No superbowl wins in 9 years, some bad draft choices from 2006 to 2009, Hernandez murder (and maybe another double murder), Dennard arrested for 2nd time. What has happened in Foxboro? Is the Patriot Way dead?
I guess it all depends on what one means by the Patriot Way. Is the Patriot Way success after success? Is the Patriot Way a value driven approach to selecting players in the draft and free agency? Or is the Patriot Way something not dependent on wins on the field? The Patriot Way is a myth; a myth that each of us creates for ourselves. For me the Patriot Way is quite simple: it means putting the team above the individual. sacrificing for the greater good. Brady exeplifies the Patriot Way, he could have gotten a bigger contract time after time but renounce it so the team would have money to sign other players to complete the team chemistry and compete year after year.
There will always be situations that don't work out because people are people; and people f**k up. We cannot control every situation successfully. The media and our critics may villify for us for failing but deep down they are jealous and hate us for trying hard to raise ourselves above silly, selfish ego battles that many teams are caught up in. We need to maintain a generous, open attitude toward them and even agree with them when they are right. We do need to ask ourselves what went wrong with giving AH a big contract? The Patriot Way is not dead but it does need to be continually re-invented and renewed. We cannot rest on our laurels for any successes in the past; we do not deserve to put any other teams down; even those that have continually failed. We are not better than them. Humility, unselfish behavior and team sacrifice are the heart of the Patriot Way and we as fans need to show this generosity to our opponents. That is what allows us to live the Patriot Way.