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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New England Patriots
Current season
Established 1959
Play in and headquartered in Gillette Stadium
Foxborough, Massachusetts
New England Patriots helmet
New England Patriots logo
Helmet Logo
League/conference affiliations

American Football League (1960–69)

  • Eastern Division (1960–69)

National Football League (1970–present)

Current uniform
AFCE-Uniform-NE.PNG
Team colors Nautical Blue, New Century Silver, Red, White

                   

Mascot Pat Patriot
Personnel
Owner(s) Robert Kraft
Chairman Robert Kraft
CEO Robert Kraft
President Jonathan Kraft
Head coach Bill Belichick
Team history
  • Boston Patriots (1960–70)
  • Bay State Patriots (February 1971–March 1971)
  • New England Patriots (1971–present)
Team nicknames
"The Pats"
Championships
League championships (3)
Conference championships (6)
Division championships (11)
Playoff appearances (16)
Home fields

The New England Patriots, commonly called the "Pats", are a professional American football team based in the Greater Boston area, playing their home games in the town of Foxborough, Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium. The team is part of the East Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The team changed its name from the original Boston Patriots after relocating to Foxborough in 1971, although Foxborough is a suburb of Boston, 22 miles (35 km) away.

An original member of the American Football League (AFL), the Patriots joined the NFL in the 1970 merger of those leagues. The team advanced to the playoffs four times before appearing in Super Bowl XX in January 1986, losing to the Chicago Bears. The team also appeared in Super Bowl XXXI in January 1997, losing to the Green Bay Packers.

Between 2001 and 2005, the Patriots became the second team in NFL history (after the Dallas Cowboys) to win three Super Bowls in four years (Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII, and XXXIX), and the eighth to win consecutive Super Bowls. The Patriots, however, were defeated by the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII, after winning the first 18 games of their 2007 season. Under quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots have also compiled the longest winning streak consisting of regular season and playoff games in NFL history, a 21-game streak from October 2003–October 2004.

Contents

Franchise history

"Pat Patriot" logo, used through 1992

On November 16, 1959, Boston business executive Billy Sullivan was awarded the eighth and final franchise of the developing American Football League (AFL). The following winter, locals were allowed to submit ideas for the Boston football team's official name. The most popular choice—and the one that Sullivan selected—was "Boston Patriots". Immediately thereafter, Boston Globe artist Phil Bissell developed the "Pat Patriot" logo.[1]

The Patriots' time in the AFL saw them struggle most years as they never had a regular home stadium. Nickerson Field, Harvard Stadium, Fenway Park, and Alumni Stadium all served as home fields during their time in the American Football League. They did play in one AFL championship game, following the 1963 season. They lost to the San Diego Chargers 51–10. They would not appear again in an AFL or NFL post-season game for another 13 years.[1]

When the NFL and AFL merged in 1970, the Patriots were placed in the AFC East division, where they still play today. The following year, the Patriots moved to a new stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, which would serve as their home for 30 years. As a result of the move, they would change their name from the Boston Patriots to the New England Patriots. During the 1970s, the Patriots had some success, earning a berth to the playoffs in 1976—as a wild card-team—and in 1978—as AFC East champions. They lost in the first round both times. In 1985, they returned to the playoffs, and made it all the way to Super Bowl XX, which they lost to the Chicago Bears 46–10. Following their Super Bowl loss, they returned to the playoffs in 1986, but lost in the first round. The team would not make the playoffs again for eight more years. They changed ownership three times, being purchased from the Sullivan family first by Victor Kiam in 1988, who sold the team to James Orthwein in 1992. Orthwein intended to move the team to his native St. Louis, Missouri, but sold the team two years later to current owner Robert Kraft in 1994.[1]

Though Orthwein's period as owner was short and controversial, he did oversee major changes to the team. Former New York Giants coach Bill Parcells was hired in 1993, and the drastic changes were made the same year to the Patriots uniforms, changing their primary colors from their traditional red and white to blue and silver, and introducing a new logo.[2] Parcells would bring the Patriots to two playoff appearances, including Super Bowl XXXI, which they lost to the Green Bay Packers by a score of 35–21. Pete Carroll, Parcells's successor, would also take the team to the playoffs twice.[1]

