Category Archives: Mike Holovak

Champions Without A Crown or How Close the Boston Patriots Came To Being an AFL Dynasty

Guest blogger Dave Steidel takes a look back at the early near successes of the Boston Patriots

As the old saying goes, ‘close’ only counts in horse shoes.  So if their place in history were to be determined by the rules of scoring in horse shoes, that is, close counts, then Boston Patriots place in AFL history would be one of dynasty instead of bridesmaids.  No less than five times in a six year stretch (from 1961-1966) the Pates went into the last weekend of the season with a chance to win the Eastern Division title.  They did it once in 1963, but had to win the playoff game with the Buffalo Bills to do it.    After a tough go in the league’s first season, one that saw the Boston franchise accepted into the AFL as the eighth and final franchise and ill-prepared for the oncoming league draft that happened with days of their birth, the Patriots righted their franchise to become one of the most fiercely dominant teams over the next six years.

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