LIFE WITHOUT BRADY
The Cam Newton Era has Begun in New England
by Liam Tormey ’22
A new era is beginning for the New England Patriots. After 20 seasons and six Vince Lombardi Trophies, Tom Brady decided to end his career with the Patriots and sign a two-year, $50 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It is now the post-Tom Brady era in New England.
So, where do the Patriots go from here? Well, for starters, Cam Newton will be the face of the New England offense after he was named the starting quarterback last week. Newton beat out both Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer for the starting job.
The 2015 MVP of the league has had his issues with injuries over the last couple of seasons. Last season, Newton played only the first two games of the season before being placed on injured reserve for the year with a Pedal Lisfranc sprain. After being released from the Carolina Panthers, Newton found a home in New England on a one-year deal.
The offense will look different this year without Tom Brady behind center, but there are still some familiar faces returning. Newton will be relying on the likes of Sony Michel, Julian Edelman, and N’Keal Harry. After trading for Mohamed Sanu last season for a second-round pick, the Patriots cut him this past week alongside running back Lamar Miller. Behind Edelman and Harry, Damiere Byrd will start the season as the Patriots No. 3 wide receiver.
New England’s starting tight end this year will be Devin Asiasi, who was the Patriots’ pick in the third round at number 91 in this year’s draft class. Asiasi enters the NFL after a successful collegiate career at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2019, Asiasi had 44 receptions, 641 yards, and four touchdowns. After coming out of retirement, Rob Gronkowski, one of the greatest tight ends of all time, was traded alongside a seventh-round pick to meet up with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay for a fourth-round pick. The Patriots took back-to-back tight ends in this year’s draft, selecting Dalton Keene from the University of Virginia Tech in addition to Asiasi. Asiasi and Keene will look to fill the massive void left at the position since the departure of Gronkowski.
Due to COVID-19, the Patriots have a league-high number of players who have opted out of the 2020-2021 season. Those opt-outs include tackle Marcus Cannon, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, safety Patrick Chung, tight end Matt LaCosse, running back Brandon Bolden, fullback Dan Vitale, receiver Marqise Lee, and guard Najee Toran.
On the opposite side of the ball, the Patriots defense will look very different from how it was last year. The Patriots lost Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, and Elandon Roberts to free agency. Each leaves very large shoes to fill on defense. The defensive line will stay mostly intact, however, with Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler, John Simon, and Deatrich Wise Jr. all returning.
The cornerback spot is still a strong spot for the Patriots. Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore will feature alongside Jason McCourty, Devin McCourty, and Adrian Phillips in the secondary. With their second-round selection in this year’s draft, the Patriots added Kyle Dugger at safety. Dugger should be able to fill the hole left by Chung, as the hard-hitting safety dominated Division II football while playing for Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina.
It is going to be a strange time for New England fans with these new-look Patriots, but with Bill Belichick running the team, and with Newton having something to prove, anything can happen for New England this season.
Indeed, the Patriots started on a strong note this past Sunday against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. The team secured a 21-11 victory behind two rushing touchdowns from Newton. They will look to continue their solid start this Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.
PCI: Will the Patriots Go 16-0 This Season?
Yes, This Team Has Too Much Talent To Lose
By Jack Belanger ’21
There is no team hotter right now in the NFL than the New England Patriots. Even though it is early in the season, the Pats have shown hardly any glaring weaknesses on either side of the field. They are already outscoring their opponents 76-3, highlighting the fact that this team will not have to heavily rely on quarterback Tom Brady to carry them through what will be another perfect 16-0 season.
The offense will be more dynamic in how it can attack defenses this season than it has been in past seasons. The Patriots’ top three receivers are Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, and newly acquired Antonio Brown. As long as injuries or off-field issues do not plague these players, Brady will have three guys that have served as the number one option for their teams at one point in their careers.
Even if a team has a strong enough secondary to slow down the passing game, the Patriots have a strong enough backfield in Rex Burkhead and second-year player Sony Michel, who was just 69 yards short of getting 1,000 rushing yards in his rookie season.
On the other side of the field, New England boasts an elite defense that can win games if the offense is having an off day. Just this past week, they intercepted the Miami Dolphins four times, including two that ran back for touchdowns. The McCourty brothers and Stephon Gilmore have yet to allow 300 passing yards in a game, and held pro-bowler Juju Smith-Schuster to only 78 receiving yards in their Sept. 8 game against the Steelers.
