The Boston Globe’s John Kruk and the history of Patriots fandom

Written by By Sandra Banister

Watching Tom Brady and Bill Belichick together during the play-offs last weekend surely was one of the most emotional and draining sports experiences I’ve ever been fortunate enough to witness.

Walking into Foxborough against the Chicago Bears to start the game, the atmosphere inside of Gillette Stadium was electric. Spectators, fans, players, and executives from around the country were in top voice: loud, proud, joyful, excited, thrilled — a roar went up when Brady tossed the first pass.

In that first minute, they cheered when Brady led his team downfield to score the first touchdown of the game — and when he tossed the second pass to Rob Gronkowski for the touchdown that tied the game and initiated the post-game celebration.

The night would change forever

Fast forward to overtime. After a few minutes of Gronkowski receiving the ball in his defensive spot, Brady had one last chance at the ball. And he took the ball.

But this time, the path towards the end zone was going to be difficult — and he threw an overthrow. Next, Brady’s bad pass was picked off, but then right before the injury timeout expired, the Patriots recovered the ball.

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Brady had a final chance and sent the ball down the field where Gronkowski would once again emerge from nowhere for the touchdown that put the Patriots on top. The crowd went wild.

It wasn’t just the players. When NBC aired the scene, viewers around the world were cheering.

The three pillars of the Patriots: Brady, Belichick, and owner Robert Kraft

I’m hearing the same reports that have been circulating for years that the world simply is won’t accept (even I can’t stand it), but there’s little doubt that this team is 100%-hard core –they will not be intimidated or stopped.

Just take a look at the Patriots third most-famous fan: Bill Belichick.

John Kruk’s favorite football player

He couldn’t be more synonymous with the New England Patriots. A media legend himself, ESPN analyst and former Red Sox outfielder John Kruk’s impressive career stats (a .320 batting average, a four-time All-Star) speak for themselves.

But once he retired, Kruk decided to come out of retirement. Why? Because he wanted to watch Patriots games and rejoin his favorite coach, Bill Belichick.

Why? Because he felt he owed it to the team to watch them play. So he started writing The Boston Globe’s football blog, Minute Men. His goal: to ensure that Patriots fans are educated and up-to-date on their team every day.

And like any passionate Patriots fan, Kruk seems to be one of the most loyal to their team. He was reportedly chided by some San Francisco Giants fans for reportedly swearing at them, or “doing Boston in the streets.”

The Patriots’ general manager. Bill Belichick.

Bill Belichick is most famous for his record-breaking eight-year tenure as head coach of the New England Patriots. And last season, he won his fifth consecutive Super Bowl for the team.

Behind every successful executive is an experienced general manager. Like coach Belichick, general manager Kraft was twice drafted for the Patriots and came back as GM and coach.

But Kraft didn’t start his NFL journey in the front office. He started as a scout and then director of college scouting. After gaining his college degree, he went on to be a pro scout and then director of pro personnel. In total, this savvy businessman started in the front office for the Patriots for 33 years and for the last 11 years as team president and CEO.

Watching a Patriots Super Bowl victory this year will be unthinkable.

However, it’s inevitable that the NFL teams that have been the powerhouses of the league, that’ve owned the fort for the past five years will be in the Super Bowl once again this year. And that means these three pillars of the Patriots — coach Belichick, owner Kraft, and quarterback Brady — will be making history once again — and you know what that means. The Super Bowl will be hosted at Foxborough for the ninth time in the Belichick-Brady era.

Just when you think it can’t get any better, the Patriots will bring home the Super Bowl trophy.

Sorry NFL fans, but we have our eyes on the future.

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