In the mid 90’s Don Lane hosted a weekly NFL highlights program on the ABC which provided a great introduction to the game for Australians. My housemate at the time was already a huge NFL fan, with a collection of tomes on rules, strategy and statistics, so Don was a regular feature in our house on a Tuesday night.
Of course to really follow a sport you need a team. My housemate was an Oakland Raiders fan and I spent an enormous amount of time trying to consume sports stats rather than actually do any work for the degree that I was studying. Finally I settled on the New England Patriots, a bunch of underdog losers who had started to see a bit of a form reversal thanks to their new Quarterback Drew Bledsoe.
I’ve always liked loser teams who come good and these days there aren’t many teams better than the Pats. This year the Patriots became the first team to win every game in the regular season since it was extended from 14 to 16 games in the mid 70’s and if they can defeat the New York Giants today they will stand above every other team in the NFL as one of the legends of their game.