As great as this team is, their schedule will also play into their favor. New England only has five games against teams that finished with winning records last year and they have already won in Miami, a typical trap game for them in recent seasons. The AFC East once again looks like it will be a runaway as the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, and Miami Dolphins are all rebuilding with inconsistent quarterbacks. The two toughest games to watch out for will be against the Kansas City Chiefs, who feature reigning league-MVP Patrick Mahomes, and the Baltimore Ravens who are also 2-0 this season behind dynamic quarterback Lamar Jackson.
No matter how good your team is, going 16-0 involves some luck. During their perfect season in 2007, New England had four games decided by single digits, including a three-point win over the New York Giants, the eventual Super Bowl Champions, in the season’s final week. That season, nine players from the team made it to the Associated Press All-Pro teams: six on offense and three on defense. This year the Patriots have a similar balance, and it will other require teams to think outside of the box in order to beat them.
No, Going 16-0 is Harder Than It Seems
By Cam Smith ’21
Sports Assistant Editor
After an opening night drubbing of the Pittsburgh Steelers and a dominant win in Miami on Sunday, the nation is abuzz with talks of the New England Patriots going undefeated in the 2019 NFL season. The talk is understandable, as the Pats have assembled a team that boasts an absurd amount of talent. They also still have the greatest quarterback of all time at the helm, which certainly helps.
However, even with all this talent, the Patriots will not go undefeated. It is simply too difficult to remain on top of your game for every single quarter of a grueling 16 game season. A missed field goal, a tipped pass, or an untimely fumble can decide a game, and even a team coached by Bill Belichick is not immune to mistakes.
Only two teams in the modern history of the NFL have gone undefeated, showcasing just how difficult it is to pull off. The 1972 Miami Dolphins went 14-0 during the regular season and followed that up with a perfect postseason to capture the Lombardi Trophy. The other team to do it was the 2007 Patriots, who went 16-0 during the regular season before falling to the Eli Manning led New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
The 2019 Patriots certainly have a lot in common with that 2007 team: a star-studded receiving core, a lockdown defense, and a superb quarterback-coach combination.
Yet, perfection is nearly impossible to duplicate. Even the 2007 Patriots had some close calls, including just a three-point victory over the Giants in week 17 of the season. In week 13, the Baltimore Ravens led 24-17 in the fourth quarter. The Pats required a Jabar Gaffney touchdown with 44 seconds remaining to squeak out a victory.
No one is questioning that there is a possibility that these Patriots can go undefeated, but it is just not statistically probable. Close games went their way in ’07, but the final seconds of games may prove to be different this year.
Consider the week nine matchup against the Ravens as a potential game where the Pats may falter. Second year quarterback Lamar Jackson poses a dynamic threat with his rare mix of blazing speed and arm strength, and M&T Bank Stadium has always proven to be a difficult environment for a road team to come into. The Ravens will also be well-rested coming off their bye week, while the Patriots will be entering their ninth straight week of play.
Overall, there is no doubt that the Patriots are the favorite to win Super Bowl LIV, but to expect a perfect season in addition to a championship is simply asking for too much.
Gronk Gone in a Flash, but Not the Patriots
By Jack Belanger ’21
We all knew it was going to happen eventually; there was no way anyone could expect Rob Gronkowski to play into his 40s like his quarterback. With the number of injuries he was enduring, continuing to play is not worth it. As sad as it is to see Gronkowski’s Hall of Fame career end so quickly, appreciate the fact that he was able to go out a champion while he was still relatively successful on the field.
While I am sure many fans would have loved to see Gronk play for another year, the risk of injury and becoming ineffective on the field would only result in many calling for his retirement. He has not played in more than 14 games in the past three seasons, and that probably would not have changed had he kept playing.
It is amazing how quickly he was able to solidify his spot in the conversation as one of the greatest tight ends of all time. While he will not have big career numbers that stack against others who played much longer than he did, the fact that Gronk only played in nine seasons (seven of which he played more than 10 games) speaks to how much he dominated defenders on the field.
However, Gronk’s Hall of Fame career began and ended while Tom Brady continues to add to his own legacy.
