Missing the Point

New England Championship ReWrap - 2001 New England Patriots - Part 1

August 25, 2020 Sunday Night Sports Wrap
Missing the Point
New England Championship ReWrap - 2001 New England Patriots - Part 1
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Missing the Point
New England Championship ReWrap - 2001 New England Patriots - Part 1
Aug 25, 2020
Sunday Night Sports Wrap

Listen to Part 2 here
Rob, Joe, Mike, and Rayshawn recap the 2001 Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. 

From Tom Brady's improbable emergence as the leader of a team he was never supposed to lead, to an improbable march towards a Championship no one thought they could win, we'll take you back to one of the most improbable and possibly most important Championships in the history of New England Sports.

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Show Notes Transcript

Listen to Part 2 here
Rob, Joe, Mike, and Rayshawn recap the 2001 Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. 

From Tom Brady's improbable emergence as the leader of a team he was never supposed to lead, to an improbable march towards a Championship no one thought they could win, we'll take you back to one of the most improbable and possibly most important Championships in the history of New England Sports.

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Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/MTPshow)

Rob Kelly :

How are we doing everybody? My name is Bob Kelly. And I'm here with Rayshawn Buchanan, Joe Malkin, Michael Marcangelo, and of course the greatest producer in the game, Craig D'Alessandro, and welcome to the inaugural episode of The New England Championship Rewrap. This is a show where we will break down not only the most important moments in games of each Boston championship that we've all experienced, but more importantly, the feelings and emotional connection each one of us has with that specific championship. Tonight, jump into our time machine as we start where it all began. The team that was the launch of a dynasty and the first of many for the Boston sports world over the next 20 plus years. The 2001 New England Patriots. Quick program note we had so many memories and feelings associated with this season. It took about three hours to record this podcast. So we're doing this season in two parts. Part one begins now.

Joe Malkin :

I'm so jacked up for this one. This is my favorite of the 12 sorry to the Red Sox that Celtics, the Bruins and any of the other five Patriots Super Bowls. This this one means the most I think to New England and personally it means the most to me and I told you guys in our chat I might cry during this one. But we're gonna we're gonna get through it

Rob Kelly :

Listen, I'll tell you what doing the doing all the research for this one, I got goose bumps at week 5, 6, 7 times just hearing Gino when "and the Patriots are super bowl champ..." like all that stuff. Man. It gives me straight goosebumps and I'm the least Patriots fan out of everyone here. All right, man. Even still, even still, this is still one of my favorite Boston championships ever.

Joe Malkin :

Even when Geno Santos yelled, you know, that famous call, and then you see Antwan Smith run onto the field, hands a'pumping like it was just elation, because you didn't know how that season was gonna end the way it started and we'll get to that and Bobby will drive us through that over over this podcast, but you just didn't know where it was gonna go. And that was the best part looking back on it

Rob Kelly :

Exactly, especially leading into the season. Like I said, it's the most improbable one of the entire championships. Now, if you guys remember the Patriots did go to the Superbowl back in 1996. We're just gonna set the stage a little bit for you. Getting your time machine we're going back to 2001 guys. Alright, so if you remember 1996 patriots go to the Super Bowl lose to the Packers. Big Tuna leaves town right after that Super Bowl and ever since it's been an absolute downfall for the Patriots. They hire Pete Carroll. He comes in and leads them to 10 and six they loose in the wild card. nine And seven, then eight and eight. And at that point, you could just see that downward trend of this team, there was no upside to it, there was no excitement. So they decided to fire Pete Carroll. And they brought in what we didn't know at the time was the greatest head coach in Patriots history. Now Mike, do you remember the day Bill Belichick was hired?

Michael Marcangelo :

Yeah, I do. I did not know who Bill Belichick was at that point in time, but like now, it's just I really like that huge controversy because he was supposed to be the coach of the Jets.

Joe Malkin :

He was the coach of the Jets.

Michael Marcangelo :

He was the coach of the Jets for one day, and then he's gone. And now he's on the Patriots podium. I just kept thinking like, Who is this? Like, what are they doing? And then, I mean, we'll talk about that more later. But the first half of the first season like maybe they made a mistake.

Joe Malkin :

To expand off what Mike just said, The rumor in the story is that Bill Belichick was offered the job by Robert Kraft on a napkin at a restaurant, and he ended up taking it and what's interesting, and we've all done the research and watch the Americans game 2001 New England Patriots But you look back at that. And I mean, Bill Belichick was on Parcell's staff that super bowl here in 96. He was coaching the defensive backs. I mean, he had been here before. And like Mike said, we didn't know who the heck he was. I mean, you can look at the Patriots coaching staff now. And they're, they're a little more well known, because we got to figure out who to blame if something happens, but I mean, we didn't know who he was in 96 and then and as Mike just said, in 2001, who the heck is this guy?

Rob Kelly :

Well, and even even to that same point, you know what I mean? Even in that first season, I mean, granted, he did draft the best quarterback ever, and his first draft ever in the sixth round. Again. We didn't know at the time how great that pick was. But even that first season, he went five and 11 he was on the hot seat after that first season like this was not something that anyone saw coming for even even one second. You know, I mean, that team was in dismay going into that 2001 season. Belicheck was on the hot seat. People were wondering if Bledsoe, which actually going back a little bit Bledsoe was given about a what was it over

Rayshawn Buchanan :

A 10-year contract

Joe Malkin :

One of the biggest contracts at the time.

Rob Kelly :

And people were already questioning that seeing seeing this team downfall from 10-6, 9-7, 8-8 people like is this 100 million dollar quarterback even worth it at this point? This team was a mess going into the 2000 season. And it's crazy to say that because the word mediocre and the word New England Patriots at this point in our lives, just don't get said together. But at that time, it wasn't just said together. It was just facts. That team was mediocre going into that season.

Joe Malkin :

Well, the Patriots were almost a laughingstock of the NFL for so many years. I mean, a team that was founded in 1960. You know, played couldn't find a stadium. I mean, you know, they played at Harvard, they played at Fenway, they, they played wherever they could find a place to play. And, you know, they they had some good teams. I mean, the Boston patriots one that won their division in 1963. But over the years, they didn't do much. I mean, they just they had good players. I mean, Stanley Morgan, Sam Van Cunningham, Steve Grogan. I mean, they had guys. And that's just the name, the first three that come off the top of my head, but they never did.

Michael Marcangelo :

John Hanna,

Rob Kelly :

Mike's favorite jersey of all time.

Joe Malkin :

that's true. And it just, you know, you're right at that time, Bobby. I mean, I think mediocre was even given them a little more credit than they deserved. I mean, they got smoked in the 85 Super Bowl against the bears.

Rob Kelly :

Then nothing, nothing after that,

Joe Malkin :

right. And then they effectively got smoked in 96 against the Packers. So 2000 you go through this whole draft and you draft a guy 199 overall, which not only was he 199 overall in the sixth round, but it was a compensatory pick. And I think we all know who that was and we'll try His name a little bit as we go on here, but that mediocre was was being light on that team at that point.

Rayshawn Buchanan :

But even just think about what was Bill, you remember, you know, he was a coach with the Browns now, you know, we know that then but you know looking back in it you know the only playoff winning Cleveland's had was because of Bill and that game that win actually came against the Patriot in the 90s or wildcard game so you know actually he beat ourselves so it was it was the it was the people were beating you know the teacher and so on. So you know, today was building something during Cleveland obviously, you know, Zuma goes off to you know, to Baltimore and that guy that go they go away but you know, like I said like guys aren't upset he was on the hot seat. We didn't know where to come in. So no, thank God for what ended up happening guys. We're gonna get into that so

Michael Marcangelo :

I also like wonder I've always thought about like after the the 2000 season right? Can you imagine like what's going through Belichick head like he'd literally his relationship with ourselves on fire over the day. They have never been that they've never been The same

Joe Malkin :

They've only been in a room once since The Two Bills. That was a great special By the way, and even during that special you can see that things had not been fully patched up.

Michael Marcangelo :

Like the mutual respect there. Yeah, like Bill Parcells never forgave him for doing

Joe Malkin :

well Parcells was kind of a tough guy after he left after he left New England. I mean, what what he did everywhere else he went, I mean, he just he's such an old school guy that he just he didn't latch on anywhere he went. And I think his last stop was when he was the president of football operations down. in Miami. And he couldn't even do anything there. But that's that's a different market.

Rob Kelly :

But well, he did though he did. He brought 1-15 to 10-6 member team wasn't that bad as first year? I don't know if I had anything to do with him. But no, like you just said that respect that those two had that they built because if you remember Bill Belichick his resume was Really impressive that man was the defensive. I don't know if he's coordinator but defensive coach. Yeah, it was coordinator. Yeah, carried off the field for the 90 or was it 91, 90. giants. Yeah, he was there for both. So for both of those, they won in 86 and then they wanted 90. So yeah,

Joe Malkin :

I can coach Lawrence Taylor deserves all the respect in the world.

