My favorite sports memory has to be going to the “We’re on to Cincinnati” game vs. the undefeated, at the time, Bengals in 2014.This was my first game at Gillette Stadium. I had been to a bunch at the old Foxboro Stadium but never at the new digs. The Pats, as we all remember, had been humiliated on Monday Night Football in Kansas City the week prior, and all week the talking heads on ESPN & Fox, etc. all speculated that this was the end of the Patriots dynasty. They speculated that maybe head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady had lost their touch. They even suggested Brady should be replaced as the quarterback. At his Wednesday press conference following the loss to the Chiefs, Belichick, in his usual gruff demeanor, dismissed all concerns with the phrase, “We’re on to Cincinnati.” I always admired how Coach Belichick never gave the media anything. He was not going to dwell on this loss. He and the rest of the team were only looking forward. It was exactly what needed to be said.
Well, the Patriots came out firing on all cylinders and completely trounced the Bengals. It wasn’t even close. The crowd was chanting “Brady! Brady! Brady!” most of the game letting No. 12 know that, despite what the national media might think, Pats Nation had his back. Tom Brady even passed 50,000 career passing yards in this game. That win righted the ship and the Pats went on to win the Super Bowl, their first in a decade.
But mostly why it was special to me is that I went with my Dad. It was the last game we ever went to together. He died suddenly the following April at age 66.
A stoic Bill Belichick answers questions following a 14-41 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Belichick reiterated the Patriots focus was “Onto Cincinnati”. (Photo from AP)
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