While it may seem Brady and the Patriots’ next challenge going forward is to figure out how to make up for the Gronk-sized hole in the offense, believe it or not, it may not be a challenge at all.
The Patriots have seen their fair share of great receivers come and go during the Brady era, and Bill Belichick and Brady have shown that the offense can adjust. Did the dynasty go away when Randy Moss and Wes Welker left? Nope. In fact, New England was able to make and win three Super Bowls after they both left the team.
The Patriots still have several great receiving options on the roster with Julian Edelman returning for a full season, a great pass-catcher in running back James White, and a promising runner in Sony Michel.
New England also owns three picks in the first two rounds of the NFL draft this season. Do not be surprised if you see Belichick pick up a tight end in the second round. Gronkowski himself was a second-round pick after getting overlooked due to injuries in college. Expect the Pats to look at University of Alabama’s Irv Smith and Texas A&M’s Jace Sternberger as two tight ends who should be available when it comes time for the team to pick.
While it may be the end of one crazy, exciting, and amazing Hall of Fame career, Gronkowski will always be a key piece that helped keep the dynasty alive during this decade that elevated the Patriots’ offense to new levels post-Moss and Welker.
Trouble in Titletown: The Robert Kraft Scandal
By Cam Smith ’21
The New England Patriots have been no stranger to controversy over the years, and this time it goes all the way to the top. Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting someone for sex.
The allegations stem from a six-month long investigation into human trafficking by Florida state officials, focusing on massage parlors in central Florida strip malls. The Kraft accusations center around the spa, Orchids of Asia, in Jupiter, Florida, a location only 30 minutes away from Kraft’s home in Palm Beach.
Investigation of Orchids of Asia began after a state health inspector noticed that the spa housed two rooms with items such as pillows, sheets, and dressers filled with clothes and medicine. A refrigerator of foodstuffs was also located. The inspector reported these findings to Jupiter police, as the conditions of the spa insinuated that some of the staff were indeed making it their permanent residence. These circumstances are what officials look for in cases of human trafficking, as often victims are restricted in their freedom of movement.
On Jan. 17, Jupiter police installed secret surveillance equipment inside of Orchids of Asia. On Jan. 19, Jupiter officials alleged that Kraft was caught on camera paying for services at the front desk. Cameras also reportedly show him undressing and laying on a massage bed where a female employee can be seen “manipulating his genitals.” Kraft would return the following morning to the spa, mere hours before flying to Kansas City to watch the Patriots defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game. The Jupiter police department has yet to release the footage.
As many as 200 other men will also be charged in an investigation that Florida officials call, “the tip of the iceberg.” So far, no charges of human trafficking have been issued in any of the cases.
On Feb. 25, Kraft pleaded not guilty to the two misdemeanor counts facing him. A lawyer representing the Patriots owner requested a bench trial in the case, meaning that the presiding judge would act as both the judge and jury. This is vital, as the case could come down to the admissibility of the video footage. As a first-time offender, Kraft, if found guilty, would likely face fines and community service, but would escape having to serve any time in jail.
Kraft could also face punishment from the league offices if found guilty. Soon after the news broke, the NFL released a statement saying that, “We are seeking a full understanding of the facts, while ensuring we do not interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation. We will take appropriate action as warranted based on the facts.”
With Providence College being a hub of both New England and New York sports fans, it is no surprise that many students have something to say about the allegations.
When asked about the situation, loyal New York Jets fan Donnie McAuliffe ’21 said, “It’s a happy day to see scum [like Kraft] put into light.” Fellow Jets fan and Sam Darnold enthusiast Ryan Carius ’21 grudgingly prepared for a verdict of not guilty, he said “Since he is a Patriot, he will find a way out of it.”
On the other end of the spectrum, New England fan Sean Gray ’21 issued a powerful statement that is sure to reverberate with Patriots fans everywhere. “Robert Kraft seriously strayed from the Patriot way,” said Gray. “It’s incredibly disappointing to see, but the justice system will run its course. As an organization, the Patriots should atone for Mr. Kraft’s sins by supporting victims of human trafficking, all while focusing on winning yet another Super Bowl.”
Kraft’s arraignment will be held on March 27, kicking off a legal process that people across campus and the country will keep a close eye on.
