The Patriots, entering a third straight Super Bowl with a quarterback and coach nearly unanimously viewed as the greatest of all time, have a message for the apparently many doubters still in existence.
They’re still here.
Not off to Atlanta. Not do your job. Not no days off and not the empty phrases Bill Belichick inserts with an eye-roll to get through interviews. This year it’s, “We’re still here,” a rallying cry Tom Brady adopted first on social media and now has debuted at Patriots fests.
On Sunday, New England fans — 35,000 of them, the team estimated — sent the Pats off from Gillette Stadium for the showdown with the Rams in the Super Bowl.
Tom Brady was the star of the show. The 41-year-old superstar, who has clearly felt slighted this season as so much attention has been shoved onto the young, up-and-coming stars like Patrick Mahomes and Sean McVay’s explosive attack, took the mic at the rally, but not for long.
“Let’s let them hear it all the way down in Atlanta,” Brady said to raucous cheers before the team left for Atlanta on Sunday afternoon. “We’re still here! We’re still here!”
The chanting continued until Brady threw the microphone away, with Belichick saying, “This is the biggest send-off we’ve ever had.”
It represents the latest evidence Brady feels like an old man on a mission. After the Patriots’ divisional-round victory over the Chargers, Brady told CBS, “Everyone thinks we suck, and you know, can’t win any games.” After New England’s AFC Championship win over the Chiefs, Brady wrote, “P.s. Still here,” in an Instagram message.
His teammates have picked up the disrespect-us-at-your-own-peril shtick. Wide receiver Julian Edelman has chosen “Bet Against Us” as his pet phrase, even selling shirts on his personal website that feature the expression.