Odds makers have given the St. Louis Rams at least a 14-point spread in this Sunday’s Super Bowl. When the New England Patriots win two days from now, their victory will rank among the all-time great Super Bowl upsets—almost comparable to Joe Namath and the Jets beating the heavily-favored Colts in 1969 in the greatest football game ever played. The Patriots have been the Cinderella-story of the National Football League season, and we see no reason that its conclusion will not be as stunning as the rest of its chapters.
The Patriots are an exception in today’s self-obsessed sports world; they exhibit teamwork and unity rather than selfishness and sniping. The team is comprised of many hard-working, blue-collar athletes, from Tedy Bruschi to Roman Pfifer to Troy Brown.
Quarterback Tom Brady came out of nowhere to lead a previously winless team to 12 victories in 15 games. The second year pro-bowler will get a much-deserved start in the Super Bowl Sunday—he got the team to New Orleans and has earned the right to play for the championship.
Many former stars turned role-players are integral parts of the team. Though he plays only a few downs per game, defensive co-captain Bryan Cox is a widely-acknowledged leader on the team whose hit against a Colts wide receiver in Week three is viewed as a turning point in the season. Cox is an 11-year veteran who has never been to the Super Bowl; he will certainly not let his teammates underestimate the gravity of the situation.
Most of all, veteran quarterback Drew Bledsoe is worthy of the sportsman of the year award. After nearly being killed by linebacker Mo Lewis’ hit in Week 2, Bledsoe lost his job to Brady after the latter performed phenomenally in his absence. In a city and sports society where overpaid athletes continually whine when benched for any reason, Bledsoe has been the epitome of professionalism and class by not only refusing to lash out against the coach or younger quarterback, but by helping Brady get accustomed to the tribulations of playing everyday in the NFL. Remarkably, Bledsoe came off the bench when Brady injured his ankle last Sunday and showed that he still has the ability to lead this team when needed.
So far, everything has fallen into place for the Patriots. Though we agree with safety Lawyer Milloy that this team has not gotten to the Super Bowl based purely on luck, we do believe that this is a team of destiny. The stadium in New Orleans has been painted in a patriotic red, white and blue. The Boston Pops and local favorite U2 are scheduled to perform at halftime. The stage has been set for the biggest upset yet.