Patriots Clinch Super Bowl LIII Over Rams
PC Campus Celebrates Patriots’ Sixth Title
by Liza Sisk ’19
On Feb. 3, the New England Patriots earned their sixth ring during Super Bowl LIII. The Patriots are now tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl wins by a single franchise. In an incredibly underwhelming game from an offensive perspective, but possibly one of the most challenging defensive games in Super Bowl history, the Patriots outscored the Los Angeles Rams 13-3.
“We have a lot of great people in the organization. It starts at the top with Robert [Kraft] and his family, he’s given us great support in all the things we need to do to be competitive. Again, we have a great group of players and coaches that work extremely hard to compete the best we can. Happy that things worked out for us this year and we were able to be the best team in football this season,” said Patriots’ Head Coach Bill Belichick to USA Today.
The game was scoreless heading into the second quarter. Perhaps it was inspiration from Belichick or the performance by Maroon 5 and Travis Scott, but the Pats were able to pull off the W in the final quarter. The game was the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history, succeeding the Miami Dolphins victory over the Washington Redskins 14-7 in Super Bowl VII. In addition, a record was set by quarterback Tom Brady on Sunday night. He is the first athlete in the NFL to win six Super Bowls and holds the record for most Super Bowl appearances with nine.
Super Bowl LIII also brought a few firsts for the Rams franchise. Johnny Hekker, punter for the Rams, now holds the record for the longest punt in Super Bowl history after kicking 65 yards. Additionally, the Rams’ head coach received a nod as the youngest NFL head coach to make a Super Bowl appearance. Sean McVay is just 33 years old and is the youngest person to become a head coach in the National Football League since 1938.
The Patriots, led by Brady, were able to turn on the heat in the fourth quarter to secure the victory. Two crucial passes from Brady to tight end Rob Gronkowski and a successful drive by Sony Michel led to the first and only touchdown of the game. A field goal by kicker Stephen Gostowski sealed the win.
Following the win, Brady told USA Today, “We couldn’t take our foot off the gas pedal, we were playing a great football team. They’re explosive in all areas. They got the one turnover. They have a great team.”
Wide receiver Julian Edelman earned the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award. Edelman made 10 catches, earning 141 yards during the game. His performance alone accounted for over half of the Patriots’ total receiving yardage, 262. He was the first wide receiver to win the award since Super Bowl XLIII in 2009. After a rocky start to the season, he was able to tally up 74 catches for 850 yards and six touchdowns in 2018. Edelman said,“I wasn’t focused on that (MVP). I was just trying to go out and have a good week of practice and do my job. And sometimes, the cookie crumbles that way.”
Following the win, there was an undeniable buzz in the air at Providence College. The majority of students hailing from New England, it is no surprise that the sixth Super Bowl victory for the franchise brought so much excitement.
“This is the greatest sports dynasty of all time,” said Francis Figueroa ’20. Similar sentiments were shared by other students as Providence College students shipped it up to Boston on Tuesday, February 5 to watch the victory parade.
Providence College Investigates
The New England Patriots Will Win Super Bowl LIII
By Liza Sisk ’19
In signature New England Patriots fashion, a nerve-wracking, gut-wrenching birth into Super Bowl LIII was earned on Sunday, January 20. Their triumphant defeat of the Kansas City Chiefs marked their third consecutive American Football Conference (AFC) championship. An overtime victory kept fans holding their breath for the entirety of the second half. We are living during a time of a New England Patriots dynasty and the Super Bowl is theirs for the taking. They will face the Los Angeles Rams on February 3, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Despite starting the season with a 2-1 record, the Patriots were able to turn things around and dominate the regular season ending the year with an 11-5 record, blowing the rest of the AFC East out of the water. There is no doubt that much of this success can be attributed to the managerial leadership of head coach Bill Belichick and the on-field leadership of quarterback Tom Brady. Together they have built a legacy racking up five Super Bowl wins and eight Super Bowl berths. Their accolades alone, three Coach of the Year awards and four Super Bowl MVP awards, respectively, speak for themselves. This dynamic duo separates the Patriots from every other team in the National Football League (NFL).