Rob Kelly :

And then but then then you go to Cleveland and Bill Belichick had built that team from nothing, because they they were a mess when he got there to a team that was very respected. was one play one yard away from the AFC Championship game before Ernest Buyer let that ball just pop out, which I'm sure right now is making all Cleveland Browns fans ears bleed. But then from there, the Cleveland leaves town, it's announced Cleveland's leaving town, he gets screwed out of a job. He gets screwed out of a team that was one yard away from the AFC Championship game, and then goes ahead follows Bill back to New England. follows him to the Jets and then has history is made in 2000 when he's hired by the by the Patriots,

Joe Malkin :

yeah and in that 2000 season I mean you talked about it a little bit Bobby but I want to bring up the draft and another guy that we're going to bring up later in this conversation is JR Redmon who is actually selected round by the New England Patriots out here the 2000 season was an interesting one at five and 11 but you draft Tom Brady the first time we're going to say his name tonight I don't know how far into the recording we are but with the first time we've said the name Tom Brady, so they draft him six round compensatory pick 199 overall 198 guys go before him. Countless quarterbacks that so named quarterbacks guys that that are were out of the league. In five years, there might have been one that slipped through but

Rob Kelly :

ready for the names Chad Pennington, Giovanni camozzi, Chris Rodman Tee Martin , Mark Bolger and Spurgeon,

Joe Malkin :

Mike Bolger had a good career but I mean so so you had Chad Pennington Mark Bolger and then the next guy is Tom Brady. Clearly Tom Brady was better than the two of those guys combined 10 times over. Well, now Now we know that but in 2000 they they draft this bad body quarterback. Who the worst, the worst. The worst. I've always loved that shot of him shot turning in front of the camera in Indianapolis when they they in the old RCA dome when they show him and it's just like, man, I bad body quarterback and this guy was drafted by the Montreal Expos and you're like, good who he was. He was a good baseball player but you're like who is this guy? He he backed up Brian Griese at Michigan then he got his chance in his senior year. So but we've now seen over the years what Bill does with these guys, but back then let's let's sit in 2000 when when we were all young pubs Really just coming into our fandom of sports. I mean, I was 12 at the time that he was drafted. So you, you didn't know who it was but you You didn't know that they needed a quarterback because Drew Bledsoe was one of the best quarterbacks in the league at the time. And the other the other two quarterbacks on that depth chart and I always love this about the 2000 season because Tom Brady didn't dress for a game in 2000

Rob Kelly :

Fourth String, right?

Joe Malkin :

Drew Bledsoe Michael Bishop John Frese,

Rob Kelly :

but you did that so that that right there to me speaks to Belichicks. Just I don't know if it's a sixth sense that he has it's something that that dude has that he what NFL team do you ever hear carrying four quarterbacks? Have you ever heard of an NFL team carrying four quarterbacks?

Joe Malkin :

Well, there wouldn't be caught dead doing it now. Right? He barely carries two. But back then he was carrying three every season but you're right Bobby. He kept the fourth four.

Rob Kelly :

Right, exactly. And I think that That really that really goes to that now if, if you remember the quote, you guys watched America's game too, Brady gets drafted, he's unknown. First of all, I think if we were sports fans back in 2000 as big as we are now, we definitely would have known the name Tom Brady because his career at Michigan was nothing to snub that, you know what I mean? Like, that dude came into a lot of big games, including I believe it was the Rose Bowl, a 21 point comeback his senior year. And somehow this dude who came in when Brian Griese was failing, took over the game and won that Rose Bowl slipped all the way to the sixth round now that to me to this day that like, I know those body pictures are bad, but I'll never understand that. I'll neverunderstand it.

Joe Malkin :

But now a quarterback does. And he's drafted in the first round, right? And how many guys we've seen over the last 20 years fail in the NFL, because that was their claim to fame. And now you can almost write it on the wall and say, This guy is going to failed, this guy is not going to do well, because he won one game. A lot of times maybe they'll succeed. I mean, there was guys later on in the career and you know, we'll get to this as we go through this series but Matt Cassle, he never started a game a quarterback for USC and led the Patriots to an aluminum five season. You know it can. But to get back to 2000 You're absolutely right, Bobby, I mean, what a what a pick, and none of heck he was doing.

Rob Kelly :

But in my opinion if if this 2000 happens now, Tom Brady is no later, with that resume no later than a second round pick in today's NFL, there's no way that man with that skill set that leadership quality and that track record of leading comebacks and successful football teams falls in to the six rounds. That does not happen in today's NFL.

Joe Malkin :

And what's amazing is back then as there was so many good coaches in the league, like that was kind of the heyday when you had like really good coaches. And for that to happen for him. Look at low It's amazing. And, you know you you look at the pick and we we all know the quotes he walks into patriots camp and and he walks in the camp and Robert Kraft walks by him and calls him Kyle Brady says what's going on Kyle and Kyle Brady at the time was the he was the tight end for the New York Jets. One of my favorite tight ends. He was just a big body dude that ran through people. But right so he calls him Kyle and Tom turns around and says, Oh, my name is Tom Brady. And he was Robert Kraft says yeah, you're the quarterback. You're pretty good. I've seen you play. And, you know, Tom turns around and says Mr. Kraft, I want to thank you drafting me was the best decision you've ever made. And little did we know he was right.

Rob Kelly :

Right. And I think that honestly is the perfect place to go ahead and lead into this 2001 season. All right now we we've we've brought you back exactly to where the Patriots were at this time. mediocre football team. No expectations going in 2001 season. We have Drew Bledsoe, maybe at the time considered probably the most overpaid quarterback in the NFL. We have a coach who's on the hot seat. And we have a defense and an offense that's just sputtering at all seams. So going into the season, you know, there was no hope for this team. Now, that first moment in the 2001 season where you come in, you know, it's a new season. Everyone's got hope. Week One. patriots lose. to the Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Malkin :

Hang on. Before we get into this. We can't we can't go over the fact that in that six months earlier before the season started, one of the best defensive players that ever played in a patriots uniform was drafted sixth overall.

Rayshawn Buchanan :

Yeah, Richard Seymour.

Joe Malkin :

Yep. And Matt light was also drafted in that in that draft as well and see what you want to call Matt light. Tom Brady. Love the guy.

Rob Kelly :

It was a great was a great offensive line

Joe Malkin :

and he's and he's a he's a good person. But I've seen so many people that have said they didn't like Matt light and I'm like, hang on a second. Matt Light, kept Tom Brady upright for years. Mm. So so. So I'll let you go back to that to that. But I mean, we're talking about two of the best picks during that time

Rob Kelly :

for the new year. So I'll go ahead, Mike.

Michael Marcangelo :

Phil also made a lot of good offseason moves that year with with Brian Cox and I believe bought in Tubucky Jones that year, as well as some veterans just to shore up the defense. Again, now we look at those moves. And we're like, those are pillars of that defense. But that's like, and did he bring Vrabel that year to?

Rob Kelly :

Yeah, that's right, For like a third round pick, I believe.

Michael Marcangelo :

So he put that entire defense together in that offseason and looking back now it's like, what? Wow, that's amazing. That's amazing.

Joe Malkin :

Here's your notable defensive players on the New England Patriots from 2001 Bobby Hamilton, I always thought he was pretty good. William McGinnis. Richard Seymour tedy Bruschi Matt Chatham special teams guy I always love Matt Chatham special teams Brian Cox Larry Izzo another special teams guy, Ted Johnson, Roman Pfeiffer Mike Vrabel, those are your linebackers. I literally just read every linebacker

Rob Kelly :

That's a linebacker squad right there. Yeah,

Joe Malkin :

defensive backs. I mean, they had Terrelle Buckley, Anton Harris Tubucky Jones Ty law Lawyer Malloy, Otis Smith. And then of course, I mean, your kicker was Adam Vinatieri . Who will come into this, but I mean, Mike, you're absolutely right. I mean, he puts his defense together and back then it was like, Who are these people? Nanos names off? Are you kidding me?

Rob Kelly :

Well, and like that's a great point to make, because that would end up becoming the the MO and the trend for all of Bill Belichick time in New England. Every single year. This dude has brought in player after player of people who weren't known, who are disrespected and they come into New England. And not only do they do they do good, but they thrive in this system. And I think that season was the first time Terrelle Buckley to me was the first one that stood out because he was in Miami. He was good. He wasn't great. Came to New England. That dude was light out in the 2001 season absolute light out. If you remember going to that season, what's funny is the biggest free agent acquisition. I can remember it was Matt Stevens. You guys remember Matt Stevens? He was the safety is a white guy. Long hair. Exactly. Exactly. You know, you have to yes, no, no.

Joe Malkin :

he doesnt even have a picture on Wikipedia.

Rayshawn Buchanan :

Right, exactly. But I mean, it's crazy because you know, you named all those linebackers, which was a great core, the most important linebacker that season didn't even play for the Patriots. He played for the Jets. And, you know, we'll we'll get into that. So, yeah, he was, you know, yeah. Mo Lewis. You know, I've joked about this off the air before but he deserves to be in the picture Hall of Fame because, um, you know, without that hit onto Drew Bledsoe we don't we don't see In fact, that's all it makes.

Michael Marcangelo :

he also deserves a rain. Yeah. All right.

Joe Malkin :

If Normar in 2004 mo Lewis gets a ring in 2001 that's the way I feel about it. So yeah, and I'm gonna lead Bobby back into the next part because I'm going to jump off of where Rayshawn just said and kick it back to Bobby here but so in the 2001 season after being the fourth string quarterback, and Tom Brady working his butt off, because basically he found a notebook in the quarterbacks room in 2000. That said he was too slow and not speed wise on the field, but he was too slow at reads too slow. Yeah, get rid of the ball too slow it basically doing everything as an NFL quarterback, which was clearly a setup by Bill Belichick to leave that in front of Tom Brady because he he knew what he had in this kid and it hadn't happened yet. By the 2001 season. The New England Patriots had three quarterbacks prior to the NFL the start of the NFL season against the Cincinnati Bengals. Drew Bledsoe was your number one. Tom Brady was your number two in Kansas City Chiefs great Damon Huard was the number three.

