The Dynasty

Avid Reader: S. & S. Sept. 2020. 592p. ISBN 9781982134105. $30. SPORTS
The title of the latest book by Benedict (Tiger Woods) is apt in that over the last 19 seasons, the New England Patriots have won 17 Eastern Division crowns, participated in 13 Conference championship games, including an unprecedented eight in succession, gone to nine Super Bowls and won six Vince Lombardi Trophies. This definitive look at the controversial two-decade run of success of the New England Patriots is not an exposé of scandals; while the author covers Spygate and Deflategate, he does not find much evidence of negative behavior to overshadow the team’s success. The three constants in this triumphant stretch are owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick, and quarterback Tom Brady. This extensive recounting of the maintenance of the dynasty focuses largely on those three principals and their tangled interactions through interviews with each of the trio. It is a story of three-way relationships; those close and familial between Kraft and Brady, and those more distant and professional between Belichick and the other two. While the owner’s son Jonathan plays a prominent supporting role in the drama, most players and assistant coaches are off stage in this account.
VERDICT A well-written look of the Patriot dynasty that should be in demand by football fans, though it would not preclude a more gridiron-focused take on how the dynasty was constructed and maintained.
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