The Patriots' current coach Bill Belichick was hired in 2000, and a new home field, Gillette Stadium was opened in 2002. Under Belichick, the team won three Super Bowls in four years, and finished the 2007 regular season with a perfect 16–0 record, becoming only the fifth team in league history to go undefeated in the regular season, and the only one since the league expanded its regular season schedule to 16 games.[1] After advancing to Super Bowl XLII, the team's fourth Super Bowl in seven years, the Patriots were defeated by the Giants to end their bid for a 19–0 season. With the loss, the Patriots ended the year at 18–1, becoming only one of three teams to go 18–1 along with the 1984 San Francisco 49ers and the 1985 Chicago Bears. Those teams, however, won the Super Bowl.

Season-by-season records

Rivalries

The 2001-02, 2003-04, and 2004-05-issued Vince Lombardi trophies to the New England Patriots.

The Patriots have maintained a rivalry with the New York Jets, who have also been members of the AFC East since its inception in 1970. Prior to that, both teams competed in the American Football League since both teams' foundings in 1960. The rivalry between the Jets and Patriots has escalated since 1996, when Patriots head coach Bill Parcells left the Patriots under controversy to become the head coach of the Jets. Four years later, Parcells' assistant, Bill Belichick, resigned the day he was named the Jets' head coach to become the head coach of the Patriots. Six years after that, Eric Mangini, an assistant under Belichick, became the head coach of the Jets.

Meanwhile, the rise of quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in the early 2000s led to an increased rivalry between Manning's Indianapolis Colts and Brady's Patriots. The teams met three times in four years (2003, 2004, 2006) in the playoffs, with the winner going on to win that season's Super Bowl each time.

Strategy

Under head coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots have employed specific on-field and off-field strategies. On the field, the Patriots have typically utilized an "Erhardt-Perkins" offense and a "Fairbanks-Bullough" 3-4 defense, referred to commonly as a 2-gap 3-4 defensive system.[3] Their philosophy in making personnel decisions and in game planning has focused on the "team" concept,[4] stressing preparation, strong work ethic, versatility,[5] and lack of individual ego.[6] This approach, which led to three Super Bowl victories under Belichick, was analyzed in the 2004 book Patriot Reign.

When owner Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994, he did so for $175 million. Since then, the Patriots have sold out every home game in both Foxboro Stadium and Gillette Stadium. By 2009, the value of the franchise had increased by over $1 billion, to a Forbes Magazine estimated value of $1.361 billion, third highest in the NFL.[7]

Stadium

Since 2002, the Patriots' home stadium has been Gillette Stadium, a $350 million facility privately financed by Kraft. It houses all administrative offices for the team and its owning entity, The Kraft Group, as well as the Kraft-owned Major League Soccer team, the New England Revolution. The field, which was originally natural grass, was replaced with a FieldTurf surface during the 2006 season. The area around the stadium was developed, beginning in 2007, into a $375 million "lifestyle and entertainment center" called Patriot Place.

Prior to 2002, the Patriots played in Foxboro Stadium dating back to 1971, the team's first year in the NFL. During the team's days in the American Football League, the Boston Patriots were hosted by a number of fields in or around Boston.

Notable players

Current roster

New England Patriots roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Reserve Lists
  • Currently vacant


Restricted FAs

Exclusive-Rights FAs


Rookies in italics
Roster updated March 10, 2010
Depth ChartTransactions

57 Active, 0 Inactive, 5 FAs

More rosters

Hall of Famers and retired numbers

The New England Patriots feature 14 former players and one contributor in their team hall of fame, established in 1991. A committee of media and staff selected 11 players for enshrinement between 1991 and 2001, before a six-year span of no selections. In 2007, in advance of the 2008 opening of the Hall at Patriot Place, the Patriots introduced a new nomination committee to select three candidates, with the winner of an internet fan vote being enshrined in the hall of fame.[8] Former owner Billy Sullivan was inducted by owner Robert Kraft in March 2009 as a contributor.[9]

Additionally, four former Patriots players have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Patriots have officially retired seven uniform numbers.