Michael Marcangelo :

Well also like Damon Huard was the backup for Marino down in Miami. He did pretty well for himself whenever he could make his last couple stars. So you look at that you look at that room We can talk about the Jets game, Bobby. I'm sure you know, we just ran into that but like I loved Drew Bledsoe. Drew Bledsoe was the reason I became Patriots fan because they went from nothing to be somewhat relevant because of Bledsoe Curtis Martin. Terry Glen and Ben Coats. I got that offense was was awesome. And, you know, once he couldn't run, it turns out when he tried he almost died. But throw that ball far, and he was fun to watch.

Rob Kelly :

And what's funny is when you say he almost died, you actually mean that literally. Yeah. Which which I remember at the time I remember that was first game of the season, everyone was pumped, and I'll never forget being a 12 year old and For the first time in my life I felt the feeling of almost disgust that first week was I remember looking at the screen and being like we're losing to the god damn Cincinnati Bengals. team that team that just drafted Akili Smith turned down nine draft picks to draft Akili Smith and we're losing to them right now. I I was disgusted.

Joe Malkin :

And they were nothing after Boomer Esiason left so

Rob Kelly :

right, going to go into week two against the Jets completely outmatched the Jets. Were a good football team at this point.

Michael Marcangelo :

We just set the stage. Week two against the Jets was not supposed to be that we were supposed to play the Carolina Panthers. But because of 9/11 the whole season paused we ended up playing Carolina at the end they went from one and 0 to like one and 15 but like that first came back we had the whole Andruzi family because all his Brothers are first responders though everything after 911 like that game like you were amped up and they came out and just laid an egg. They Just an absolute... they wern't amped up for that game. And I just remember the jets were a good team that they still were a really good team.

Joe Malkin :

Yeah, I mean, and it was and they're coming off September 11 kind of the other direction. You know? I mean, think about that. And now you look back on things and you know when when big things happen, national tragedies, international tragedies, what sports is what brings people together and it really did this season. I mean, I and we'll get into that later on. But kind of a backstory for me and Mike mentions it. I remember when they change this game, and they changed the whole season around and are we gonna play Should we play and they did. And they switch things around and they brought the jets to New England. That week, a lot of things were happening and I was there. to kind of give you guys a look into where I'm going to go in this episode is that my father has been a season ticket holder Since 1981, and been going into game since 1976, and he has lived in New England since 1960. So he's been a Patriots fan since since day one since he was nine years old. So be I was at this game. I was at every game that season, including the Raiders playoff game and the Super Bowl. So i remember this game like I remember coming into it, and I remember the flyover. I remember everything around it. Section 205 row eight, we were right there in the old stadium. And you're right that the Patriots laid an egg and the jets were amped up because they were playing for so much more than a win in week two of the NFL season.

Rob Kelly :

Right and that's what and that's and that's what made this season. Start out that that game and that that whole situation which I can't believe that I almost led into this without it was what made this season. so special. You know what I mean? Like without, without the Patriots that season 2001 just seems like a completely different year because not only like you guys said to unify Massachusetts, but rooting for the New England Patriots because of what? What was happening. They were the underdog. They were America's team. They were red, white and blue. They're all about equality being together, made 2001 that's much more special over here.

Michael Marcangelo :

Bobby, you kind of talked about at the beginning of the show when you said, you know, we're all patriots and the Patriots have low champions like that doesn't mean anything. Without that without that 9/11

Joe Malkin :

which is a terrible tragedy.

Michael Marcangelo :

But you're saying we were red, white and blue like right. Like in theory, the Jets should owe the Giants should have been America's team that you're right. But it just so happened that... lead us into like down the road. There was just a snowball effect for the underdog. For the red, white and blue that just kept building and building and building. And I feel like it you know that that moment and that day like, there's I remember watching it on television like no

Rob Kelly :

Andruzi with the flags.

Michael Marcangelo :

Yeah, like this is special.

Joe Malkin :

Yeah. All of it was special. And that was a nice part about the game is before the first whistle. It wasn't about the New England Patriots against the New York Jets. It was about football in the United States of America. It was a bright American football and bringing everybody together. And you know, I mean, the the logo of the Super Bowl is we'll get into on my shoulder here. It's the American flag in the shape of the United States. And it's just it's what the season became two days after the start of the season,

Rob Kelly :

which not to get too off topic, but that really does speak to how powerful sports is and and really speaks to how much of a unifying factor it is. We see it now with the NBA. We see it with with these players protesting that sports really does have a power Powerful, a powerful input on society. And I think 2001 patriots, again, we'll get into all how significant it really was what led to it being so significant with the Super Bowl, the halftime show all that stuff, but 2001 is the one season that stands out to me. Where a sport one team one thing, who knew it would be the Patriots. You know, looking back 20 years ago, if you told people the Patriots were a unifying factor in America, people would lose their mind, but that's what they were. You know what I mean, that 2001 season, they were the underdog. Now, again, I don't want to get too ahead of ourselves. So So game two, Drew Bledsoe, so the Patriots, I believe they're losing three nothing at the time. Drew Bledsoe drops back, and for the first time his entire career. He decides to scramble out of the pocket, bad decision Drew, bad decisions. You let your cement feet walk you right in place like they had your entire career because what was waiting for you on the right sideline, Mo Lewis's shoulder, and he hit him harder is that I've ever seen anyone get hit before. There's there that there was reports I was I was doing my research and there's reports that I saw of quotes on the Patriots sideline that said they could feel how hard he got hit from 20 feet away. They could feel the impact of that hit

Joe Malkin :

It was right on the sideline and he got it was wallet. I remember exactly where it happened. I mean, he got absolutely smoked, right right in the chest, right where you would think that the pads would protect you.

Rob Kelly :

Right. So so at that moment, he gets hit. And I remember saying he's alright, he's fine. You know what I mean? He's fine. It was just a hit. He'll get back up. But I don't know if it was the greatness in Tom Brady. I know. I know. Mike, you've mentioned this to me before, but that dude grabbed this helmet. And he knew it was his time. He knew it was time.

Michael Marcangelo :

If you remember Bledsoe came out for the next series, right? Yep. So like, I think this is Well, I don't want to get you off track here but like I have such a love for Bledsoe and like, an affection for him because, like he, there was a quote by Charlie Weis about the 2001 patriots and more specifically about what so is that no one wanted to make a play, they thought he was going to do it. Bledsoe would just make the play happen. So no one else is out there. You know, trying to do what they're supposed to do, like do your job like Belichick tells us now. They were just waiting for Bledsoe's cue. So if he did if he couldn't do it, it didn't happen. When Bledsoe goes down, you can't you cannot operate that way with Brady or any other quarterbacks. I mean, you all have to play together. So like the Patriot way started a minute. The Mo Lewis Mack truck ran through Juba.

Rob Kelly :

Absolutely. That's a great point because you could see it. I was watching the game today. And you could see, I know that they ended up losing this game, but they actually ended up having a chance in a game that they played absolutely horrendous football. I remember that they had a hail mary. That drop drop ever associated. laid down to the end zone. But that game as soon as Bledsoe goes out, you see that team unify around each other. And you see that team football that we all came to know and love from 2001 on Well, I don't love it as much anymore. But you guys definitely do. I can promise you that.

Joe Malkin :

One thing I remember when when that hit happened, and Bledsoe goes to the sideline, you know, before he came back out for the next series is watching number 12 run onto the field. And, you know, at the time, maybe a handful of people knew who this kid was. But Tom Brady comes running around the field and I remember the people around us, I remember the people sitting behind us, saying Who the hell is 12 and somebody takes out their binoculars and reads the name on the back of his jersey and it says Brady, and they say Who the hell is Brady, who is this guy? And granted, they probably didn't know that who Damon Hayward was so it wouldn't have made a difference. But that kind of resonates like going back and thinking about the Patriots over the last 20 years. Who the hell is this guy? Who the hell are these guys? And, you know, pay the Tom Brady goes on to throw for 46 yards in that game. Five of 10 passes for 46 yards. Drew Bledsoe goes to the hospital after the game didn't know he was going to need to during the game. But you're right that the Patriots team rallied around each other the jets were rallying around each other. And that was that but I don't know if you guys remember. This was the first time we saw the tuck rule. Yes. Yeah.

Rayshawn Buchanan :

With Vinnie Testeverde

Joe Malkin :

Vinnie Testeverde fumbles ball patriots recover have even more of a chance after playing a terrible game as Bobby said, and it gets overruled because of the tuck rule, something that Raiders fans will clearly forget come the playoffs but this was a day that no one knew what was going to happen with this season because everybody thought that mo Lewis hit on Drew Bledsoe was the end of the season. Nobody who Tom Brady was we thought that our guy that just got paid millions, one of the biggest contracts in the NFL. We thought the season was over because that was our guy.

Rayshawn Buchanan :

I was 11 at the time and like I remember like, Yeah, I was able to find like my first football memory was this little whatever we lost against the Packers. Um, so you know, I remember doesn't have we're just running down the sideline,

Rob Kelly :

look it up in the jumbo.

