First and foremost, I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate Tom Brady and the rest of the New England Patriots on their successful season, capped off by that truly nerve racking but story book ending to the Super Bowl. It is an instant classic and one for the ages!
Being a lifelong New Englander, I have grown up cheering for the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, and Bruins. Bostonians and partisan New Englanders have enjoyed a number of professional, sports championships, much to the delight of the fan base. However, we are equally all too familiar with the disappointments that have afflicted our home town teams. Having endured the emotional swings of both winning and losing, we have been prepared for the best of times and conversely, for the worst of times. Honestly, these have been good lessons for what life has to offer.
As the season progressed, it was clear to me that Tom Brady was on a mission, and it was apparent that anything less than a trip to the Super Bowl coupled with a victory would have been a major disappointment. Admittedly, for die hard followers, it would have defeated us too. However, Tom Brady and his teammates, coaches, and Patriots Nation will be able to relish the thrill of this victory for years to come.
I recognize, even entering the playoffs with the home field advantage, a Super Bowl appearance wasn't guaranteed. However, I reminded myself that Brady's demeanor spoke volumes to me that this was his year, and provided the superbly crafted game plans were executed and the team remained healthy, a trip to Arizona could be achieved.
After the victory over the Ravens, which had all the excitement of the big game itself, I sensed the next test wouldn't be quite as dramatic, and after the AFC Championship game, my instincts were confirmed. Then came the post game controversy. Quickly, my excitement transformed into disbelief and uncertainty. However, as the events unfolded, my faith in TB's integrity and the entire Patriot's organization was re-solidified. Success oftentimes breeds jealousy, and I am absolutely convinced that the success of the Patriots is directly related to the supreme commitment within the organization to strive for perfection. That is an admirable quality, and an attribute that most often angers those that don't possess it. I can appreciate Tom Brady's personal desire for such lofty expectations.
Without a doubt, appearing in the Super Bowl must have enough distractions, let alone trying to prepare for it. However, with the added scrutiny created by the football controversy, I marvel at how mentally focused the team must have been to face this particular challenge. Again, I believe it speaks volumes to the collective level of desire to succeed.
Of course, the game far exceeded all the pregame hype, and its outcome still has the pundits reeling while dissecting every element, as if they could impact what actually transpired. Personally, I think it all came down to Brady's audibles which he sometimes signal with the name, "Rita". When I heard him call out this audible during the Super Bowl, I knew he wasn't invoking my late mother, but for my family and me, we knew the momentum was going change. Personally, I could sense it. My mother believed you can achieve almost anything, if you put your mind to it. That was her legacy, and she imparted it to her children. I believe he has that same passion for success.
As I wrote earlier, I felt that Tom Brady, in particular, was on a mission this year, and it was realized with the Super Bowl win. The outcome certainly was in doubt until the final seconds of the game, but unlike the 2 prior losses in the big game, this was his time. The Patriots collectively gave Patriot Nation plenty of reasons to be proud this season, and Rita would have agreed. He did his job; mission accomplished!