New England Patriots Hall of Fame
Players
Number Name Positions Seasons Year elected Number Name Positions Seasons Year elected
73 John Hannah G 1973-1985 1991 (Pro: 1991) 40 Mike Haynes CB 1976-1982 1994 (Pro: 1997)
85 Nick Buoniconti LB 1962-1968 1992 (Pro: 2001) 14 Steve Grogan QB 1975-1990 1995
20 Gino Cappelletti WR-K 1960-1970 1992 56 Andre Tippett LB 1982-1993 1999 (Pro: 2008)
89 Bob Dee DL 1960-1967 1993 78 Bruce Armstrong T 1987-2000 2001
79 Jim Lee Hunt DL 1960-1971 1993 86 Stanley Morgan WR 1977-1989 2007
57 Steve Nelson LB 1974-1987 1993 87 Ben Coates TE 1991-1999 2008
15 Babe Parilli QB 1961-1967 1993 35 Jim Nance FB 1965-1971 2009
Contributors
Number Name Positions Seasons Year elected Number Name Positions Seasons Year elected
-- Billy Sullivan Owner & founder 1960-1988 2009
Also enshrined in Pro Football Hall of Fame
Uniform number officially retired by team

All-decade teams

1960s (AFL)

In November 1971, fans voted on a 10-year Patriots anniversary team, which coincided with the team's 10 years in the then-defunct American Football League:[10] Additional selections for returner, special teamer, and coach were added in 2009:[11]

1970s, 1980s, 1990s

In March 2009, as part of the Patriots' 50th anniversary, a group of local media and other team figures selected all-decade teams for the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s:[11]

2000s

On March 16, 2010, the Patriots Hall of Fame selection committee selected an all-decade team for the 2000s:

Anniversary teams

35th anniversary (1994)

In 1994, a group of local media selected a 35th anniversary team:[10]

50th anniversary (2009)

In 2009, the Patriots Hall of Fame selection committee selected a 50th anniversary team:[10]

All-time first-round draft picks

Coaches

Head coaches

Current staff

New England Patriots staff
Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

 

Defensive Coaches

Special Teams Coaches

Strength and Conditioning


Coaching Staff
Management
More NFL staffs

Cheerleaders and mascot

The Patriots Cheerleaders performing a routine in 2007

The Patriots NFL Cheerleaders are simply known as The Patriots Cheerleaders. In 2005, cheerleader Kristin Gauvin won Miss Massachusetts, in part from her local commitment with the Patriots.

The Patriots' mascot is Pat Patriot, a revolutionary minuteman wearing a Patriots home jersey.

During each game, about 10 men dressed as minutemen line the back of each end zone. When the Patriots score a touchdown or field goal, the militia behind the opposite end zone fire a round of blanks from flintlock muskets. After the point-after-touchdown (PAT) attempt, the men fire their guns to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. ESPN named this one of the top ten celebrations in the league in 2007.[12]

Radio and television

The Patriots' flagship radio station is WBZ-FM 98.5 FM, owned by CBS Radio. The larger radio network is called the New England Patriots Radio Network, whose 37 affiliate stations span 7 states. Gil Santos and Gino Cappelletti are the longtime announcing team.

