Let me start by saying that I’m not a crazy fan – I can’t quote stats, yardage, or rankings. I couldn’t care less about free agents and the draft. Rarely will I watch an entire game – and certainly not when my team is not playing. I won’t watch back to back games, and I don’t follow high school or college teams. There is really only one team that I care to follow, and it just so happens that they get to play in a lot of games. (honestly, I find it hard to watch when they are not playing)
The Call to Adventure with a Definite Major Purpose. We had the privilege to witness a Hero’s Journey unfold last weekend. You may or may not be a football fan. And depending on which side you were rooting for, you may have had a different feeling on Monday morning after the Super bowl. But you cannot dispute that we watched in an amazing story in real-time. From the lowest of lows, to the highest of highs, we saw a team – that by all odds was favored to win the Superbowl – be out run, out caught, out tackled, out scored, intercepted and thrown on their butts for 42 minutes on the biggest stage in the world.
Accepting the Call: One thing you have to say for the Patriots is that they set their intentions clearly. There is no other possible outcome for them other than a Championship. And not just any championship. A singular accomplishment that no other team had ever achieved. 5 time champions over the course of 16 years. A legacy. A record. An indisputable fact. A clear vision and a leader with a unshakable belief.
Entering the Unknown: Against all Odds with a Positive Mental Attitude. This game was not a cake-walk. The Falcons were a tough, smart, fast team with supreme confidence and a record to back it. They dominated the game from the moment it started. They let the Patriots know immediately that they meant business and did not come to play around. They scored, and scored, and scored, and scored again. They ran circles around the Pats, almost making them look like big, slow giants stuck in molasses.
Coming back from a 28-3 score after nearly 75% of the game had been played was by all measures an impossible task. How often have we found the need to screw our own courage to the wall and keep moving forward when nearly 3/4 of our intentions have been failure? They didn’t get rattled. They didn’t panic. They didn’t change their game plan. They just stayed the course and took the game one play at a time.
SuperNatural Aid – a 12th Man (and Woman) on the field –
We all need a cheering section. And the Pats fans are wild about their team. I would argue that every team at that level has fans that are
passionate and help to lift the energy of their team.
For Tom, it was not just the team or the fans, it was his Mom who has been his biggest fan – and has been battling a significant illness this year. And his Dad, who is his hero that he thinks about every day. There is such an air of humility when he speaks about the depth of love and respect that he has for his family and the special bond that they share.
There is no doubt that this team was tested through a supreme ordeal. And all they needed was a toehold, one moment when the momentum and the fate of the game changed. Was that moment the Donte Hightower’s strip sack on the Falcons’ Quarterback? Was it Julian Edelman’s remarkable catch? Was is Danny Amendola breaking the plane of the end zone to score 2 points? Was it James White’s amazing 14 receptions and 3 touchdowns? (see, aren’t you impressed with my stats? lol) Or was it because of Brady’s belief that they all believed? Together they created a synergy that lifted the team to something beyond comprehension that this Patriots fan will never forget.