Rayshawn Buchanan :

Yeah, you know, Reggie white doing whatever you want to do. We'll go around the boy's father, no, Darcy lemons, all those guys. But, um, I remember when blessing went out and I'm like, oh, man, like, like, this is this is my favorite plate onto Pinterest at the time, and you see him grow down. I had the same feeling 11 years old. I was like, well, don't be lucky to win, you know. So after games, um, you know, and I think I remember at the time, you know, I didn't know much about Peyton Manning. But, um, I knew that I knew those guys to build the score. Um, and then you know, the game the season really turns around, you know, what the what our route

Rob Kelly :

would be? Yeah, right. You know, that we can do this moment would rayshawn You just mentioned that first one on the west is that week three against the Colts that week three against the Colts. They were unbelievable. I don't know if it was the game prep coming in, just because of like you just said, the team aspect that that team, you know where the Patriots actually happening and then not relying on Bledsoe so much, but they beat that team mercilessly. david patten became one of the first players in NFL history to throw run and catch for a touchdown. Antwan Smith ran all over the Colts. I believe the final score was what 3730

Rayshawn Buchanan :

I think Keno paymentech I think they went the same division as the pictures. There was no names each right. So

Joe Malkin :

real quick is that this was the last year of the AFC East, North, south and west.

Rayshawn Buchanan :

Right so you know, so yes. And so so many things that were going into that but, you know, I think Lawyer , Malloy Send us on there on the America's game. But early in Peyton Manning's career, we took care of business against him like, um, you know, yes, he was the system. He became the man eventually. But, you know, early in his career, you know, before 2006 we did whatever we wanted against Indianapolis and whether it was him throwing an exception was him getting sacked. Um, you know, we always had him sort of photo so to speak. Whenever he came into the ring when he was there's a different player and outdoor elements. And it really showed. Yeah, exactly. You know, so yeah. So it's just these users someone I said we had his number early on, so actually, that was a sign of things to come after that game.

Michael Marcangelo :

I also think that this this first game against the Colts this had nothing to do with Brady. This was not an offensive show at all. This was an all defense it was all those key additions that we talked about it like in the in the offseason that came to fruition. I mean, they just knew how to protect Hack eight Manny and that entire system they started hitting a wide receivers on the line. They started hitting hitting the running backs on the line too. And before Peyton could do anything, he was down 20 points. And I think, Antwon, I think Antwon Smith had almost 100 guys late 92 years, but I'm pretty sure he fumbled on the one yard line too. Like that wasn't a great offensive game for anybody. The defenses shut them down.

Joe Malkin :

And what else was big about this was the fact that that the Colts were 2-0, coming into this game, and the Patriots were holding with Tom Brady and his first start, and Bill Belichick the guy that he is that the defensive mastermind to play off what Mike just said, made it happen defensively because he was still teaching the kid how to play and and knew exactly him and Romeo Cronel knew exactly what Peyton Manning was going to do at every turn. And it showed in game two, just three weeks later,

Rob Kelly :

get that game three is definitely the first nomination for that we can do this moment because if there's any there was no other time prior to in that season, where you actually had faith in this Patriots football team. His football team to put together any kind of semblance of a winning season. Now, No, go ahead. No, go ahead.

Joe Malkin :

I was just gonna say that you're absolutely right. I remember feeling the same thing. And then they got tripled up by the dolphins the next week. Right and so but I mean, but that, but even to this day, it was always historical that the Patriots had trouble with Miami, Miami. From day one

Michael Marcangelo :

week four Brady looked awful, too. He was not good in that game. He didn't. He didn't come he didn't come into into fruition.til the next week

Rob Kelly :

that leads us right into week five against the San Diego Chargers. Now this is also going to come up later because this to me, is is the winner of this category will... This is the moment that launched dynasty to me at launch Brady's career. It was everything that season without this game. None of this happens without this game. Bledsoe might come back week 10 and replace Brady, because this game really dictated how the rest of that season was going to go Alright, so we'll set the stage. The Patriots playing the chargers. Doug Flutie is back in New England. Everyone's excited about that. patriots go into the third quarter I believe Antoine Smith scored a touchdown. They go up 16 to 15. And during the fourth quarter, within about four to five minutes the Patriots in typical patriots fashion give up a awful touchdown. So Lee Johnson fumbles the ball in an inexpensive workable play which just described the last patriots five years where he fumbles the snap. Instead of just going down. He as a punter tries to throw the ball charges, pick it up, run it back for a touchdown, patriots down 10 points with about four minutes remaining. Now if that doesn't prove to you that this was the way patriots football was at the time. At that time, the crowd started pouring out. The announcers even brought it up when I was rewatching. The game today they said the Patriots are in trouble and their fans know it and they saw you see All these fans just out they go

Joe Malkin :

at halftime, the Patriot lead in that game 1613 and Vinateri had missed a field goal and an extra point. And Bella check was quoted at halftime saying that that was the worst kicking performance he had seen in a year and a half. And he was talking about Lee Johnson. He was talking about Adam, , and it was absolutely awful and you're right, they lead and people were still leaving because it was an absolutely horrid football game .

Michael Marcangelo :

I also think like that that game turned, you know, as we're going to talk about gender on our franchise, but it also turned around Doug Flutie, his career because they were coming into that game three in one, right. They were and they finished in five and 11 and Drew Brees replaced Doug Flutie for them for the Chargers quarterback right. But that that entire game, I mean, obviously Lee Johnson is not top two, but he should not be throwing the football as a punter that should that should that should never happened, but you're down 10 there's five minutes left, historically 2000 that means that once was going to throw 25 more passes three are probably gonna be picked off you're gonna lose by like 26 Brady was so efficient and that and that next five minutes and brought them back and again that that's why like this the whole Brady did Brady win because of the system or to the system and because of Brady. He just went out there and did what he was supposed to do you pass it to the open guy. I didn't try to be here everyone else on the field tried to make each other better. So I think I think that's a great nominee for you know that we can do this moment because until I went back and watch it today, I forgot how close to the brink of disaster say and I

Joe Malkin :

I agree with Mike because real quick but right after that after another great drive by Brady who gives me money feel go at a military academy. Yeah, another thing we're gonna see.

Rob Kelly :

All right, so so we're down ten, right I got like you guys had Brady brings us back. We end up winning the game. Now that moment right there, like I just said is my probably top nominee. We'll go over a couple more but that's my nominate because without that game, the Patriots fall to one and four. Okay? one and four is a record that you don't come back from. There is no playoffs when you start one or four. Not only that, they go one and four. regardless what happens in those next coming weeks when Drew Bledsoe was healthy, that man is back on the field. And there's no doubt about that if Tom Brady loses his foot, if Tom Brady loses his first two out of three games as starting quarterback, he's done. That's it. That's the Tom Brady experiment and we never hear from him again.

Joe Malkin :

I think it would have stayed starting quarterback because I don't know how much trust Bill had in Heuard. But you didn't have you didn't have Bledsoe back at that point. And I mean, but you know, that's definitely I think you're right. I mean, I think that kind of has to take the cake for regular season because that turned things around. I mean, sure. We're going to talk about how they, when you know two and three, then they're at a 500 Hundred record they go sub 500. Again, take they go back above 500 or 500 again, and then and then by week 11 you know, what are we talking about in week 11? we're cruising week 10 against the St. Louis Rams, this team was unstoppable. This would be the first of a few times that we mentioned the St. Louis Rams on this podcast. They were the best football team in the NFL by far.

Rayshawn Buchanan :

It wasn't even close. It was Marshall Faulk fault was about hate to say to say most of the fault was my favorite flash in the NFL at that moment, like I'm

Rob Kelly :

pretty sure you had it Marshall Faulk jersey, bro. I remember you wearing that thing all the

Joe Malkin :

time, man. Do you know how many people had 28 St. Louis Rams jerseys? Yeah, I mean, so many. I mean, yeah, he

Rayshawn Buchanan :

was Yeah, he was phenomenal, man. You Tory Holt, Issac Bruce Ricky prole Roland Williams ly there was just I mean, was was a speed burner. In the slot man and you know Kurt Warner So you know, they were really worried and office machine. And I remember looking at my Yo, like, if we can score maybe 15 points. Like that's a win, but like they're going to put up.

Rob Kelly :

Right. And that was definitely the mindset going in. Like we all said, Go before, this thing was so good that it would have been an absolute win if the Patriots stayed within 10...14 points of the same it would have given us that, that feeling that okay, we can hang with the big boys. They did more than that.

