(Copyright 2002. The Tattoo. All rights reserved.)

Making a permanent impression since 1994

February 11, 2002

-- Sports Column --

Super Bowl win no shock to Patriots

By T.J. O'Connor

As New England fans sat and watched the final minute of the Super Bowl on the edges of their seats, their hearts pounded.

Coach Bill Belichick’s decision to let Tom Brady try to score from all the way down at New England's 17 yard line with 1:30 to go in the game was so daring that Fox Sports announcer John Madden, an expert of the game, told fans he disagreed with it.

The coach’s move was risky. It was dangerous. But it was what the Patriots had done all year.

Belichick handed the ball to Brady and let the second-year quarterback drive the Patriot offense down the field and into field goal range.

When Adam Vinatieri stepped out onto the field to attempt the game winning 48-yard field goal, Patriot fans knew that Boston was going to be partying.

Throughout the season Vinatieri had made crucial kicks, including two field goals in the  playoffs against Pittsburgh . It was only fitting that he was the one to win the Super Bowl for the team.

New England made history when it pulled off the second biggest upset ever in the Super Bowl. Most critics had picked the Rams to clobber the Patriots.

"No one gave us a chance, but we put it on them," New England cornerback Ty Law told Fox Sports after the game.

Patriot fans finally got to celebrate after many disappointing seasons.

"The fans of New England have been waiting 42 years for this day," Patriots owner Robert Kraft told reporters.

Although the win was a surprise to everyone else, it was not a surprise to the Patriots. The whole team went into the game expecting to win.

The Patriots knew that they had a great group of football players who were capable of winning the Super Bowl.

The Patriots finished their dream season with a storybook ending -- with Vinatieri's winning kick seen 'round the world.

"We shocked the world," Vinatieri told reporters. "We didn't shock ourselves."  

Read more of T.J. O'Connor's On the ball


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