October 1, 2000. Exactly 20 years ago today. That was what? 268 wins or so ago? An embattled Bill Belichick, still just a fresh-faced kid but being beset on all sides by a New England media who hadn't forgiven him for not being Chan Gailey or not laying on the floor wagging his tail as they abused him the way Pete Carroll used to. A guy who was still in the process of pumping out the septic system that Carroll and Bobby Grier had let overflow with with bad contracts of overpriced, undisciplined, disgruntled malcontents. Trying to build the roster in his and Scott Pioli's vision on a shoestring budget and a fannypack (they were acceptable in 2000) full of BOGO coupons. Little did we know whether the plan would succeed. Or that it would take the blink of an eye in football terms.
I'll spare you the usual cliched drivel about "what the world was like back then." Let's say the President was Gerald Ford and a gallon of gas cost 35 cents and families used to sit around the Philco listening to Jack Benny and the first touchdown was a pass from Babe Parilli to Randy Vataha for it matters. Just know that this was the beginning of the end of the time when Boston was talking about itself like this:
… and 14 years removed from the Celtics last title, the region was wondering if any of the local teams could ever turn it around and be respectable again. Mission accomplished. And it all started with this win. Appreciate how good you've had it for the last 20 years. And be grateful to the man who started it all.