New England Patriots fans will no doubt want to add this Super Bowl XXXVI DVD to their collection. This highlights package of the 2001 NFL football season culminated in the Patriots winning their first league championship under difficult circumstances.
As with all other NFL championship DVDs, this is a little over an hour long highlights package of every New England Patriots regular season and playoff game, along with even more extensive highlights of the New England Patriots exciting, dramatic victory over the St. Louis Rams, 20-17, in Super Bowl XXXXVI.
This video includes many interviews, sideline sound bites, and locker room scenes throughout the season, which really brings to life the players and coaches on this fabulous team.
While I always feel these video packages do not do a great job of highlighting the drama of specific games, including those in the playoffs, it does do a good of job of conveying the drama of this very interesting, unusual season for the Patriots.
First, many may forget the Patriots started out 0-2, and were only 5-5 at one point in the season. Few expected this team to go far, especially not to the Super Bowl.
Probably more important, the producers of this video did a very nice job of dealing with the quarterback controversy—or lack thereof—that emerged when Tom Brady took over for the injured Drew Bledsoe, the long time New England starter. Bledsoe suffered a severe chest injury in the second regular season game against the Jets. Once Bledsoe was cleared to play later in the season, Brady kept the starting job because the Patriots were winning and Brady was on a roll. This DVD includes in season interviews with both quarterbacks talking about their situation. While there was a lot more tension on the team than is seen in the video or that the Patriots have ever made public, Bledsoe must be given great credit for not tearing the team apart and ruining their chances of success. Given his long tenure as the starter and close relationship with the players on the team, he could have easily caused great dissension on the team and split apart the locker room. But he accepted his new role with professionalism, maturity, and dignity which should endear him to most Patriots fans. Bledsoe earned his Super Bowl ring through his maturity and his great play in the AFC Championship game against Pittsburgh when Brady twisted his ankle early in the game. This video does a nice job of highlighting and dealing with situation as the season progressed.
The video also does a nice job with the more extensive highlights of New England’s playoff victories. The first, against the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Divisional Playoff game, 16-13, took place in a blizzard. This game featured the overturning of an apparent Brady fumble, under the now infamous “Tuck Rule,” that would have cost the Patriots the game. The game also featured some of the most amazing kicking in ridiculously bad weather by Adam Vinateri.
The Patriots 24-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh featured sterling play by Bledsoe when Tom Brady went down with an injury early in the game, and a Troy Brown return of a blocked field goal that help seal the game for the Patriots.
Finally, of course, there are even more extensive highlights of the dramatic 20-17 Super Bowl victory over the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI on a last second field goal by Adam Vinateri. This was preceded by a gutsy, long drive by the Patriots with less than two minutes to go after the Rams tied the score late in the game. I still get tears in my eyes watching that kick sail through the uprights to secure our first Super Bowl victory.
The Special Features on the video are also nicely done. While I was disappointed the entire Super Bowl game was not on the video, the bonus material is quite worthwhile, even if the segments are a bit short.
The bonus features include “NFL Salutes America,” showing player reactions to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as well as the halftime show, featuring U2, which I frankly have never watched.
More interesting, and important to New England fans, are the three short segments about the team itself (about five minutes a piece). First, there is a segment on the 1976 Patriots, which many consider to be the most talented Patriots team ever, which was robbed in a playoff loss against the Oakland Raiders on a bogus roughing the passer call late in the game.
A second features one of New England’s star players of the 1960s, Gino Cappelletti, who is now a broadcaster for Patriots game. And my favorite segment of all is on the tough, gritty Steve Grogan, the Patriots quarterback in the 1970s who was a role model for me as kid.
This video is highly recommend for New England Patriots fans.
Disclaimer: I am a die hard New England Patriots fan and am totally biased in this review.