The 2020 season for the New England Patriots came to a merciful close this past weekend. The woeful Pats finished with a 7-9 record, their first losing season since 2000, and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
We have to admit that we feel badly for young Patriots’ fans, those born after 1990, who have become accustomed to the dominance and excellence, year-after-year, by Bill Belichick’s crew. This season has been the equivalent of having an ice bucket thrown over your head, a rude wake-up call to the reality of the ebb-and-flow of professional sports that the Patriots alone among all sports franchises in the modern era have managed to avoid for an unprecedented two decades.
Admittedly, even for those of us who are long-time Pats’ fans who can recall all of the decades of ignominy, from Braves Field to Fenway Park to Harvard Stadium and then to Schaefer Stadium, the relegation of the Patriots to the bottom tier of the NFL this season, in which Foxboro and Gillette Stadium no longer were the epicenter of the football universe, was jarring.
So let’s be grateful for the two decades of fun that Bob Kraft and his team brought our way.
But as the proverb says, all things must come to an end — and so they have for our Patriots.
It was a nice ride — and those championship banners always will be there to remind us of the good times.