Joe Malkin :

You know, they had I'm looking at the Rams roster from 2001. And man. It's no wonder we lost him in week 10. I mean, but we gave him a run. Like we gave him a run. And the thing about that Rams team and we're gonna see it later on is how cocky this team gets. They had Mike Martz. I mean, he was one of the best coaches. I mean, you can really say he's one of the best coaches of all time. I mean, he's probably top 10 you look at Mike Martz. Look at how kaki this team was how confident they were they were I mean you're talking about a fast quick and those are two very different things fast quick offense that who is gonna stop them and Kurt Warner was such a big body but he was an arena league guy I mean that guy was bagging groceries before he signed with the St. Louis Rams and and he comes in there and he picks up this Mike Martz offense like it's nothing and he's got speed he's got slot receivers he's got deep guys he's got good tight ends and an offensive line that Drew Bledsoe would have killed for Oh my Yeah, you would have no i Ricky Ricky parole was one of my he was kind of the the first of that new age. I know the Steve Largent played for the Seattle Seahawks back in the day but rookie parole was like that, that slot guy that you know, the Edelman's in the in the Workers of the World kind of modeled themselves after after the season. I mean, this team, this team should have been unbeatable, that is They lose 2417 they stay within seven points of these guys in week 10. And granted, it dropped into five and five after the loss. But I mean, it didn't matter at that point. It really ever did. Oh, no, it didn't. And that's what we can say looking back on it like it really did. Like it really didn't. I mean, what happened over the next seven weeks, you know,

Michael Marcangelo :

this game for me why I wanted to nominate it as like the moment that I knew is because a couple of things take away from this right is that Kurt Warner and that offense were unstoppable. Right? So logic, you know, logic would dictate your goal as a as a as a defensive coordinator would be to attack Kurt Warner. They did that in this game, but they did not do it in the rematch and that's probably why they won. They went after martial phone in the Superbowl. Right. But in this game, we're still in 30 to 40 to 400 yards, three touchdowns. Two picks one Friday, I think what was returned by monkey Jones right. And like this game like it just for some reason, and I know we were we were fighting for But it never felt like it never felt out of hand. But we always felt like we were within within striking distance. And Brady again, had, like, I think he went like 19 of 26 or like under 200 yards, right? He didn't have a great performance, but I mean, the defense showed up. And, you know, when you lose only by seven to probably the greatest offensive team that we've seen up until that point, I think it just gave bill a lot to look out a lot of films for humans. Okay, well, we were this close. What was the one thing we should do different?

Joe Malkin :

And at this time when you're looking at the best offensive team, the Patriots were slowly becoming one of the best defensive teams in the league and Mike Martz even said that after this game with the Patriots were a Superbowl caliber team. Little did he know, but I mean, you look back and talk about week three against Indy. 44 to 13 sure they lose to Miami 3210 they beat San Diego and overtime 29-26 then they wollop the Colts again 3817. They lose, they lose by 11 to the Denver Broncos, but then they beat up on the Atlanta Falcons 24 to 10. They beat up on the Buffalo Bills 21 to 11. And then you lose by seven to the best offense in the NFL.

Rob Kelly :

And not only that, but Bill Belichick for the first time in the Rams since they became the show on turf had an actual game plan to slow that offense down. That's something that not many people before that had done it. You see it in the tape slants and in cuts, that's the game slant and income in in cuts, right, exactly. That that statement right there. set the tone for that team. And the rest of that season because the players say to from all the interviews, walking off that field, they knew that had something whether it was Brady, whether it was Bledsoe walking off that field, they knew that that team could compete at the highest level against the highest, the highest Competition the NFL had to offer

Joe Malkin :

well because we're also going to see with the rest of the season and we kind of saw it before that besides the Cincinnati Bengals and a week one and yeah, they had another loss to the Broncos in the dolphins but no one else in the AFC East at this point at this point in the season where they where they had come from and where they are now. Tom Brady is now firing on all cylinders. He is the starter there's no question. Right? Exactly in the AFC, nobody in the AFC East was going to stop them

Rob Kelly :

and that I believe it was after that game that Bledsoe was actually cleared to play. And Belichick made the most controversial decision. He put his career he put that team on the back of Tom Brady because he saw something all right. They may have lost that game but something

Rayshawn Buchanan :

remember the press conference, I get paid to make the best decisions for the football team T E A M ,Imagine team football team, you know, we're going to go with Tom and that's what Mr. Kraft faced him to do. So that's what we're going to do. But it was it was it was spot on because, um, now I was, you know, you're the news was going back and forth about it. You're like, you know, Brady, so now, I still wanted muscle to come back, you know, I mean, he's just saying that's where he's like, oh, like, you know, you shouldn't want to Brady like, no, like, I still thought like, his muscles on his on there. That way. blessedness sling it on now that a defense is again better. Drew Taylor's there, you took us there before take it take this home, which you know, we're going to get to that. But take us home. take us home Drew, you got this but like I said, they'll have the foresight to say you know what? The continuity is they're starting to grow and growing. I see somebody young guy, but let's see six of the problems like

Rob Kelly :

you weren't alone on that either. That was most that was most of New England man. Most of New England was on that boat that they wanted Bledsoe

Michael Marcangelo :

I also think like On that note, like this is why people that are patriots can happen. A sense Drew Bledsoe love him still so much because we saw the awful quarterback controversy that happened in Buffalo where Flutie got ousted. Right But Bledsoe could have made this really ugly. And instead he said, you know, obviously like I want to be out there, but I want to do whatever I need to do to make sure that our team wins.

Joe Malkin :

And why and you're right that's why we love him to this day like when Drew Bledsoe comes back to New England. I mean, yeah, sure mo Lewis might deserve a ring. But But Drew Bledsoe earned his 10 times over that season, because he took the back seat he had the big contract. I mean, we all know that he landed in Dallas afterwards, but he he did what he needed to do. And that was the biggest thing that an NFL player has ever done. especially in this day and age. Now with these guys, that is one of the biggest things because Mike you hit the nail on the head. He could have made it ugly. I job Why are you paying me if I'm just going to sit on the sidelines. And Bledsoe and Brady knew what they had together and they had a phenomenal relationship. And Tom Brady pays homage to Drew Bledsoe so many times in America's game but he also does it throughout his career. I mean, whenever drew comes back Tom goes out of his way to find Drew on the sideline. And and just and not a lot. You don't see quarterbacks do that anymore. I mean, we all know how Brett Farve treated Aaron Rodgers,

Michael Marcangelo :

how Brady treated Jimmy Garoppolo

Joe Malkin :

Brady treated Jimmy Garoppolo, so, you know, take take a note out of your own, you know, your own notebook there, Tommy. But, you know, it's just, it's amazing. It's amazing how it all went. And it just, it almost makes it even more perfect. Looking back on it how this is one of the best seasons and we're only halfway through talking about it.

Rayshawn Buchanan :

Right? And that's the thing that I'm and I'm be honest, if I was Drew, either flipping things all over that that locker room, I'm going off at bill. I'm going off at Rob, I'm going off to salary wise, whoever's in my way you're catching it. Like the competitor is like, yo, like, I'm the best guy for this job. I'm the guy that got cheated before and I can get you there again. Um, so it took a incredible amount of humble times.

Joe Malkin :

So it was it was a bigger man than you. Literally and figuratively, right? You're absolutely right. I take it all away.

Rayshawn Buchanan :

Oh my god, like what's so I mean, I said that so I mean, you know, thank you drew for being so humble. Cuz, you know, you know, you helped change the last game or franchise forever. So thank you drew. We can't say thank you enough. But yeah, yeah, definitely definitely in pink and man to me, I would have thought of one off

Michael Marcangelo :

completely before we move on, buddy. But they but one last thing I want to say is like about this because I think this I think after after we all said and done like, this is the moment that locker was split, it was 5050 it was It was raining. And it was and it was blood. So but so had the money, he had the stats, it was his job. And he and he did what was best for that team by not fighting, not complaining. And just saying I'll do whatever you need me to do to help get this guy ready. I still get chills even talking about it.

Joe Malkin :

Yeah, I know. I'm sorry. I know we're supposed to pick a game for this and I know we don't necessarily but but this but this category right here. You're absolutely freaking Right. I mean, to draw drew is cleared after this game, they lose by seven to the St. Louis Rams. At the time. We had no idea what any of this meant. None whatsoever. Like we got to stay in a time capsule. what was gonnahappen? So so but bill comes out and tells us what's going to happen. Done. And that's what we loved most about billing still. Well, now a lot of people hate most about Bill. But what I love most about Bill is not only does he make the decision, but he's a master motivator

Rob Kelly :

at the time. We didn't love bill for this decision, okay. At the time people thought he was out of his damn mind for picking Tom Brady. out of his mind,

Joe Malkin :

people wanted him to lose his job because they said well look at it. What are you doing Cleveland he's not an offensive guy. What does how does he know what he's talking about?

Rob Kelly :

What went on behind the scenes, though, is something that that none of us will ever know the conversations that he had with Bledsoe to get that man to put his ego behind him. And Coach Tom Brady like he did because without Drew Bledsoe probably without true Bledsoe. There is no 2001 season you see that report? Even in the preseason before before everything starts. You see Bledsoe and Brady together. What are your favorite routes? What do you like? You just want to throw the ball because you want to get on TV, especially especially the route that Brady said he liked for the record that's even more foreshadow for later. But that fade in the corner.

Michael Marcangelo :

Bledsoe also talks about it his 30-for-30 he said like, you know, bill came to me and said like, I'm gonna go I'm gonna go with Tom, I understand like it, it upsets you, but I think this is the best decision for football. And it just said, I think they'll expected me like to flip out. But I just looked and said, What do you need to do to get them keep them ready? Like, that's just the guy that he is

Joe Malkin :

Another reason why we exactly and another reason why we love when he leaves his winery in Walla Walla, Washington and comes to New England. Actually, I think he's in Montana now, but regardless, well, that's why we love him when he comes back. But you're absolutely right, Mike. And that's what gets me fired up because I know what Bobby is about to go into. And I'm looking at the schedule and the scores right now. And I'm just like, Can we just get to the next part of the season? Because, I think we've all decided that that Rams game is that moment is the moment where we were like, We can do this because not only do we have a kid that was figuring out how to play quarterback on the fly, but we had a coach that told you how it was gonna be. He didn't beat around the bush motivated his team and he got his multi million dollar quarterback to sit on the bench and teach a kid he basically had a glorified quarterback coach who could still who is still at the top of his game to help lead this team.

