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Old 07-01-2005, 05:48 AM   #46
bideau
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Quote:
Originally posted by ItsGood_ItsGood
I was a Patriots fan by birthright (you try growing up as the youngest of five, four of us boys, and with Hawg as the oldest and NOT be one).

But the 1976 team put the team into my bloodstream for good.

There have been some great teams in my life...The Big, Bad Bruins, the 1975 Red Sox, the Super Bowl Champs x 3, too many Celtics teams to list...but nothing ever feels quite like your first love.

That team was coming off a 3-11 season and the crushing disappointment of JIm Plunkett's Patriots career and were going with the pre-folk hero Steve Grogan.

Without looking it up, I can tell you that they lost the first game. In Week 2, they beat perennial powerhouse Miami. Next, they shocked defending champ Pittsburgh, and the Patriot Ledger ran the classic headline "Grogan's Heroes." Next up was undefeated Oakland, and the Pats shocked the football world by annihilating them 48-17. I swear I'm not looking this up.

The 1976 Patriots went 11-3, won the Wild Card, and made their first ever NFL playoff appearancewhere they played the Raidahs, who lost only that one game all season.

And nothing makes you love a team more than having your heart broken when they play valiantly but get jobbed. Stupid Ben Dreith.
Without looking it up, I can tell you that they lost to the Colts (the eventual division winner) and we all thought it would be another lost season.

The biggest disappointment was that the '74 season start 6-1, the team looked like they had finally arrived. Then they collapsed and finished 7-7 followed by that 3-11 season. It looked like any hope from early '74 was gone.

The Miami win at home was memorable because the fans were waving white towels/shirts (anything white). That's what the Orange Bowl crowd did during Fin home games. The Pitt win was on the road and was a total shocker. I was at the Raiders game. Prior to Dreith, the biggest downer was losing the division to the Colts on a tie breaker.

Great memories (except for Dreith), IGIG.
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8/21/06
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