Review of New England Patriots Super Bowl XXXIX DVD

March 4, 2009

51k8s1swyal__sl500_aa240_

Despite drawbacks, the New England Patriots Super Bowl XXXIX DVD is simply a must have for any New England Patriots fan.

Essentially, an hour-long highlight reel of the Patriot’s 2004 season, including highlights from each and every regular season and playoff game, culminating in a more detailed highlight package of the Super Bowl itself.

Sound bites from the sidelines, from players, and from coaches’ interviews done during the season are interspersed throughout the video.

The video does not do a great job of building drama through the regular season leading to the playoffs. But of course, there wasn’t all that much drama given New England only lost two games, finishing at 14-2.

It does, however, do a decent job of spotlighting the impact of the regular season loss to Pittsburgh, and the mounting injuries to the team’s defensive backs. It also does a good job of profiling Cory Dillon’s impact on the Patriots’ running game during the regular season and playoffs.

The DVD gives Troy Brown’s defensive play some much deserved airtime. Like last year, I wish the video had more highlights, more commentary, and more inside information. But overall, it was mostly a complete package.

The best part of the DVD was the entire international game broadcast. It is awesome to have the entire game on DVD as a keepsake, even though I also taped it on VHS. This year the announcers for that broadcast were Dick Stockton and Darryl Johnston,  who excelled.  It is without commercials, of course, and includes key statistics during the game and shots of fans and replays. It is surprisingly a well edited film, given the speed with which the DVD was produced.

The other special features included a number of pre and postgame interviews with New England players and coaches, which were interesting but short. Also included is the entire Paul McCartney Super Bowl halftime show, which for me I could have cared less about but it will no doubt appeal to many others. I wonder why the Super Bowl XXXVIII DVD didn’t include the halftime show? (Ha! Ha!)

I was very disappointed that the DVD did not include the ESPN NFL Matchup segment analyzing the Super Bowl, which is really a fabulous breakdown of the game. That was a really big plus for the Super Bowl XXXVIII DVD. But of course, this year’s Super Bowl was on Fox so they aren’t going to allow promotion of another network’s program.

Despite my quibbles with some aspects of the DVD, if you are a New England Patriots fan you will no doubt enjoy this more than once. I don’t think non-New England Patriots fans would like the DVD that much because it is essentially a highlight reel of the Patriots’ season and does not do any in-depth breakdown of the game or season that an avid football fan would be looking for.

Disclaimer: I am a die hard New England Patriots fan and am totally biased in this review.

Super Bowl XXXIX – New England Patriots Championship Video

Advertisements

Review of New England Patriots Super Bowl XXXVI DVD

March 3, 2009

5146v0rf1ql__sl500_aa240_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.

Super Bowl XXXVI – New England Patriots Championship Video


Week 17 NFL Picks

December 26, 2008
ESPN.com Illustration
ESPN.com Illustration

Happy holidays, football fans.  I’m back and coming off a rather putrid 7-9 week, so things have got to be better this final week, right?  Although of course this is the week that wacky things happen and teams that clinched rest people and all sorts of stuff, so maybe not.  We’ll shoot for better anyway and see how it goes.

Atlanta over St. Louis:  The Falcons are in the playoffs and still have a chance to win the division with a Carolina loss, so they still have much to play for.  Not to mention momentum.  The Rams have been playing for a top draft pick, as they’ve been doing all season.  No incentive here so the Falcons get the pick.

New England over Buffalo:  The Patriots still have a chance to hit the playoffs with some help but of course they first have to win.  I don’t see this being an issue.  Has any team tanked more than Buffalo after their hot start?  NE rolls.

Kansas City over Cincy:  In the game that means absolutely nothing, this week’s Suck Bowl, I’ll go with the team that has been far more competitive each week than the one that has a win over the lowly Browns.  KC has lost several heart breakers but they’ve not quit, not sure I can say the same for all the Bengals players.  KC with the win.

Green Bay over Detroit:  And here it is…the quest for 0-16 comes down to this week, to this team, to this moment.  And I’ll admit it, I’m scared as can be over this one.  Will my dreams be dashed the final week of the season?  Will Green Bay continue to choke away games they should have won?  I’m going with them to hold on, pride on the line and all that, and give us the dream season.  Come on Lions, don’t let me down.