Rob Kelly :

Right so then from there right we have a great game against the Rams we stay in with the best team in the NFL. And then the Patriots just catch absolute fire from there right. So they beat the saints 34 to 17 absolutely dismantle them. Beat the Jets 17 to 16 now this is a point in the season where the Patriots do take the lead in the AFC East for the first time after this they do not look back that there were seven was 7-5 at that point. Then they play the Browns again dismantled then the Browns at this time were actually not a bad football team. They were okay they had a pretty good defense.

Joe Malkin :

Finished 9-7 that season

Rob Kelly :

right they weren't bad. So then they go ahead and they play the bills 12 to 9 was the beat them in overtime. Again dominating the AFC East like they do for years to come. They get revenge against the Dolphinsas And then I got the beat the Panthers, which was that rescheduled game from earlier in the season. Now, this is a late addition to one of those moments that I think deserves inclusion, because they didn't just beat the Carolina Panthers. They absolutely dismantle that team. Granted, that was really bad. Those are really bad Panthers team, but going into the playoffs in a game that really didn't matter for the Pats actually, at that point it did because they got to clinch home field advantage of that, but going into that game. They absolutely disman... 38 to six they beat the Panthers that day.

Joe Malkin :

Yeah, yeah. 38 to six and Matt Little was the quarterback and then had Chris Winky. It.

Rob Kelly :

Chris Wanky. he Heisman Trophy winner.

Michael Marcangelo :

Yeah, just remember that the Panthers started out, 1-0. And then they lost 15 games in a row.

Joe Malkin :

And this was also brand new when the NFL made sense. And the Patriots had a bye week in week 16.

Michael Marcangelo :

Yeah, who knows? What would have happened though if obviously, like, again, not 9/11. But like, let's say that that game is that we've scheduled they play Panthers week 2 it's Bledsoe, now the Panthers are to know that that could have changed that entire season too. Right. So it's absolutely changed ours. Yeah, I think everything it's so weird we have a bad day like we had because over the last couple days since we, you know, finalized this the show, I just watched the games. And it's like, man, if just one thing when definitely will just want an entire season. The whole thing falls apart.

Joe Malkin :

All started the beginning you right if they if those games don't get rescheduled, and they play the Panthers, we may not be having this conversation. Yeah. may not be a 2001 patriots Super Bowl there. I mean, you know, we'll get it right. There may not be anything. I mean, Drew Bledsoe could have still been the quarterback and Tom Brady could have been shipped off to San Francisco.

Michael Marcangelo :

Oh, Mo Louis wasn't on the Panthers. That's all I'm saying.

Rob Kelly :

So we go back to the end of the regular season the Patriots just go on a seven game winning streak. To go into the playoffs, they get a bye week. And the unthinkable happens. The Patriots get a playoff game at Foxboro Stadium and the last game ever of the stadium. Now, that definitely adds to the lore of this next game. And that is the tuck rule game. Everyone. Everyone remembers this game. It's a game that went down in NFL history change the fate of two franchises that couldn't have gone in opposite directions from them. And probably maybe the most controversial game besides maybe the Fail Maryy of the last 20 years in the NFL, would you guys agree with that? The ball

Joe Malkin :

loved every minute of it.

Michael Marcangelo :

I would say like the long term changes to the franchises but what happened because short term, the Raiders go on the next ship it's super bowl

Rayshawn Buchanan :

Rich Gannon was unreal. You know you still had older Jerry Rice Tim Brown Joey Porter.

Joe Malkin :

Shane Lechler the best punter in the history of the NFL.

Rayshawn Buchanan :

Yeah, Janokowski was still a really good kicker at that time. So it's like come on like Greg

Rob Kelly :

Drinking beers before the games.

Joe Malkin :

My Kinda Guy. I was just gonna say if if you don't know what we're talking about, we're talking about the the playoff game against this was the divisional round against the Oakland Raiders at Foxboro Stadium, which was incredible. I mean, it just everything about this game and I'll tell a couple stories on this one, but everything about this game was just amazing. From the moment he woke up that day. And you got you got ready for an 8pm game. With the NFC game before it was just this day was just matter. They win or lose. This day was awesome because it was the last game ever at Foxboro stadium and we didn't know what was gonna happen next.

Rob Kelly :

Thank God, by the way, but Mike, what are you gonna say? It was it was a dump.

Michael Marcangelo :

Like it's gonna think about when you think about it. Like, like this game for everybody, obviously like, we know what it did for the Patriots. But this this game altered the the, the trajectory for Jon Gruden. He's no longer here. I mean he's out, right. I mean, Raiders involved part after the next season. But for me it's like when you look at the when you just if you're on the Patriots sideline and you look across, and now you're playing a playoff game in January. And Jerry fucking rice is on the opposing sideline. That's enough to scare me. Like you are looking at a guy who who has won at all with Montana with Rice and now is on the verge of doing it again. And the game of almost got a hammer. I mean that that tongue roll hadn't not happened to the Patriots. I mean, I don't think Belichick would have know the amount of confidence that he did that it was it wasn't a fumble, right like there was so again if that doesn't happen in the Jets game week two Like, what are you talking about this in the divisional game. So I mean, we were in the category about like that the moment you knew, but like this this game, what it was nut cutting time for the Patriots, and they just stay, they never, ever stopped.

Rob Kelly :

Right. And that's and that's what what kind of stood out against the past patriots history that we had seen. Is that exactly that: they didn't stop, you know they were down on that game. That game. Even before that Tuck rule happened, the Patriots had already clawed back into that great game on the Brady rush, which is one of the best best pictures I've ever seen him spiking the ball into four feet of snow and not even being able to stand on his feet. He was so pumped. Going into that drive. You know that that was supposed to be Brady's moment. We were ready for it. And then all of a sudden, Charles Woodson takes a blitz off the right side. Hits Brady from behind. And let's be honest, guys, he fumbled the ball.

Joe Malkin :

By rule he didn't

Michael Marcangelo :

By rule he did not fumble, and Belichick and Brady instantly knew. That's like if you go back and watch American Game, they never even questioned that it was a fumble those to everyone else's like, Well what can happen the fans are

Rayshawn Buchanan :

going why Brady Brady? Brady was also about it. Um, I mean, I remember being devastated personally, but I was like, Oh my god, I can't believe but we got this close. Like we've had a magical year and just like that it could be it could be over, um, by me, you know, thankfully that happens or maybe maybe Bill. I'm the only person and I'm India would you call it a stadium that knew but I think Braves kind of 5050 I think and he said that in the documentary himself like it. I don't think it was so. So clear cut as we as we came to know it, but you know, thank God that it was you know, it was something that we you know that everyone in our favor and you know, and winning in mind that

Joe Malkin :

one one thing that Bill Belichick has always is known and probably longer than he was ever the coach of the New England Patriots is he knew the ins and outs of the rulebook from top to bottom. And as Mike mentioned, probably went to the official and said, "Wait a minute, what's happened to us This literally happened to us. And I'm not saying we need this to go our way. But what I'm saying is, whoever you're talking to, because this was really when reviewing plays, came to the forefront". This was kind of that, that this is when the NFL looked at it and said, Oh, shoot, maybe we should start looking at these things.

Rob Kelly :

And then at that point, wasn't that that was that was a ref review to Brady didn't belcheck didn't even challenge that. They even have the capability to challenge at that point, or was it just the refs at that point?

Joe Malkin :

I think it I think didn't the Patriots call a timeout? Yes. And Belichick went and asked for it. And I remember this being a long review. I mean, this took a long time. Time, but it was partially because Belichick was in the ear of the official the entire freakin time. So I mean it. He gets in the ear of the official he starts talking to him about rulebook and they go and look and you know, Bobby, we got to bring you back to 2001 and get you out of Dallas for a second. But that is that is that isa fumble, and I get why you would say right

Michael Marcangelo :

Although, it is now.

Rob Kelly :

That's what I meant, it is now.

Joe Malkin :

It is now because they've changed the rule. But in the 2001 season, the way the rule was written, it was not it's not a rule because he was pulling the ball down and giving himself up essentially so so that's basically what what the ruling was. So you go into this game, and you look at this and again, this is one of my favorite games of this entire season. And not because it was the last game but because of everything I remember from this day and it's just Mike's absolutely right when you look across that sideline and you see Jerry Rice, and you see Tim Brown, and you I mean, you're... that was a good team. I mean, you're talking about the Rams being a good team, the Patriots beat two really good teams this playoffs to get to the Super Bowl. I mean, and not only that, we're gonna get to the Pittsburgh game in a moment. But I mean, what a tale of two different weather patterns to this game and I always I got to share the story because it's one of my favorites. I got a few for the playoffs but this I was 13 at the time we were sitting in the parking lot I remember watching the Eagles play the the Packers in the NFC divisional round on this tiny little TV we had set up in the car, and I was with my father and my godfather and one of their friends and they all got up and went to the bathroom. And at the time they got up to go to the bathroom. I was sitting in a lawn chair with a blanket over me. No snow, they come back not 15 minutes later, I have two and a half inches of snow on me. That's how hard that's that day. And it was fluffy. It was cold. It was fluffy snow. And that day was brutal. And this was a night game, so it was just getting colder. And it snowed all night long

Rob Kelly :

from beginning to end, from beginning to end never stopped and we're

Joe Malkin :

And we're literally talking all day. And there's only been one other game that I've been to where it's been snowier than that game and that was against Miami in 2006. But this Raiders game. I mean, you're talking about the snow, the cold you get into the stadium, you see Jerry Rice, you see Tim Brown, you see as Rayshawn said, rich Gannon was one of the best quarterbacks in the league at the time, which is amazing to say now. And it's amazing because I look at it is it says game weather. 19 degrees heavy snow. Jesus.

