January 20, 2013

Remembrances of things Pats

Thanks in part to the diabolical genius at the helm, some of the NFL team's youngest fans just expect New England to make the playoffs every year, while older enthusiasts still recall those lean times – before Coach Belichick.

By Edward D. Murphy emurphy@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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The Clement family of South Portland – 17-year-old Bert and his parents, Cathy and Bill – gets suited up for a big day of championship football. Father and son are both New England fans, but Bill remembers the team’s lean years and Bert does not. The Patriots play the Baltimore Ravens tonight for a chance to appear in their sixth Super Bowl since 2001.

Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

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Bert Clement, 17, and his parents, Cathy and Bill Clement of South Portland, love their football and will have plenty to root for in Sunday’s games, as the San Francisco 49ers take on the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship and the Baltimore Ravens visit the New England Patriots in the AFC title matchup.

Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

PATRIOTS IN THE BIG GAME

It's no wonder young fans of the New England Patriots expect the team to make the playoffs each year, since they've gone all the way to the Super Bowl five times in the last 12 years. Here's a look at the team's history in the NFL's big game: 

1985: Super Bowl XX Lost to the Chicago Bears, 46-10

1996: Super Bowl XXXI Lost to the Green Bay Packers, 35-21

2001: Super Bowl XXXVI Beat the St. Louis Rams, 20-17

2003: Super Bowl XXXVIII Beat the Carolina Panthers, 32-29

2004: Super Bowl XXXIX Beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-21

2007: Super Bowl XLII Lost to the New York Giants, 17-14

2011: Super Bowl XLVI Lost to the New York Giants, 21-17

King, who said his job is "awkward," considering he's also a fan of the Major League Baseball powerhouse New York Yankees, said Patriots stuff sells well, but mostly when they make an appearance in the Super Bowl, which they have done five times since 2001, winning three of those.

Sometimes, framed pictures of players with conference championship T-shirts will be rushed to the kiosk, but a lot of fans wait until the Super Bowl to decide whether to put up another picture of the champions.

Clement said younger fans like his son are spoiled and don't remember what it's like to endure a playoff drought lasting longer than a year.

"You're almost expecting it now," he said of the team's regular appearances in the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl. "That's what the younger generation is figuring is going to happen. It's automatic for them."

Those younger fans might think the good times will last forever, but those with a little more experience expect that the champion Patriots, like any other high-flying team, will eventually fall back to earth.

"I think they would lose a lot of fans if they stopped playing well all of sudden," Maguire said. "How long until Brady retires?"

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

emurphy@pressherald.com

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Additional Photos

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PATRIOTS PAST: Quarterback Steve Grogan, left, gets a pointer from Coach Chuck Fairbanks at Schaefer Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., in December 1976.

File photo/The Associated Press

Bill Belichick, Tom Brady
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PATRIOTS PRESENT: Quarterback Tom Brady confers with Coach Bill Belichick before last week’s AFC divisional playoff game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium.

File photo/The Associated Press

 


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