Any preseason games not on national television are shown on CBS affiliate WBZ-TV. These games were broadcast on ABC affiliate WCVB-TV from 1995 until the change to WBZ in 2009. Don Criqui has been the play-by-play announcer the last several years, with Randy Cross as a color commentator and Mike Lynch as a sideline reporter. Lynch was replaced by WBZ reporter Steve Burton in 2009.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d e "Official New England Patriots History". Patriots.com. New England Patriots. http://www.patriots.com/history/index.cfm?ac=History. Retrieved 2008-01-13. 
  2. ^ Article by Bill Plaschke on Kevin Loh's design of the new Patriots' logo. LATIMES.COM. Accessed January 20, 2008.
  3. ^ Borges, Ron (2000-09-01). "Coming to terms with the system". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/sports/packages/nfl2000/plays.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  4. ^ Guregian, Karen (2009-01-15). "Scott Pioli starts life as lone boss in Kansas City". Boston Herald. http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/football/other_nfl/view/2009_01_15_New_Chief_in_charge:_Scott_Pioli_starts_life_as_lone_boss_in_Kansas_City/srvc=home&position=also. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  5. ^ Long, Mark (2005-02-06). "Versatile Vrabel vaults into Super Bowl lore". San Diego Union-Tribune. http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/nfl/20050206-1920-fbn-superbowl-vrabel.html. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  6. ^ Bell, Jarrett (2005-01-24). "Patriots all about the rings". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/patriots/2005-01-24-team-concept_x.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  7. ^ "Forbes: Patriots 3rd Most Valuable NFL Franchise". Associated Press. WBZ-TV. 2009-09-02. http://wbztv.com/sports/most.valuable.franchise.2.1160694.html. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  8. ^ "Ben Coates elected to Patriots Hall of Fame". Patriots.com. 2008-07-07. http://www.patriots.com/news/index.cfm?ac=latestnewsdetail&pid=32516&pcid=41. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  9. ^ Finn, Chad (2009-03-24). "Sullivan inducted into team's Hall". Boston.com Reiss' Pieces. http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/reiss_pieces/2009/03/sullivan_induct.html. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  10. ^ a b c "Patriots Anniversary Teams". Patriots.com. http://www.patriots.com/history/index.cfm?ac=anniversaryteams. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  11. ^ a b Barboza, Scott (2009-03-31). "Patriots All-Decade teams announced". Patriots.com. http://www.patriots.com/search/index.cfm?ac=searchdetail&pid=36746&pcid=41&rss=1. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  12. ^ ESPN.com It's a Celebration: Best NFL Touchdown Celebrations, Josh Pahigian, 12/3/07

Further reading

  • Hlydburg, Bob (2009), Total Patriots: The Definitive Encyclopedia of the World-Class Franchise, Triumph Books, ISBN 1600780997 
  • Holley, Michael (2004), Patriot Reign: Bill Belichick, the Coaches, and the Players Who Built a Champion, William Morrow and Company, ISBN 0060757949 
  • Price, Christopher (2007), The Blueprint: How the New England Patriots Beat the System to Create the Last Great NFL Superpower, Thomas Dunne Books, ISBN 0312368380 
  • Lavin, James (2005), Management Secrets of the New England Patriots: From Patsies to Triple Super Bowl Champs; Vol. 1, Pointer Press, ISBN 0976203952 
  • Lavin, James (2005), Management Secrets of the New England Patriots: From Patsies to Triple Super Bowl Champs; Vol. 2, Pointer Press, ISBN 0976203987 
  • Glennon, Sean (2008), The Good, the Bad & the Ugly New England Patriots: Heart-pounding, Jaw-dropping, and Gut-wrenching Moments from New England Patriots History, Triumph Books, ISBN 1600781187 
  • Felger, Michael (2004), Tales from the Patriots Sideline, Sports Publishing LLC, ISBN 158261525X 
  • Donaldson, Jim (2009), Then Belichick Said to Brady: The Best New England Patriots Stories Ever Told, Triumph Books, ISBN 1600782396 
  • Donaldson, Jim (2005), Stadium Stories: New England Patriots, Globe Pequot, ISBN 0762737883 

External links

Achievements
Preceded by
Baltimore Ravens
2000
Super Bowl Champions
New England Patriots

2001
Succeeded by
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2002
Preceded by
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2002
Super Bowl Champions
New England Patriots

2003 and 2004
Succeeded by
Pittsburgh Steelers
2005


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