The tenacity of Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski will contribute greatly to a Patriots win on Feb. 3. Gronkowski’s ability to assume a unique role on the team game to game is especially key. He is able to channel his brute force and strength to serve as a blocker in one play and then showcase his athleticism and hands catching anything Brady throws his way. Gronkowski was an incredibly valuable player in the Patriot’s victory against the Chiefs. Recorded by Kevin Patra, writer for the NFL, Brady commends Gronkowski for “[catching] the fade on Eric (Berry) and then [catching] the slant (NFL).” With the Lombardi Trophy up for the taking, there is no doubt that Gronkowski will perform in February.
The list of athletes on the Patriots that contribute significantly to their success is not short. Wide receiver Julian Edelman was an essential component to their victory over the Chiefs; however, the leadership from rookie Sony Michel proved the Patriots talent runs deep. Michel executed a 10-yard rush for a touchdown and his five postseason rushing touchdowns has distinguished him in the rookie class.
After defying the odds and persevering through overtime against the Chiefs, the Patriots will be victorious come Super Bowl Sunday.
Providence College Investigates
Patriots Fans Should Not Be Concerned With Their 2-2 Record
By Scott Jarosz ’21
After narrowly coming out on top in its week one contest against the Houston Texans by a score of 27-20, the New England Patriots dropped their next two games, falling to an overall record of 1-2. This lackluster start sparked frustration and concern from the Patriots’ fan base, as its two losses came from beatable teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Detroit Lions. The Jaguars beat the Patriots in Jacksonville by a score of 31-20, as Tom Brady and the Patriots never quite found their footing and were unable come back from an early 14-0 deficit.
The following weekend in Detroit, the Patriots did not come ready to play, and suffered an embarrassing 26-10 loss to a less than stellar Lions team. However, things changed in week four, as the Patriots took care of the previously undefeated Miami Dolphins with a score of 38-7. In this game, the Patriots looked like the team its fans are used to seeing, and that is why Patriots fans should not be concerned with the team’s slow start.
This is not the first time the Patriots have had a slow start to the regular season. This past season, the Patriots also started 2-2, and still went on to play in a Super Bowl. The Patriots are a different team this season, as Danny Amendola signed with the Dolphins in the offseason, and Julian Edelman is suspended for the first four regular season games. During this time, Tom Brady has struggled to connect with his other wide receivers, and tight end, Rob Gronkowski, has been largely overwhelmed by defenders who focus on him as the Patriots’ primary target. With the lack of a true wide receiver threat, the Patriots have resorted to ground game, which has not been too effective.
After losing back-to-back games in weeks two and three, Patriots fans were likely to be nervous and eager to see what would happen with their team in week four against the Dolphins. Fans were also excited to see newly signed wide receiver, Josh Gordon, make his debut in New England. The Patriots looked determined to hand the Dolphins their first loss of the season in the friendly confines of Gillette Stadium, and racked up 38 points and nearly shut out the visiting Dolphins. The Patriots were firing on all cylinders and hushed anyone who speculated that the Patriots would have a subpar season.
With the Patriots carrying momentum into the Oct. 4 game against the Indianapolis Colts and Edelman also returning to the field, fans have no reason to be concerned with the team’s 2-2 start.
Providence College Investigates
Patriots Fans Should be Concerned With Their 2-2 Record
By Thomas Zinzarella ’21
After the New England Patriots trounced the Miami Dolphins 38-7 this past weekend, many Pats fans have renewed faith again in their Super Bowl chances. They may be back at a five hundred record, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
The Patriots are at a 2-2 record in a division which they have dominated for all of Tom Brady’s tenure at quarterback. Yes, the Patriots can make the playoffs, but this year’s roster is not as talented of a team on either side of the ball as previous years. It’s going to be a tough road to make it to the Super Bowl a third year in a row.
Before this weekend’s blowout win, the Patriots avoided their first 1-3 record for the first time since 2001, which was the first season Brady was the starter. This Miami Dolphins team that the Patriots beat is a very talented one; however, it is expected for the Patriots to knock the Dolphins around. Before Sunday’s win, the Patriots were 83-20 against AFC opponents since 2009. New England has a near perfect 9-1 record against the Miami Dolphins in Foxborough while the Dolphins lone win in Foxborough came in 2008 when Brady barely played. If the Dolphins continue to play well, make sure to keep an eye on the matchup on Dec. 9 when the Pats head down to Miami.
