the group has stored on firing whereas reloading.
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This yr’s staff provides the right instance. For probably the most half, Brady has been surrounded by a gaggle of has-beens and by no means-weres. Broad receiver Chris Hogan couldn’t stick to the…