What Happens Now?

by on December 28th, 2010
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For the second time in four years, the New England Patriots have lost the Super Bowl – and for the second time in four years, both the players and the fans are left broken hearted, with only the memory of a valiant effort to help minimize the sting of a very painful loss.

So naturally, it begs the question: What do we do now?

When the Patriots lost to the Giants in 2007, it left New England with the stigma of being the only undefeated team in the Super Bowl era not to win the Super Bowl. Such a bitter distinction might have caused lesser teams to falter and wither away, becoming only a shell of their former brilliance, experiencing only periodic glimpses of the champions they once were.

Yet, New England battled back. Coach Belichick went about rebuilding the team in almost every area, and Tom Brady overcame a possible career ending knee injury to become the MVP for the second time, not to mention coming within a play or two of earning his 4th Super Bowl ring.

And so, here we are – coaches, players, and fans alike, a whole community left with the same bitter taste, faced with the unpleasant prospect of a long off season and an uncertain future.

So – what do we do now?

There are a lot of differences between this team and the ’07 team. For one thing, the ’07 roster still had players who played on the last Super Bowl winning team in 2004, players like Tedi Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, and Asante Samuel. This year’s team is younger, and for the most part does not have to live with the memory of having lost two Super Bowls in so heart-breaking a fashion.

All expect one key player – Tom Brady. The image of him sitting by his locker with a towel draped over his head after once again coming up just short of a 4th title can wreak havoc on an imagination trying to visualize what thoughts might be passing through the mind of one of the greatest quarterbacks in history. Have I lost what it takes? Is my career over? Can I come back and do it all again?

Tom, if you’re reading this, the answers are ‘no,’ ‘no,’ and a most resounding ‘yes.’

How he rebounds from this will largely determine what will happen next year, but I have to believe that he will return with the same competitive fire and desire to win. With that intact, along with a wealth of draft picks at the team’s disposal and an entire offseason for Coach B and his staff to come up with a plan – well, let’s just say that, from my perspective, the future’s not all that bleak.

So what do we do now? Simple – painful, but simple. You let it hurt for a while. Then you lick your wounds, get up, dust yourself off, and get right back in the fight.

Trust me, ladies and gentlemen – we’ll be back.

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