Wednesday, July 15, 2020

NFL’s Greatest Moments: Excluding the Patriots is a disservice to football

To mark the NFL’s 100th season, the organisation is asking fans to vote for the NFL’s greatest moments.

Of that 100-year season, the New England Patriots have been one of the most dominant teams in the league for 20 of those years.

They have won six Super Bowls, which ties them for the most by any franchise in history and those have all come since 2001.

On top of that, every single Super Bowl win came down to the final play of the game.

Yep. There have been some truly incredible moments produced by New England in the NFL’s recent history.

Malcolm Butler’s goal-line interception which sealed the win in Super Bowl 49, Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning kick which launched a dynasty in Super Bowl 36, Julian Edelman’s phenomenal catch which kept hope alive in Super Bowl 51.

All incredible moments. And that’s only looking at their Super Bowl victories.

Go further and look at other games and there are scores of phenomenal moments from the Patriot’s film vault.

NFL’s Greatest Moments has to include Pats comeback

NFL's Greatest moments
Tom Brady of the New England Patriots calls for a two-point try in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. The Patriots converted that attempt to send the game into overtime.

Yet, according to NFL fans, nothing the Patriots have done over the past two decades warrants inclusion on a list of greatest moments in NFL history. Go figure.

Let’s give this list some context shall we? Firstly, you might think it’s odd that of the 16 moments that have made it to the second round of voting, there are 16 teams represented.

That’s because the NFL only allowed one moment from each team to be submitted for this “competition” which originally included all 32 franchises.

New England’s chosen moment? The record-breaking 28-3 comeback and eventual victory in Super Bow 51.

The biggest comeback in Super Bowl history didn’t make it to the final 16 because obviously it wasn’t spectacular and exciting football.

What is included is some of Pats Nation’s most painful moments in NFL history, showing that the haters are still going strong and voting in numbers.

David Tyree’s helmet catch in Super Bowl 42 and the Philly Special in Super Bowl 52 are currently ranked two and eight respectively.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a great idea to celebrate the league’s history and some entries are truly worthy of such an honour as to be included on a list of the NFL’s Greatest Moments.

The front-runner for the top spot is currently the Immaculate Reception – when Steelers fullback Franco Harris scooped up a deflected ball and ran for a game-winning touchdown in 1972. Obviously a worthy contender.

The Miami Dolphin’s perfect season is a phenomenal achievement and an iconic moment in the league’s history which will likely never be repeated.

But come on. Fitz to the Post? A 64-yard pass to Larry Fitzgerald to simply take the lead in Super Bowl 43?

Someone please explain to me how this is a greater moment than any of the Patriots’ championship-winning plays in their six Super Bowl victories?

To produce a list of greatness which excludes the most dominant franchise in the league’s history is to do a severe disservice to the sport.

Love them or hate them, you cannot deny that they have helped shape the game over the past two decades, setting the standard of greatness for others to aspire to.

The NFL’s Greatest Moments concept is flawed and should be treated as such by any and every fan who respects football and celebrates the greatest players and teams from the past century.

Signed a bitter Patriots fan.

Other fans weren’t happy with the exclusion either:

The winners will be announced on Super Bowl Sunday.

For more like this, you can visit our NFL section here. Also, follow us on Facebook for coverage of the NFL and much more.

Katie Feehan
Born in Yorkshire, Katie is a freelance journalist currently based in York. As a keen sports writer, Katie has a diploma in Multimedia Journalism from the Press Association and has worked on the busy Newcastle Chronicle sports desk. She has also written for Gateshead FC and contributed to various websites including HITC and Give Me Sport.

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