Antonio Brown and the “Patriot Way”


Tyler Frost

Tyler Frost, Reporter

The NFL season has come and gone as the New England Patriots won Super Bowl 54 nearly five months prematurely with their stunning acquisition of wide receiver Antonio Brown. There is still a whole season to play, and many things could change, but the defending Super Bowl champs are in a better position than they already were. Tom Brady and company opened the new year with a 33-3 beatdown on Brown’s former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers without his services. He was not allowed to play under league rules until week two due to the timing of his signing. The Patriots are already among the cream of the crop, but adding the best wide receiver the league has seen over the last decade will likely propel them to a nearly unbeatable status.

The New England Patriots have solidified themselves as the greatest dynasty in the history of football, winning six Super Bowls since the 2001 season. Nobody could’ve imagined that team owner Robert Kraft, quarterback Tom Brady, and head coach Bill Belichick would still be going this strong this far removed from their first world championship. The culture they have established in New England has turned their franchise into the epitome of everlasting success.

Though the Pats have had some great players over the last 20 years, it is their system and work environment above all that has propelled them to the next level. Bill Belichick is arguably the greatest head coach in the history of football, while Brady is debatably the greatest quarterback the sport has seen. They are the foundation that has held this fort together, as they command instant respect from any new player who enters that locker room. The manner in which Belichick’s team conducts themselves has been labeled as the “Patriot Way” which we have seen turn average players into good players, good players into great players, and headcases into model citizens.

That is what Patriots fans hope to see with all-world talent Antonio Brown, who has stirred up a whole stew of drama in this past offseason. Brown forced his way out of a good situation in Pittsburgh after he quit on the team, and was traded in March to the Oakland Raiders. He continued to cause problems as he skipped his team’s Training Camp and filed a grievance against the NFL. He was rightfully fined by the Raiders for conduct detrimental to the team. A heated exchange, a few threats and several Instagram posts later, Brown was released into free agency, allowing New England to acquire him.

The “Patriot Way” has turned many players with ego issues into class act professionals. They’ve taken chances on players like Randy Moss, Josh Gordon (who has been suspended 5 times for marijuana charges) and Aquib Talib shortly after an arrest. More times than not, the risk pays off. When players come to play for the Kraft family, coach Belichick, and Tom Brady, they just shut up and play football. If Brown adopts this model of conduct, then this years’ Patriots team will be a scary sight for the rest of the league.

Without Brady and Belichick, there is no “Patriot Way” and there would not be six Lombardi Trophies in New England. If you aren’t a Patriots fan, you probably hate them for their dominance. Us fans would love to see our teams win. Parody is often desired, and you have every right to hate the New England Patriots, but it is just as fair to respect their longevity and continued greatness.