In the last 10 years the New England Patriots have made it to the Super Bowl four times, winning three championships. On Sunday, the team will try to make it number four against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI.
Whatever the outcome, the Patriots will continue to be one of the NFL's most elite and successful teams. Win or lose, the Pats still have a flashy stadium, one of the league's best quarterbacks and a growing and devoted fan base.
Of course, this hasn't always been the case. There are plenty of us who remember when the Patriots were a bit of a joke. Or at best, a scruffy group of football upstarts without a stadium to call their own.
In the 1960s, the Boston Patriots were a brand new team, charter members of the new American Football League. That early version of the team was recently described by The New York Times' Bill Pennington as "...unheralded nomads, more like a traveling circus that won games by hook or by crook on a shoestring budget."
How different was that team compared to the one that will take the field in Indianapolis on Sunday? What do you remember about the old Boston Patriots?
- Richard Johnson, curator at The Sports Museum, Boston
This program aired on February 3, 2012.