My good friend Joe Wirth asked me last week, “Does the winning ever get old?”, after the Patriots beat the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. Short answer is no. No it doesn’t. But instead of simply telling him that, I took the time to interview Bill Belechick and Tom Brady* so that they could answer him for me.
Me: You’ve reached many milestones in your team’s meteoric ascent…
Bill: To live in the past is to die in the present.
Me: How are the Patriots always good? What’s the secret reason?
It seemed like you did it so quick!
Bill: There are no shortcuts to building a team each season.
You build the foundation brick by brick.
Me: Bill, I have to ask are you worried about Atlanta’s schemes?
Bill: I’m not really worried about the other 31 teams.
Me: What do you hear more than you’d wish.
Bill: Lately? “How are you going to top this?”
Me: Brady’s been at it for a while, do you think he’ll be able to kick it into high gear?
Bill: I think that Tom has been a great leader for this football team this and every year.
Me: Brady’s been called the Comeback Kid, often putting the team on his back urgently.
Bill: That’s what good quarterbacks do, they make plays when things don’t go perfectly.
Me: Are the people who doubt Tom’s the Goat crazy?
Bill: There’s no quarterback I’d rather have than Tom Brady.
Me: None of the rest?
Bill: He’s the best.
Me: How do you respond to a question that’s so overdone?
Bill: It’s pretty simple, “We’re going to win another one.”
Me: Do you ever take time thinking about the legacy you’ve made and how long it will last?
Or would you consider that a crime?
Tom: If you sit back & spend too much time feeling good about what you did in the past.
You’re going to come up short next time.
Me: What do you say to teammates who don’t show up ready to ball?
Tom: I tell them, If you don’t play to win, don’t play at all.
Me: Last year against Denver you guys looked a bit meek.
Tom: I don’t care about last year. The only thing I care about is next week.
Me: Some people think you take success for granted, how do you feel about that hate?
Tom: I’m not a person that’s satisfied just being out there. I want to go out and play great.
Me: You’ve never been afraid to show your emotions, it never fails to make me grin,
Tom: I’m a pretty good winner. I’m a terrible loser. And I rub it in pretty good when I win.
Me: Last game you guys really raised the bar, do you think your speed will slow?
Tom:I didn’t come this far to only come this far, so we’ve still got further to go.
*Every response by Tom and Bill are actual quotations from previous interviews.
Go Patriots, bring on ring #5.