The New England Patriots of the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick/Robert Kraft era will forever be remembered as one of the greatest dynasties in the history of American sports.
The 19-year run brought nine Super Bowl appearances and six titles to Foxboro after decades of failure. Together, Brady, Belichick and Kraft created something no one had ever thought to be possible in New England.
Considering the backstories of the three Patriots icons, it wasn't only one of the greatest dynasties ever -- it was one of the most improbable.
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On a brand new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast, author Jeff Benedict joins Tom E. Curran and Michael Holley to discuss his new book, "The Dynasty." The book gives a full behind-the-scenes look at the Patriots' historic run, covering all of the good, the bad, and the ugly.
In the episode, Curran asks whether the Patriots' dynasty was the ultimate underdog story. Benedict's answer speaks to how amazing it is that the Patriots were able to accomplish what they did.
"These are the unwanted guys. Each one of them -- when you try to explain as I've felt every time I've walked into this building, there's something literally you can feel it in the walls of this building is that there's an attitude here," Benedict said. "I'm not talking about arrogance, that's a different thing. There's an attitude here about showing people that we're better than everyone else. Again, not in an arrogant way, but we're really serious about what we do here. What we do in this building is we produce excellence.
"That's what Brady, Belichick, and Kraft are all about. And if you look at a commonality between them, because they're three really different human beings, but when you go commonality roots, it's that neither of the three were accepted at the beginning. Robert Kraft is the outsider that nobody wants to sell the team to, and when he goes to his first NFL owners meeting, he's the odd man out. He's like the guy who doesn't belong in the club and he's got to earn his way, he's got to kind of put his tool belt on and just climb his way through to establish the respect where people finally figure out he's a good guy and a smart guy who'd be good for the league. But that doesn't come in the beginning.
"And then the same with Belichick, those conversations that Kraft has with people like Carmen Policy in San Francisco, with Paul Tagliabue, with the owner of the Cleveland Browns who used to employ Belichick and they're all telling him 'This will be a big mistake, you should not hire him.' He's the unwanted man.
"And then you have Tom. We all know Tom's draft story. But Tom's draft story is not the beginning of being unwanted. He wasn't wanted at Michigan. ...
"And so, I think they try to build these monumental chips on their shoulders, which is great about them. Robert Kraft wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth, contrary to what a lot of people think. He had to earn it. He's a self-made man. When you're self-made as opposed to inheriting, your approach is different.
Also discussed in the episode: Tom Brady explaining to Robert Kraft he was not returning to the Patriots, whether Bill Belichick is misunderstood or mischaracterized, whether Kraft and Brady's relationship got in the way of how Belichick does business, and the "gentleman's agreement" made in 2010 for Brady.