New Year, Same Old Croatian Patriot: Bill Belichick is in the Super Bowl!

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January 22, 2019 – Some people try to change each year and announce on their social media accounts, “New year new me!”. However, that’s not the case with Croatian head coach Bill Belichick and his New England Patriots. The Patriots advanced to a record 11th Super Bowl. Nine out of the team’s 11 Super Bowl appearances have been during the Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady era. Despite the freezing temperatures at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, the Patriots and Chiefs battled in an all-time great AFC Championship game. 

The game seemed to be dominated by the Patriots, who lead 14-0 heading into halftime. However, the Kansas City Chiefs battled back and even took the lead 28-24 with only 2:03 left in the game. This wasn’t unfamiliar territory for Belichick and Brady. The duo has had numerous comebacks in their careers – the most notable being in 2017 when they came back to a 28-3 deficit to the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51 to win their fifth Super Bowl, which is the largest comeback in Super Bowl history. 

Nonetheless, the Patriots comeback once again in Kansas City to take the lead 31-28. Following a Chiefs field goal with eight seconds left in regulation, the game went into overtime. The Patriots won the coin toss to begin overtime and marched the ball down the field scoring on their first possession. According to NFL rules, this ended the game automatically because they won the coin toss and scored on the first possession. This historic win put the underdog #2 seeded Patriots into the Super Bowl and defeated the AFC’s #1 seeded team.

If the Patriots win the Super Bowl, this will give Quarterback Tom Brady his sixth Super Bowl title, which would be the most by any player ever in the sport. Furthermore, this would extend Bill Belichick’s record for most by a coach, which would be his eighth. (6x head coach and 2x defensive coordinator) The NFL and the game of Football have had numerous Croatians succeed in the sport such as David Diehl, Pete Carroll, Rob Ninkovich, Nick Saban, etc. In a year that we witnessed Croatian dominance in sports, 2019 is off to a terrific start for our Croatian diaspora. For a nation that is so young, to accomplish all that has been done is truly amazing and something to cheer about. 

Let’s go Patriots!

Text by Thomas Mustać

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page


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