The Patriots need to start cleaning up the defensive side of the ball. Coming into this week, the Patriots defense was ranked 12th in the League. The defense can fix itself as time goes on, but this has been an Achilles heel for the Patriots in past years. To many fans, the defense has looked soft and lazy. All fans have to do is look at the tape: from poor tackling technique, misreading plays, and so on. Against the Jaguars, the Patriots allowed 480 offensive yards and went 4 of 12 on third down. If New England wants to make another deep run in the playoffs, they are going to have to fix things quickly.
Through the first three weeks, the Patriots seemed to not have enough talent. The acquisition of Josh Gordon should help a lot in a receiving core that has been ‘sub-par’ to this point. As seen in a loss against Detroit, every time the Pats needed a big 3rd down play, they kept turning to their basketball player-sized tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was being double teamed. The wide receiver depth chart is not very appealing with Chris Hogan, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Phillip Dorsett. The Patriots rank 23rd in net yards per game on offense and with Gronk’s new ankle injury it can only make things worse.
Gil Santos ‘Voice of the Patriots’ Dies at 80
By Meaghan Cahill ’20
Gil Santos, inductee of the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame, radio play-by-play announcer for the New England Patriots, and member of the Patriots Hall of Fame passed away last weekend on April 19. It was his 80th birthday and 57th wedding anniversary.
Known as the “Voice of the Patriots,” Santos began his renowned career in 1966 as a color commentor for WBZ. He became the official play-by-play announcer in 1971 when the Patriots moved to Foxborough, Massachusetts. He called 744 games in 36 seasons before he announced his retirement in 2009.
In a 2009 interview, Santos recalled that it was Mel Allen announcing the Rose Bowl Game in 1950 that ignited his passion for sports broadcasting. “He said, ‘It’s 80 degrees and sunny here in Pasadena’ and I was thinking ‘Geez, it’s snowing here, it’s 80 degrees there, and this guy’s there to broadcast the game. What a great way to make a living.’”
Santos gave 63 years of his life to the broadcasting business, announcing most notably for the Patriots, but also for teams such as the Boston Celtics, the Providence College Men’s Basketball Team, and the Boston College football team. He also announced at events such as the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Santos described his broadcasting career as “simple. I tell the people where this ball is, who has it, and then what they’re doing with it. Then I let my partner talk.”
His son, Mark Santos, recalled his father’s career as being anything but simple, reflecting on the countless hours of preparation and lack of sleep his father endured. Mark gave a nod to his father, saying, “For a guy who spoke nothing but Portuguese until he was five, he came a long way. [My father] never felt more comfortable than sitting in a press box. That was his calling. He loved calling games.”
Following Santos’ death, of which the cause remains unknown, Patriots owner Robert Kraft released the statement, “For generations of Patriots fans, Gil Santos was and forever will be known as the ‘Voice of the Patriots’. Gil was a legendary broadcaster, who for 36 years passionately described the play-by-play detail of every Patriots game during his career, including many of the most memorable moments in franchise history.”
Gino Cappelletti, the former star Patriots kicker and receiver, partnered with Santos in the booth until his own retirement in 2012; it was a partnership that lead to Santos referring to Cappelletti as “mon ami” (my friend in French) at the beginning of every one of his broadcasts.
Following the announcement of Santos’ death, Cappelletti interviewed with The Boston Globe on his former partner. In the interview, Cappelletti recalled Santos’ enthusiasm with the memory from the 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII game at the Reliant Stadium, “I’ve got to watch Gil. He gets excited and tends to lean over. If he does that here, he’d better be wearing a parachute.”
In the same interview, Cappelletti stated that Santos was “truly a pro in every sense of the word, always prepared. Gil demands quality and excellence in everything he does in the radio broadcast business.”
Former coworkers of Santos took to remembering him following his death, reminiscing on memories they have of him and the type of man and worker that he was.
Gary LaPierre, Santos’ colleague from WBZ, commented, “There are none better at painting pictures on radio. He’s got a set of pipes and credibility. You never hear anyone bad-mouthing him. He is a straight shooter.”
