The New England Patriots are one of the most prolific franchises in the NFL. Team owner Robert Kraft is regarded as a top flight owner that is well respected in the league. Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick is a first ballot Hall of Fame coach that brought the franchise from irrelevancy to its current prolific status.
Then there’s Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, widely regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. He’s a three-time Super Bowl champion, a two-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, as well as an eight-time Pro Bowl selection. Those accolades are enough to solidify Brady’s status. By the way, he’s also married to Gisele Bundchen, a Victoria’s Secret model with a net worth of several million dollars.
Patriots’ fans have been used to championship football in New England for quite some time. However, the franchise hasn’t won a Super Bowl title since after the 2004 season. The Patriots were embroiled in the “Spygate” scandal in 2007, when it was determined that the franchise illegally videotaped private practices of opposing teams. The Patriots and Belichick were fined, and the franchise surrendered its first round draft pick in 2008.
Considering that New England was supremely talented despite the sanctions, it wouldn’t be long until the Patriots would be hoisting the Vince Lombardi trophy after another Super Bowl victory. They enjoyed a perfect 16-0 regular season in 2007, but were upset by the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII. The following year, Brady suffered a season ending knee injury in the Patriots’ season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
New England would not reach the Super Bowl again until after the 2011 season. Their opponent was the Giants, who spoiled the Patriots’ perfect season four years earlier. This was the perfect opportunity for Brady, Belichick and the Patriots to exact revenge against New York. Unfortunately, Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning led New York to a come from behind 21-17 victory.
It might be a coincidence, but ever since the Patriots were levied with those sanctions because of Spygate, they have not been able to win another Super Bowl title. In 2012, New England advanced to the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens. And once again, they fell short of their ultimate goal of another championship, losing 28-13.
It’s interesting that New England has managed to avoid being stigmatized by the Spygate scandal. The other 31 franchises would have been devastated by this type of scandal. However, the franchise appears to have shaken off the scandal and preserved its aura of being a franchise that needs to be feared and respected. Unfortunately, that hasn’t translated to another Super Bowl title. And that will make for another long, cold winter in New England.