BOSTON — The New England Patriots' incredible 20-year run has brought the team six Super Bowl championships and football immortality for Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft, but… Nothing can ever match it. But despite all these victories, there were also many turmoil.
This latter half has been in the spotlight for the past four years since Brady left town to find glory elsewhere, while Belichick and Kraft tried to keep the New England dynasty alive. That clearly didn't happen, and Belichick's time in New England came to an end last month, as he and the team parted ways after 24 years.
But great times (and hard times) are the focus of a new Apple TV series dynasty, based on Jeff Benedict's book of the same name. The book details the rise and fall of the Patriots dynasty under the Brady-Belichick-Kraft triumvirate, and Benedict interviewed more than 200 people for the book. The new series will premiere on his Apple TV+ on February 16th.
Benedict joined Steve Burton on Sunday night sports finals on WBZ-TV to discuss his books and series, and some of the amazing stories he uncovered along the way.
“I don't normally think of myself as a sportswriter, but when I saw what they were doing, I thought, this is Babe Ruth and the Yankees, something that no one will ever do again,” Benedict said. . “I love the fact that so many other parts of this country are envious of what we have, and I wanted the opportunity to write the definitive explanation of how this happened. It is.”
The egos of Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and Robert Kraft
All three pillars of the New England dynasty had outsized egos, but managed to put them aside and enjoy two decades of success on the field. Benedict is most impressed with how Kraft has been able to keep everything together for his 20 years.
It was everyone's commitment to winning and incredible self-confidence that kept their egos in check and allowed the Patriots to continue winning for so long.
“Tiger Woods, LeBron James, people who have done what they've done, they've got that. Obviously, it's there. It's not arrogance or entitlement. But they… “They have an extraordinary amount of rights and are confident that they can do anything,” Benedict said.
“If they didn't have that, they wouldn't be considered the greatest football team of all time. Tom wasn't the best quarterback, Bill wasn't the best coach, and Kraft wasn't the best owner. There wouldn't have been. This was a trio and it was fascinating 'how those egos were managed,' he said.
Benedict pointed out that the Beatles were only formed 10 years ago. The Patriots doubled that span thanks to Craft's ability to juggle those egos.
“He kept Tom and Bill together for 20 years. The real skill was keeping them on the same stage and sharing the spotlight,” Benedict said.
Friction between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick
That 20-year run was a great one, but it all came crashing down when Brady decided to leave New England for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2019 season. He quickly turned the Bucs into a championship contender, winning a Super Bowl in his first season in Tampa, and Brady's collection of Super Bowl rings grew to seven.
Benedict said there was friction between key players during the Patriots' dynasty, but that's nothing new for a successful franchise. What set the Patriots apart was their ability to overcome friction once the game started.
“There was a lot going on at times,” Benedict said of the friction during their 20-year marriage. “It's not surprising that there were stress points and disagreements along the way. Of course there were. Anyone who has worked in an organization of that level has had those.
“They're strong-willed guys, they're guys in leadership roles, so you can see that. “More important to me is, do I think there's going to be friction with all the other NFL teams? Yes, of course it exists.'' What's different about this team is when the gun goes off at 1 p.m. Sunday. [they put it aside and] wrong. It's different when Tom puts on his helmet, Bill puts on his headset, and Robert sits upstairs on the 50-yard line.
“Right now, it's all about the team and beating the team on the other side of the field. And they did it more often, longer and more dramatically than anyone else.”
Who was the most difficult person to talk to? dynasty?
Benedict spoke with more than 200 people close to the Patriots organization for his book. He said Brady opened up quite a bit in the conversation, and the quarterback never asked Brady to turn off his tape recorder. As did the author, he shed tears several times during the process.
Who was the hardest to pull something out of? Patriots fans won't be surprised by the answer.
“Bill, I mean, that's easy. Of course. Come on,” Benedict said, making Barton hysterical.
“Because Bill is different…Tom and Robert are both very personable guys. They're also emotional guys. I'm not saying they like to sit down and talk to journalists. But if we get engaged and we can talk about things like that, 'What's really important to them, other than football, what's really important to Tom and Robert, they talk about human things,' Benedict said. Told.
“Bill likes to talk about one thing, and that's football, and a lot of times he doesn't want to talk about it with certain journalists or people,” he added.
Nevertheless, Benedict was still able to learn all about New England's amazing dynasty.
“It's an incredible story, but it's all about the characters, the people. That's why it's so great. It's about them,” he said. “For 20 years, you could light up a map on Sunday and say all these colors were rooting for the Patriots, but the only place that was lit with the right colors was New England. 20 It's a Mickey thing to have in your pocket all year long.'' Mantle and the Yankees had what Bill Russell and the Celtics had. The Patriots have had it for 20 years. ”