Review of 3 Games to Glory II: New England Patriots Triumphant Again


3 Games to Glory II is a two-disc video compilation of the 2003 New England Patriots playoff run that culminated in one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever, Super Bowl XXXVIII , where the New England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers 32-29 on a last second field goal by Adam Vinatieri. This Super Bowl win was the second in three years for the Patriots. Needless to say, this is a must have video for New England Patriots fans. I doubt non-New England Patriots fans would particularly enjoy it.

Main Features

3 Games to Glory II features very extensive highlights of each of the New England Patriots 2003 playoff wins, including the Super Bowl. Both AFC playoff games were held in Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, as New England secured a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs with a regular season record of 14-2. Super Bowl XXXVIII was held in Houston, Texas at Reliant Stadium on February 1, 2004.

Following are the games you will see highlights of:

• New England’s defeat of the Tennessee Titans 17-14 in the divisional playoff round;
• New England’s defeat of the Indianapolis Colts 24-14 in the AFC Championship Game; and
• New England’s defeat of the Carolina Panthers 32-29 in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

The video highlights of each game, as noted, are very extensive and very well done. There are several things that make the video particularly interesting. First, it shows a great deal of pre-game preparation and sets the game up by telling you how each team got to this point in the season. Secondly, while it might not show every single snap of the AFC playoff games, it shows almost all of them and it is well edited and seamless in its presentation of the games. And it does show every snap of the Super Bowl, which is a huge bonus. Finally, the video angles are very close up and on the field, not far away like you see on television. This brings the action up close and personal and gives the viewer an even greater feel for what it is like to actually be on the field. The action is also interspersed with play-by-play by Gino Cappelletti, the voice of the New England Patriots, who calls the game for radio broadcasts. (He is also a great former New England Patriots player of the 1960’s and is in the Patriot Hall of Fame and SHOULD be in the NFL Hall of Fame, but isn’t).

One of the bonus features is coach Bill Belichick breakdowns. Interspersed in each game is an icon and by using your remote control, the video shows key plays with coach Belichick explaining the offensive or defensive call, why the call was made, and why it was an important part of the game. The only drawback to this was there aren’t more of them, as they were quite informative.

The only drawback to 3 Games to Glory II is that no matter how well done, it just does not quite capture all the drama of the games as they build up through the key plays and the culmination of a Patriot’s win. It may be that no video can really do this, but some of the drama is certainly lost in the presentation. This is less important for die hard New England fans as the rush of adrenaline and sense of nostalgia overcomes this drawback. For non-Patriots fans, who are not likely to remember the drama and the key plays, it could make the video a bit less exciting.

There are other key features that make the video worth the price of admission.

Super Bowl Highlights with Commentary from Mike Vrabel, Deion Branch, and David Givens (Disc One)

The Super Bowl highlights are shown twice, once with the regular commentary and narrative. It is then shown a second time with commentary from Linebacker Mike Vrabel, and Wide Receives Deion Branch and David Givens. It is fun to listen to the players reminisce about the game and make comments about key plays during the Super Bowl.

“Patriots All Access” Featuring Footage from Regular Season (Disc Two)

Disc two contains “Patriots All Access” which was absolutely fabulous. It shows a few select highlights from each game of the regular season interspersed with locker room footage. This was a huge bonus and it built up the drama of the season. Of course this season didn’t have that much drama given New England did go 14-2 and were clearly the best team in the NFL that year. But being able to see week by week highlights of each game and player and coach reactions was just a tremendous idea and adds a great deal to the video package.

Super Bowl XXXVIII Behind the Scenes (Disc Two)

Another very interesting feature on disc two is the Super Bowl XXXVIII behind the scenes feature. It literally walks the viewer through what the players go through day to day as they prepare for the Super Bowl. It is quite eye opening just how much intense pressure and scrutiny the players are under in this game and what they go through as they get near game time. It really explains why commentators say teams that have been to the Super Bowl before have an advantage because they understand what the pressure is like and how to deal with it. It also shows some scenes from the post-Super Bowl party where Kid Rock and Aerosmith performed for the victorious Patriots and their invited guests.

“Winner Takes All” featuring Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison (Disc Two)

This features comments from Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison. Tedy and Rodney are two of the stalwarts on New England’s defensive and two of my favorite players, so it was a treat to hear their comments about the importance of the Super Bowl, comments on the game itself, and what it meant to be there and win the most important game of their careers. It was especially heartening to hear Rodney Harrison who was written off in San Diego as washed up the year before but became the heart and soul of New England’s defense in their run to Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Super Bowl Victory Parade (Disc Two)

While I am not much on victory parades, it was nice to have the video highlights of the parade on hand. It’s really rather anti-climatic. It’s one of those items that is nice to have, but certainly nothing vital.

Finally, the video contains graphics of the complete 2003 New England Patriots roster, the complete 2003 schedule and results, and the complete Super Bowl play-by-play written out. It is okay to have these on the video and completes the record, but they are available elsewhere.

Bottom Line

New England Patriots fans will no doubt enjoy this highlights package and commentary from their favorite players. I would not recommend this for non-New England fans as I really doubt they would find most of the material on the video is particularly interesting.

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