Michael Marcangelo :

Yeah, the heaviest of snows

Joe Malkin :

Walt Coleman was the official he's still an official today. He's out there on his little scooter. Let's go back to the tuck rule and They call they call the tuck rule, which sets up a drive for Brady. He didn't have to get them fired because he was already in Oakland territory at the time. So they figure out what the heck's going on. Woodson's going nuts, I'll never forget Charles Woodson on the sidelines going. I'm like Gruden and his teammates had to hold him back. He was absolutely livid that this ball is given back to the Patriots and I, while it wasn't a fumble, I don't blame him. I don't blame him for the emotion. The day what was happening in the game the way it was going, and that really just it changed everything.

Rob Kelly :

Right and and you weren't you were there so you didn't hear a live but Geno's soundbite for that fumble is definitely one of the best sound bites in patriots history. How about about how Homer he is for that entire time. Everything that happens in that sequence will go down and patriots history "well All right, patriots keep the ball" nothing better. So they go down Vinateri kicks, at that moment, one of the best field goals. I can't even imagine what this must have been like live jog, so you definitely have to go into that. But that's one of the most impressive kicks I've ever seen in my entire life, 47, in the snow against the wind. 42? Still...

Joe Malkin :

cuz he had 2 40-plus yard field goals in that game. And you know, you're right. I mean, you sit there and you see them get the ball back. And now you're like, Alright, this can happen. And they come down fielding and they didn't have to go down far, but they call a timeout. The Patriots call the timeout before this, and the only reason they call the timeout. And of course during this season, all you can hear is all the old guys in the stands. Oh, it's 1982 all over again. They're gonna bring out the snowplow. They're gonna, they're gonna get the field ready for john smith, the Patriots are going to win the game. And that's exactly why they call the timeout and that was to get everybody. And then you saw Ty law you saw lawyer Malloy, guys that were not on the special teams. crew out there clearing snow off the natural surface at Foxboro stadium to give Ken Walter a perfect spot to put this ball down because Lee Johnson was no longer the punter.

Rob Kelly :

I wonder why.

Joe Malkin :

It's funny. Vinateri kicks the game winning field goal and Bill's like, oh, you're good Lee Johnson, you're out of here. But they gave him the best patch of grass that they could find in Foxborough to, to allow Adam Vinateri to kick this game time field goal. And it was literally magical. And actually, the game winner was not 40 plus yards, it was 23 but the game winner was short. Yeah, the game was short. But this one was 45 yards with 27 seconds left. And I mean, it just it changes in Overtime because I'm reading the recap and I'm remembering it as it happens, but the one in overtime. It wasn't as many people clearing snow off. I wonder it got a little light. It was just Walter and Vinateri. I think at that point, everybody was like you got to do.

Michael Marcangelo :

Yeah, he just kicked it a mile into a blizzard. And did it it did successfully. And like that kick, I think, aside from you know, the next big kick that we're gonna talk about, I think this one is the greatest kick that I've ever seen, because we have not seen anything like that before in New England. The everything in terms of the weather was stacked against him. I mean, there's no plausible explanation as to why he made that cake. And I never saw the ball come down. I mean, he just went...

Joe Malkin :

he couldn't see the ball come down

Michael Marcangelo :

they just went straight. And then that sets up for overtime where like, I think Brady's binky was Wiggins. That entire game check down to Jermaine Wiggins, check down to Wiggy.

Joe Malkin :

Jermaine Wiggins will tell you that

Rob Kelly :

Yep, yeah, for sure. And that he's he's definitely one of my biggest nominations which we'll get to at the end of talk about everything for that unsung hero. cuz Jermaine Wiggins came up huge time and time again in this playoff run and this game was no shortage definitely right there. Now they win that game. In like Joe like we all said, most impressive kick we've ever seen in entire life. I still can't imagine what it was like to see in person. Because seeing it on TV was absolutely surreal to see that ball, not even soaring it was it was an absolute bowl. It was him cutting cutting through the snow.

Joe Malkin :

That was the thing about about Vinateri, you have to understand who Adam Vinatieri. And if you if you ever get the chance whether you're listening to this or one of the five of us, go and listen to Pat McAfee talk about what his time was like in Indianapolis. When he got drafted. His second phone call was from Adam Vinatieri and Adam Vinatieri set him to holder school basically sent him to hold her school to learn how to hold the ball properly for field goals. And guess who the the camp was run by?

Michael Marcangelo :

Walter?

Joe Malkin :

Ken Walter, Ken Walter ran the camp because Ken Walter told Pat McAfee, like, you've seen what this guy has done in his career. And if you're not perfect, it's your fault. He'll Miss kicks, he will miss kicks. But if you don't hold it perfectly, that's gonna be on you. So, you know, and that's Adam Vinatieri was even back then. Adam Vinatieri will give Ken Walters so much credit for everything he did during his career, and rightfully so because Kevin Walter, I loved Kevin Walter myself, but yeah, you're absolutely right, Bobby, I mean, the game winning field goal against the Raiders. It's not as impressive as the 45 yarder in the middle of a blizzard into the wind. I mean, it's really not but I mean, man, this game. This game is where I personally knew like if you you Watch the Rams game in week 10. This win right here that 23 yard field goal went through. And my 13 year old mind said, this team can't be stopped.

Michael Marcangelo :

Yeah, I mean, I think like that the overtime kick, obviously, like, quote unquote, meant more. But it really did it. If you really think about it, I don't think that your brain would think with like your heart and your gut. That time can't that 45 or 47 yard bomb, the minute that he kicked it, you knew it went through and you knew that there's nothing that anything that the Raiders would do in that game that was gonna beat them when it was over. It's killed them, it defeated them instantly.

Rob Kelly :

in this game is exactly one of the reasons why this podcast exists. You think about the game. There's there's so many memories, there's so many feelings. There's so many things that go into this game, and it's exactly why we created this memories like Joe Andruzi making a snow angel in the snow after they went missing. Game Tom Brady falling face first into the snow, the talk, you know the Raiders being absolutely dejected on the sideline. There's so many feelings and emotions that made this game. Just to this day. There hasn't been a game to me personally, I mean granted would be a Cowboys fan. I you know, I haven't had emotions like this at a football game in a very long time. That's exactly why this was created for games just like this because that game was so awesome. It's something that I'm talking about. Once just wasn't enough like, that was my favorite part about doing all this research. Everything we did was rewatching that football game because it was snow football. And it was one of the best football games I've ever seen in my life.

Michael Marcangelo :

Also, if there was one stadium that did not deserve such that was Foxboro Stadium

Joe Malkin :

Worst Stadium in the league, worst Stadium in the country,

Rob Kelly :

and they tapped it in a fell down they're just like *BINK* and it fell down

Joe Malkin :

Bobby. Go back to what you just said about about the Patriots in this game being the best in history. I mean, we think about what we've seen in the last 20 years. We see what we've seen most recently, and this game is why so many games in the last 20 years have meant so much, because there's never been anything like this. I've never felt emotion about another Super Bowl. Well, 2007 but we won't talk about

Rob Kelly :

two different emotions

Joe Malkin :

isn't different emotion. That's a show. It is a different show. It's elation. It's it is absolutely, of course, have holy crap. They literally can Do this. They just they've done the unthinkable at this point what nobody thought they could do. They've turned around a 5-11 season, they've won a playoff game at home in the snow against a great coach and a great team. And there's, I know we've had some great moments since then. I know we've had the best comeback in Super Bowl history. I know we've won five more after this. But getting back in the capsule and going back. I've never felt emotion about the games. We're about to get to these last two games of the 2001 season. I've never felt these emotions about any other game. Any other Super Bowl the Patriots have won. Let me put it this way. I've never felt so strongly than this one. I go,

Rob Kelly :

God I can hear a bad I can literally hear in your voice right now. And I completely agree with you in that first feeling of Boston triumphant almost because up until this point We had no nothing but failure, which kind of is what makes what makes this game so special because it was that first moment in Boston history. We're like, holy shit. This actually just happened to us. Like we actually caught a break. We actually got that call, we actually hit that game winning fuel instead of something awful happening at the last second that makes us fall to our knees and cry. It was actually a happy, memorable Boston sports moment, which is what makes it go down in history.

Joe Malkin :

This launches so much in this this this season launch is so much for the four major sports teams in Boston. Rayshawn, youre ready to bust over there.

Rayshawn Buchanan :

Right So yeah, so I mean, I was obviously I'm in I'm in my house doing the same snow angel so I'm on my game. Yeah, getting getting rug burns in my mother's house. She's like, what are you doing?