Indy over Tennessee:  Tenn has clinched and Indy is in as well, so not sure what teams we’ll see out there.  I think Dungy will keep his starters playing for awhile and I’m not sure about Tenn, thus I’m going this way.  Frankly I would go this way even if both teams played everybody, Indy has shown something in recent weeks while Tenn has been more of a wild card.

Minnesota over NY Giants:  The only reason I’m going with this one is because the Giants have clinched and Minn is fighting for its playoff life.  They still have a chance to take the north.  Again, I’m going with the team that has the motivation.

Carolina over NO:  Carolina still needs a win to clinch the division, even though they’ve earned a playoff spot.  NO has nothing to play for, except hatred of Carolina perhaps.  I nearly went with the Saints but their defense is crappy and Steve Smith will likely have a field day.  Carolina wins and claims the NFC South title.

Pittsburgh over Cleveland:  And now we know that a team with no quarterback really can’t survive in this league.  I mean, we knew that before, but it’s been reconfirmed.  Ken Dorsey?  Did anybody really know he was still in the league?  I sure didn’t.  Perhaps this week when they lose Brady Quinn will get punched again by another random player.  The Browns are fun at least!

Tampa Bay over Oakland:  Unbelievably Tampa is still in the playoff hunt after 3 terrible weeks of football.  They should be able to beat Oakland, but who can say with this team anymore?  The Raiders have shown signs of life in recent weeks so I can’t be as comfortable about this pick as I would like to be, but I will again go with the team that has the most on the line.

Chicago over Houston:  Hmm this one is tough.  Houston has actually played well in recent weeks but the Bears are fighting for a playoff spot so they should be going all out here.  I’m not going with an upset even though I don’t think that much of the Bears, despite their being on the cusp of the playoffs.  Orton still has not won me over and their offensive game plan, just chuck the ball down field and hope Hester catches it or gets a flag doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in me.  However they are fighting to make the post season so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and pick there here.  I’m sure Houston will make me pay for that.

Baltimore over Jacksonville:  This game could go the other way but Balt is hungry and they’ll want to keep the Pats out of the playoffs.  I believe that is the scenario…there are so many going through my mind that I can’t keep track of them all.  Jax is one of the disappointing teams of the year, no reason they should rise up now.

Washington over San Fran:  Just because someone has to win.  Chalk the Skins up as another team that was a major disappointment.  I still can’t figure out what went wrong with them, it seems like they have the pieces there they just can’t put them together.  I’m happy the 49ers are signing Singletary longterm, I do think he’s the right man for the job and he has them playing hard at a time when they’re not playing for much of anything.

NY Jets over Miami:  Here we go to the big games…and I honestly have no idea what to expect here.  Every time I pick against Miami I end up regretting it, and every time I pick the Jets I end up regretting it too.  But for some reason I am inflicting a double whammy on myself by predicting the Jets to beat Miami.  So either I’ll really get it wrong or whatever voodoo these teams have working against me will cancel out and I’ll get it right.  Should be interesting at any rate.  The Jets get the nod because they’re at home and desperate.

Dallas over Philly:  Yep, I am predicting that my morons miss the playoffs due to Dallas winning at Philly.  It seems like the kind of thing that would happen to Tampa, after all, doesn’t it?  Frankly they don’t deserve to make the playoffs anyway.  I am hoping that Philly takes it but I have no confidence in them and Dallas feels like that team that’s going to luck into the playoffs and maybe make some noise once they’re there.

Arizona over Seattle:  Who cares really?  Zona is one and done in the playoffs and Seattle has nothing going on.  This game bores me.

San Diego over Denver:  Here’s the other big win and you’re in game we have this week.  I really couldn’t begin to guess what is going to happen in it either, but I do know that Rivers shredded Tampa’s defense last week and Tampa’s defense is a heck of a lot better than Denver’s is.  Of course, this is a divisional game and it feels like everything gets thrown right out the window in those games.  San Diego has been playing well in recent weeks and I think they’ll continue the trend and win that division.  Hard to believe that they can come back from their terrible record early in the season but there you go.

So that’s it for the final week in the NFL.  Let’s hope that my picks are a bit more accurate than last weeks were! I’ll be back next week with playoff predictions and individual awards.  Enjoy your final week of regular season football!  Oh, I forgot to name a Douchetard of the Week for last week…tough call but I think Big Ben gets his second award of the season.  With home field advantage on the line he lost two fumbles and threw a pick 6 when the game was still not out of reach.  Congrats Big Ben!

Last Week:  7-9

Season Record:  150.5-88.5