The new book on the Patriots Dynasty may be the best yet
While there is no shortage of books on the New England Patriots dynasty, Seth Wickersham’s new work is possibly the best yet.
For the second year running, a new book about the New England Patriots dynasty has been published in the hope of being the definitive work on the most successful team in modern NFL history. After 2020 The dynasty by Jeff Benedict is Seth Wickershams Better to be scared, a nearly 500-page work by a writer who has covered the Patriots for nearly two decades. With so many books written about this dynasty and the two men at the center (Tom Brady and Bill Belichick), convincing fans to read yet another tome about this team can be difficult. However, Wickersham’s is so good that even the casual NFL fan will want to read this new book.
With so many ways to tell the story of the Patriots dynasty, Wickersham chooses to reduce the story to the psychodrama between and within Brady and Belichick. The focus is not only on what the two have achieved together, but also what drove them. Questioned throughout his career until he succeeded in New England, Brady still comes across as a man who is still plagued by those who underestimated him and constantly striving to prove them wrong. Even after two decades of unprecedented success, that drive has yet to fade and he appears as someone who cannot imagine life outside of football.
Belichick, meanwhile, is portrayed as a man who reduced his life to the pursuit of winning soccer games. He looks almost anhedonian and doesn’t enjoy anything other than striving for a profit edge while watching movies for hours. He also has the feeling that he enjoys not only outsmarting opposing coaches tactically, but also being able to predict their habits in order to defeat them psychologically. Of the many books written about these two men, Wickersham seems to provide the deepest and most revealing portraits of both in these pages.
There was no New England Patriots Way, “there was only Bill Belichick and Tom Brady”
He also focuses on the uniqueness of these two men and concludes: âThere was no Patriot Way. There was only Bill Belchick and Tom Brady. Nothing about them was reproducible … what stood out, as was their brilliance, was their uniqueness. âOver and over again, teams hired Patriots assistants or tried to emulate their management strategies in hopes of capturing their success for themselves and failed each time. It wasn’t that these other teams were necessarily doing something wrong; they just weren’t Belichick and Brady.
One difference between this book and Jeff Benedict’s is that Benedict’s The Dynasty was more about the team than the organization. The first 150 pages were about Robert Kraft’s years of struggle to buy the team and turn it into a successful organization in the years before Tom Brady. Wickersham meanwhile focuses almost exclusively on Brady and Belichick. Kraft shows up more in the second half of the book, although his dealings with the Patriots are less the focus than his work with the league, trying to avoid stoppages due to labor disputes. The book then tacitly argues that strength wasn’t as important to the team’s success as some others might claim, that this is actually the story of Belichick and Brady, and that everyone else – even the man who funded the entire operation – ultimately is dispensable.
Overall, Wickersham’s book argues that if you want to create and maintain the most successful and long-lived dynasty in NFL history, indeed, if you want to achieve your goal, it may not be as fulfilling. The desire and restless drive that compels one to strive for such greatness could also prevent you from enjoying it once you attain it.
How immersed Wickersham was in the world of New England football can be seen by looking at the sources of the books. Many of the chapter notes in the bibliography state, “Most of the information in this chapter comes from events I witnessed firsthand.” Although he did not interview Brady or Belichick specifically for this project, his time is in the Past with them has been evident throughout the book. Here’s new information on a number of pivotal moments in the dynasty’s history, from the Spygate and Deflategate controversies to the team’s reaction to Bill Belichick’s letter in support of Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 election. Overall, the book is full of little revelations that shed a new light every other moment.
Wickersham’s book is perhaps the best book on the Patriots dynasty in existence. It is captivating and skilfully written, draws the reader into the events he describes and gives him the feeling of experiencing these encounters and games for himself. Any book that comes out about the New England Patriots has to be justified against how many there are already; Wickersham’s does this again and again and is one of the best books on the NFL to come out in the last few years.