Why it’s glorious to be a Patriots fan

Since 1993, the New England Patriots have had two starting quarterbacks: Perennial Pro Bowler Drew Bledsoe and future Hall of Famer Tom Brady.

There was a season when backup quarterback Matt Cassel was forced to play when Tom Brady was injured, but there was no question that Brady would be the starting quarterback once he was healthy.


For 21 years, or the majority of my adult life, this franchise has been in the capable hands of just two quarterbacks.

By comparison the Cleveland Browns have had 18 starting quarterbacks since 1993, and that includes three years when they weren’t even a team. The Washington Redskins have had three starting quarterbacks this season.

In that same 21 year period of time, the Patriots have had just three head coaches: Future Hall of Fame inductees Pete Carroll, Bill Parcells, and Bill Belichick.

By comparison, the Cleveland Browns have had nine head coaches in that same period of time, beginning with Bill Belichick. The Raiders have had an even dozen.

Parcells took the Patriots to the playoffs during every year of his tenure with the team, including a Super Bowl in 1996, where they lost to the Green Bay Packers.


I put a shoe through my friend’s living room wall that night.

Carroll was the least successful of the three coaches, but still, he won the AFC East in his first year as head coach and took the team to the playoffs in two of his three seasons. Carroll has gone on to win a Super Bowl and a national championship at the college level.


Under Belichick, the Patriots have gone to five Super Bowls, winning three and coming damn close on two others. The Patriots have been to the playoffs in 12 of his 14 seasons, missing during his first year as head coach and in 2008 when Tom Brady missed all but one game due to injury. Still, the team went 11-5 that year.  


The leadership and stability of the New England Patriots has been astounding. It’s no wonder that since 1993, they have the most wins of any NFL franchise. They have also been to the playoffs more often than any other team, made it to more Super Bowls than any other team, and won more championships than any other team.

It’s been a good 20 years. I’ve rarely missed a game and have spent many afternoons and evening in the stadium, watching them from the nosebleeds.

It’s good to be a Patriots fan.

My 1992-1994 culture gap: Two years without television, movies, or music

If you haven’t heard, Twin Peaks is returning to television. For me, it will be my first chance to watch the show. Though I was alive and well when the show first aired, I didn’t watch it because it fell between the years of 1992-1994.


My lost years. My cultural blind spot.

I’ve had many tough times in my life, but the period from 1992 through 1994 were probably my toughest. I was homeless for a period of about four months. This was followed by 18 months spent living in the home of Jehovah Witnesses, working two full time jobs – 18 hours a day, six days a week – in order to pay for my legal defense in a trial for a crime I did not commit. I was also the victim of an armed robbery during this time, which resulted years of post traumatic stress disorder. 

As a result, for more two years, I watched no television, saw almost no movies, and listened to very little new music.

For at least two years, I was completely detached from popular culture.

The television, film, and music that I missed during that time was vast, but certain things are more prominent than others. Some cultural touchstones and ubiquitous references pop up more than others.

Things that I missed during that time are and have almost no knowledge of as a result of this culture gap include:

  • Twin Peaks
  • Northern Exposure (which I thought was the subtitle to Twin Peaks)
  • Wings
  • Saved by the Bell
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
  • The State
  • Boy Meets World (though I doubt I would’ve watched this show anyway)
  • Whoomp! (There It Is) and Whoot There It Is (and the fact that both songs were released and played on the radio at the same time)
  • Reality Bites
  • Glengarry Glen Ross

Some things, like NYPD Blue and The X Files debuted in these years but lasted long enough for me to catch up years later in syndication.

And I eventually watched many of the popular films released in those years and listened to the most popular songs, but when you don’t catch these things in their moment of greatest cultural relevance, they often fall a little flat.

Stupid nostalgia

Call my mom? It’s 1993. Do you want me to use your landline, since there are no mobile phones?

Besides, your pretentiously nostalgic coffee shop is also littered with dirty ashtrays and blurred in a haze of cigarette smoke, since smoking in public establishments is still legal in 1993.

And you’re probably playing The Spin Doctors and the soundtrack from The Bodyguard.

I’m not going in there.