Joe Malkin :

I have to correct Bob. Right? I got to correct Bob it was Lonnie Paxton

Rayshawn Buchanan :

it was only Pax Lottie Paxton That's right. Yeah, good. He did it for both but yeah. I'm like, get off my frog whatever they really wanted like I wanted, but then like, like a day later reality hit it was like oh, we were faced with Pittsburgh that is you know, my non my non favorite other than our favorite pizza player kordell Stewart's aka slash you know um you know, you know Amazon where Jason golden I don't know what your report was on it yet but, um, they they have they have some guys that I'm like man like, you know, for my mom told me about the stills of the time that she that she was a kid in the 70s the Steelers work or football, you know? It's just like, you know, she was talking about me Jones Green and healthy Greenwood and Swan and when I say john doe john Terry Bradshaw, a 2012 hair. Yeah, yeah, well, yeah, yeah. Yeah, the original one. Yeah. And, um, so I was like, man, my, well, how are we going to beat these guys? Um, you know, so but you know, thankfully we did. So we'll get into that

Michael Marcangelo :

no. I just have one thing because I think we talked about like, we've also like this, when was the when that like, is the most important one for all of us over the next 20 years of the Patriots. And I think the reason that it is is because every game after this, because of this game, we had the belief that we could win. Even if the odds were stacked even if it was the worst, whether you're going to get a perennial Hall of Famers, it did not matter. The Patriots can win or they didn't. That's when like we were all doing all that they choke this game. It's because of this. It's because of the snowball that we all have that

Joe Malkin :

which is also amazing because the next game we're about to talk about was sunny and 50 degrees in the middle of January in Pittsburgh,

Rob Kelly :

right which is which which we just right in so with the Steelers that team ratio and to go back so this was their lineup this this was a phenomenal Steelers football team. starting quarterback kordell Stewart, Bill Cower, coach, running back: Jerome Bettis their two wide receivers, Plaxico Burress and Hines Ward. Plaxico Burress was a 23 year old, athletic freak wide receiver, so he wasn't just a possession/end zone guy he was when it got to 2007 this was the athletic and then the defense. The defense ratio on your right Joey Porter was there. Casey Hampton, Earl Holmes, Chad Scott kentrell Bell, Dwayne Washington, we flowers, this team was stack so stack so stack the day knew they were going to the Super Bowl. So much so that the entire team, family coaches, everyone involved in that organization, pack their bags.

Joe Malkin :

they made hotel reservations, they had everything ready.

Rob Kelly :

And, and and Bill Belichick because the genius he is use this to his advantage like he would do again. This is something we've stated, right? Something we've stated so many times in this podcast, something that has happened so many times over the course of his dynasty. It's funny when you look back on it, and you see all those things that he did in that first season that they won the Super Bowl that he continues to do, and he is always done, which is what has made him that coach and that's us. people's confidence and cockiness against them.

Michael Marcangelo :

after like the hardest week of preparation for a team that Bill Belichick those that could have possibly put on his own players for another team. He started off the Saturday meeting. I'm pretty sure it was the beginning or end of it. Just let you know The Pittsburgh Steelers players are going to be planning to go to this hotel, their family and all their friends will be flying in on this day. So just just thought you guys should know that. If I was a player, I would have been livid.

Joe Malkin :

Yeah, and that's what's the best about this is that, you know, I I'm a big fan of Jon Gruden. I'm a big fan of Bill cower. I'm a big fan of Mike Martz. I mean, not only did we run through three of the best teams with players speaking like play a player, personnel wise, these are three of the best coaches in dudes, like we're talking about some dumb coach, I had another word but I'm gonna leave it alone. Come on, we're talking. We're talking about three of the best coaches in the NFL at the time. And and none of them none of them counted the Patriots in I mean, Oakland. Oakland probably had, you know, their ticket punch to Pittsburgh because the Patriots were the 2 seed the Steelers were the ones seed they probably had their their tickets punched to go to Pittsburgh. They were ready to go. But guess what? Now the Patriots, as Mike just said, the Patriots are telling everybody that the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to New Orleans for the Superbowl.

Rob Kelly :

Right. Right. And and that game wasn't that close. To be honest, they beat the Steelers pretty handily. You know what I mean? There was a couple moments in there, which we'll get to in a second. But but they, they they beat them pretty good. And they handled a lot of adversity in that situation, too. Which brings me right to my next point, which Tom Brady in this game, I believe it was second quarter goes down with the ankle sprain. All of a sudden, guess who's coming in.

Joe Malkin :

All of a sudden we think it's all over

Rob Kelly :

Like it's a storybook.

Michael Marcangelo :

Remember when I was at my aunt's house, watching the television, I remember the way that Brady fell and he was laying with his leg. And it was it was played and I was like, oh my like, oh my god this cannot be happening.

Rob Kelly :

But it wasn't it can't be happening it was, of course, this is happening. of course this is happening after, after that Oakland game after what we saw after how we felt that that triumphant feeling that we finally got all of a sudden we were being punched right in the gut again, and we were gonna be losers. Boston was gonna be at the bottom on the front page of the sports page again, saying patriots blew it. But guess what?

Michael Marcangelo :

Drew Bledsoe

Joe Malkin :

Forget Super Cam it's Super Drew

Rob Kelly :

right and that's not what happened. All right, Drew Bledsoe comes off the bench. And Joe I'm sure you have the stats up in front of you. But he he lights up the Steelers in that second half and he throws in what goes down and patriots history as one of the best Pharaoh passes I have ever seen in my entire life that that pass the patent was on. There was no one else that could have caught that pass. He put it in the only spot that he could have. And that's what won them that game and it may Bledsoe actually get his storybook portion of the season.

Michael Marcangelo :

However, before that, Bledsoe starts scrambling to his right. He runs to the sideline and gets wholloped in a Mo Lewis Jr. type hit. And every patriot fan out there was like gasping and what does Bledsoe do? he jumps up slaps guys on the shoulder pads and

Joe Malkin :

LETS GO

Michael Marcangelo :

that's the look. Like he's not like he's not playing.

Rayshawn Buchanan :

Right. Exactly. And that's I mean, I was I remember YA DREW LETS GO DREW but the play I was at my grandma's played the play did I remember The most really wasn't it That wasn't a touchdown.

Rob Kelly :

Troy brown punt return

Rayshawn Buchanan :

when he hit right up the middle, right up right up the middle. We're going to New Orleans, it's over. Like, I was like, yo, because I mean, yeah, I was like, wow. When he scored I was Oh, yeah, that's that's it.

Rob Kelly :

Before you go, Joe I that again it attests to how good that coaching staff was because coming into that game, they knew the soft spot of that Steelers special team was straight up the middle. Yeah, they knew if Troy Brown got five steps, and the blocks got set up the middle of that punt, punt return defense. It was all over. He was gone. And here was

Joe Malkin :

this was the next moment where not only did I know we were going to the Super Bowl. Sorry, isn't on my mic over. I knew I was going to the Superbowl. So we my father actually had tickets for the 96 Super Bowl. against the Packers. I was 8....7....8 years old at the time. And he was like, wow, we can't do this. We sold them. So I told him I said in 2001 I remember leaving the Raiders game. I said, Dad, if we win this lottery again, man, we gotta go. Like, we gotta go. And he said, Yes, right there. And then then there is no question. And I was like, hell yeah. And that kick. He walked up behind me. Troy brown runs into the end zone. I remember like it was yesterday, walks right up to me, puts his hand on my left shoulder and says, we're going to New Orleans, not the Patriots. US and I was like, hell yeah. Like I'm a 13 year old kid about football. Like win or lose. This is gonna be freaking awesome. Like, I can see my team play in the Superdome in the Superbowl.

Rob Kelly :

Dude, that's that's that that's an unreal feeling that I can't even imagine like, I'm sure you about to say the same exact thing.

Michael Marcangelo :

Yeah, as I say I can't even I couldn't even begin to imagine the would have been going through my head if that was if that were the case. But I also has there ever been a player in NFL history? That was better at punt returning despite running straight and Troy Brown because he wasn't he east to west he was north south and he was just going and I always love that about him. That's special to like the the show special teams unit harder, like the red frickin seat but they just didn't, they didn't know what to do. And all they did was run straight.

Joe Malkin :

And I mean, he was another selfless guy. And we learned this throughout the rest of his career, that he didn't care what he did. I mean, we saw Troy Brown, punt return kick return wide receiver defensive back linebacker safety, like this dude played in it. He played quarterback at one point for a player to like that the guy was just actually in it. That's right. Yeah. Nobody, nobody questioned him because he was just a selfless person, New England patriot like he was Mr. Patriot,

Rob Kelly :

but he was at first he was First there's Mr. patriot there is a few Mr. patriots that came down the line I can't think of any off the top of my head again once 2003 hit patriot his knowledge is out the door but he was that first Mr. patriot that do it all what do you need me to do bill I'll go do it

Michael Marcangelo :

I would just argue I don't really want to argue on the show but for me mister Patriot is still Bledsoe because of Troy Brown is that there's someone else that's a that's a younger kid he's not as good he's unproven we're gonna split it up go with him so that you I don't think it's the same result and that's not a slight on Troy Brown's for his chest. I think I think what's so is Mr. Patriot.

Rob Kelly :

This concludes part one of the two part premiere of this new england championship. rewrap. Join us all next week for the conclusion. As we go into some of the memories, shed a few tears and experience something we all thought was impossible, a speechless moment from Joe Malkin, all that and more as we wrap up the most memorable season and maybe the most simple important game in Boston sports history. Super Bowl 36. If you enjoyed today's show, be sure to subscribe rate and leave a comment. Give us a follow on social media. All the links to our pages will be in the show notes below. For the rest of the Sunday night sports wrap crew. I'm the real BK Bob Kelly. We'll see you next week.