A Super Bowl party without the Patriots

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A Super Bowl party without the Patriots

When your teams playing for the Lombardi Trophy, a Super Bowl party is not a party. Its an event. Sure, an event at which you drink a ton and eat your weight in queso dip while in the company of friends but still, its not a party.

Its business.

When your teams playing for a title, the frivolities of a stereotypical Super Bowl party are more a pain in the ass than anything. Commercial breaks arent for laughing at slightly funny ads that youll be sick of in two days. Theyre for sprinting to the bathroom, or rocking gently in the corner like a mental patient, freaking out over everything thats happened and whats about to happen next. Theres nothing more annoying than the dude whos way too obsessed with his squares Oh man. This is crazy, guys! If the Pats score here and miss the extra point . . . (flying beer bottle cracks him in the head)." The halftime show isn't entertainment, it sucks the life out of the real entertainment unless you're fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of Janet Jackson's right boob.

If your team wins, then the party starts, and will be remembered as one of the greatest nights of everyones life. It becomes a part of history. If your team loses, the night no longer exists. Its stricken from memory like a bad relationship in Eternal Sunshine. That time spent drinking and watching football with friends is filed away in the same corner of your brain that stores the day your parents told you they were getting a divorce and the time you pooped your pants at recess.

But anyway, that's obviously not something that Pats fans have to worry about this year. In fact, I'm sure a lot of folks will go out of their way to ignore the game all together. After all, no amount of alcohol and chicken wings can numb the aggravation of watching Ray Lewis dance and cry and pray and molest an innocent deer on international TV, while Jim Nantz and Phil Simms fawn over him like he just discovered the cure for HIV, cancer and ALS.

Why go through the trouble of cleaning your apartment, spending a ton of money on food and struggling through a vicious Monday hangover, when there's a chance that all you'll have to show for it is the memory of Bernard Pollard and Terrell Suggs raising the trophy, while undoubtedly taking a moment to call Tom Brady the p-word? Or the sound of Joe Flacco smugly declaring himself the best quarterback in the NFL? Or the vision of God parting the Superdome roof and raising Lewis up to Heaven?

Yeah, it's understandable if you take a pass this year. Or if not, if you choose to sit tight during the commercial breaks, hoping to steal a few laughs. If you care far more about the numbers that make up the score at the end of every quarter instead of the score itself. If you spend halftime glued to the TV, praying for a Beyonce wardrobe malfunction instead of a second half miracle.

Or maybe you just use the game as an excuse to get out of the house? To hang out with friends you haven't seen in a while? To escape the sad reality of winter in New England?

I don't know. But whatever you do, it won't be the same.

A Super Bowl party is never as fun when it's only a party.

And what's a party anyway if there's nothing to celebrate?

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Patriots training camp: Who will be this year's Zach Sudfeld?

Patriots training camp: Who will be this year's Zach Sudfeld?

Mike Giardi and Phil Perry continue their Countdown to Camp as they discuss several story lines that we will hear a lot of.

Jets coach Todd Bowles: 'Garoppolo can play'

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Jets coach Todd Bowles: 'Garoppolo can play'

The Jets don't have to play the Patriots during the first four weeks of the season, but they'll be watching as their division rivals go to work with Jimmy Garoppolo behind center. 

Jets head coach Todd Bowles is expecting more of the same from New England despite Tom Brady's four-game suspension.

"Garoppolo can play," Bowles told the New York Daily News. "They don't worry about who they have. They just have a system in place and they go play football. I think people underestimate that. You still have to knock off the champs. It's theirs until somebody takes it from them."

The Patriots haven't had a quarterback other than Brady take snaps of consequence since Brady tore his ACL in Week 1 of the 2008 season. Garoppolo is still a relative unknown given his 31 total pass attempts over the last two years, but with coach Bill Belichick still on the sidelines, and Belichick's system still in place, Bowles is assuming the Patriots will be a very good team once again -- even without their best player for the first month of the season. 

"They got a good team," Bowles said. "It's not just us. It's everybody. We split 1-1 (against them last year). They're a tough team. They're a tough out. They've had a coach and a quarterback and a system in place for a long time. There's a bunch of ways to skin a cat. They've found pretty good ways to skin it. They do what they have to."

Patriots celebrate 15-year anniversary of 2001 team with videos, Hall exhibit

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Patriots celebrate 15-year anniversary of 2001 team with videos, Hall exhibit

The Patriots have announced a series of initiatives to celebrate the 2001 Super Bowl championship team on the 15th aniversary of their title-winning season.

Throughout the course of the 2016 season, the Patriots will feature special content online and on Patriots All-Access that will lead up to Dec. 4, when Gillette Stadium will host a reunion of the 2001 team during halftime of the Patriots-Rams regular-season matchup. 

The Patriots have already featured images of moments from the 2001 campaign on tickets for their eight regular-season home games. They'll also have a special exhibit dedicated to the 2001 team at The Hall at Patriot Place beginning in the fall. In addition, issues of Patriots Football Weekly this year will include posters of shots from the 2001 season. 

"The Super Bowl XXXVI win over the Rams was the first championship for our team and will always hold a very special place in our hearts," Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "The victory made everyone that ever wore a Patriots uniform or rooted for the Patriots on the bleachers at Foxboro Stadium feel proud to be a fan. I know I am looking forward to reliving some of those great memories throughout the 2016 season."

The Patriots said that video vignettes focused on the 2001 season will launch this week on Twitter and Facebook as well as on Patriots.com.