Santos’ gave his last broadcast on January 20, 2013 at Gillette Stadium, where the Patriots lost the AFC title game to the Baltimore Ravens. Santos had to spend months determinedly completing rehab to make the game after suffering pneumonia and an obstructed pulmonary disease the year before, days after the Patriots loss in Super Bowl XLVI. Against all odds, Santos survived the illnesses, but was only left with movement in his right arm and was unable to feed himself.
In the final years of his life, Santos reflected, “Hey, I’m pretty lucky. I got to do what I wanted to do. Now all I’d like is to be remembered as someone who was good at what he did and was a good guy, too…It’s never been a job with the Patriots. It’s been an honor.”
Many people across New Engand will certainly remember Santos the way he wanted to be remembered and for so much more.
Birds Stun Pats
Eagles Win Their First Title
by Sullivan Burgess ’20
In a shocking turn of events, the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII 41-33. In a game filled with trick plays, incredible catches, and beautiful runs, as well as a new Solo: A Star Wars Story ad, MVP stats, and a Prince tribute from Justin Timberlake, the Super Bowl brought a nail biting victory for the Eagles.
Not only is this the first time the Eagles beat the Pats in the Super Bowl, it is the first time the Eagles have won a Super Bowl in the history of their franchise. Before the game even began, the Eagles were on a whole new level of prepared and hyped as they ran out onto the field, with Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares” blasting through the stadium’s speakers.
Throughout the game, the Eagles played consistent defense against 2017 MVP Tom Brady. While Brady managed to set a record by throwing 505 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, his arm and his offensive line could not match the strength and the speed of Fletcher Cox and the rest of Philadelphia’s defense. One play the Pats tried to use to trick the Eagles was a reverse to New England wide receiver Danny Amendola, who attempted to throw it to Brady, but Brady missed the ball as it hit his fingertips.
The Eagles at fourth and goal ran a wildcat counter to Trey Burton who threw it to Nick Foles for a touchdown in the 2nd quarter before halftime. Foles ended up winning MVP of the game for throwing 373 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.
Granted Foles’s performance was not MVP status compared to Brady, we have to take into consideration that he was the second string quarterback for the Eagles coming into the season.
The original starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, a 2017 MVP candidate, suffered a torn ACL in December, ending his season. Credit must be given to Foles as he stepped up huge in a time of need and brought the spark needed for the team alongside veteran players such as Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Zach Ertz, Jay Ajayi, and LeGarrette Blount.
Blount and Chris Long are notable players who came from New England last season and have now secured back-to-back championships playing for different teams. One of the players who had one of the biggest impacts on the Eagles was undrafted Wisconsin rookie running back Corey Clement. Clement lead in receiving yards for the Eagles with four receptions for 100 yards and one touchdown.
On the other side, Amendola, who finished the game with eight receptions for 152 yards, stepped up alongside Rob Gronkowski after Brandin Cooks suffered a head injury early in the game.
Another notable player who did not play for the Patriots was cornerback Malcolm Butler, who intercepted Russell Wilson at the end of Super Bowl XLIX to secure the win for New England in 2015.
Before the national anthem, Butler was informed that he would not be starting the game, which came as a shock to fans and even himself. Coach Bill Belichick, who called the move a “football decision” after benching a player who played 97.8 percent of the team’s snaps during regular season, stated, “We put the players and game plan out there that we thought would be the best, like we always do.” Recently, reports stated that Butler was benched for missing team curfew and other reckless activities, which both Butler and Brady denied to the press. Regardless of his presence off the field, it seemed the Eagles were in it to win in the long run.
Fans on campus had mixed emotions about the results of the game. Although New England fans were displeased with the outcome of the game, some shared that they were pleased the game was not a blowout.
Eagles fans on campus felt differently. Devoted Eagles fan Cayla Veverka ’20 stated, “Overall, I think the Eagles defense made a lot of good coverage plays. Foles had a great game with Ertz and Smith making amazing plays. I think the Pats missed crucial plays like the missed field goals and Brady dropping the pass. Fly Eagles Fly.”
Overall, this will go down in history as one of the greatest upsets and games in Super Bowl history. In the end, the Lombardi trophy is heading to Philadelphia for the first time in history. Philadelphia now joins New York City, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles as the only cities to win the World Series, the Stanley Cup, the NBA Finals, and the Super Bowl. Congrats to the Eagles, and best of luck to them and all the other teams in the upcoming NFL Draft.