The End Of A Dynasty?
Greetings From The Booth!
Well, another Holiday season has come and gone. Last weekend I finally packed away the artificial tree in the box, took down the decorations, and returned my house to normal. You would never know there was a Christmas in my house, except for the 15 Amazon boxes piled high in a corner of my living room, and the broken lighted spiral tree out front. Now comes the most wonderful time of the year…tax refund time!
For those who use sports to shake the Winter doldrums, there is a lot going on. The NFL Divisional Round is this weekend with 4 games on tap. College basketball is starting to get serious. And the College Football Playoff Championship Game is this Monday as Joe Burrow and LSU try to complete the Cinderella story against Clemson, who is trying to win it’s 3rd title in 4 years.
Speaking of dynasties, we may have seen one come to an end this past weekend, as the mighty New England Patriots fell in Foxboro to the Tennessee Titans. Since 2000, the Pats have appeared in 9 Super Bowls, winning 6 Lombardi trophies, an incredible run. And let’s not forget 8 straight appearances in the AFC Championship from 2011-2018, and the NFL’s only 16-game undefeated regular season.
As we all know, New England quarterback Tom Brady is the centerpiece of this dynasty, along with head coach Bill Belichick.
At times this season, “Tom Terrific” has looked very much like the 42 year-old quarterback he is. Combine his age with injuries, an unfamiliar cast of receivers, and the retirement of his go-to tight end, Rob Gronkowski, and you’ve got a team that didn’t quite have it’s “swagger” in 2019. The Patriots looked like mere mortals in an embarrassing loss to Miami in the regular season finale, a game that forced the Pats into the Wild Card round.
Tom Brady doesn’t want his career to end on a pick-six. And naturally, he thinks he’s got something left in the tank. He will be a free agent for the first time in his career, so he may not even finish his career with the Patriots.
Which brings me to my final thought. Most athletes hang on a season or 2 too long. Nothing is sadder to me than the thought of an aging Willie Mays as a New York Met or Art Monk as a New York Jet. Remember Johnny Unitas in a Chargers uniform? In retrospect, a nice exit for Tom Brady would have been last year after his sixth Super Bowl ring.
Very few leave the game like that, riding away on a white horse.
The greatest dynasties come to an end at some point. The Ming dynasty didn’t last forever, for crying out loud. Even the Roman Empire fell eventually. And last week in Foxboro, the Barbarians were at the gate.
Until next visit, enjoy the NFL playoffs…and GO HORNETS!