The Patriots’ final drive to win Super Bowl XXXVI squares off against the retirement of Bobby Orr’s No. 4 in the second round of Boston’s Greatest Sports Moment tournament.
1. Patriots’ final drive to win Super Bowl XXXVIThe Patriots’ and Boston’s rise to power in the sports world can be traced back to Super Bowl XXXVI, when the underdog Patriots faced the heavily favored St. Louis Rams. The importance of the game never fazed the Patriots, not even when the game was tied 17-17 late in the fourth quarter. The Patriots got the ball for their last drive, and all they needed was to get within kicker Adam Vinatieri’s range. To accomplish the task, Tom Brady slung the ball to his receiving corps in a series of short passes that ate up yardage and took just the right amount of time off the clock. Finally, with seven seconds left, Brady spiked the ball and Vinatieri came out to attempt one of the biggest kicks of his career. His 48-yard field goal was spot-on, bringing home New England’s first Super Bowl and Boston’s first championship since 1986.
8. Bobby Orr’s No. 4 jersey retiredWinning the Stanley Cup is the ultimate achievement for hockey players. But having a jersey retired by a team doesn’t come far behind. Bobby Orr won two Stanley Cups with the Bruins, and on Jan. 9, 1979, Orr had his jersey retired at a packed Boston Garden. The honor came three years after Orr left Boston for the Chicago Blackhawks, but Bruins fans still treated Orr as one of their own. When the former Bruins defenseman came out, the fans gave Orr a long standing ovation. After Orr put on his old Bruins sweater and the fans continued to cheer, the ex-Bruin wiped away a few tears. As the crowd kept roaring and clapping, the No. 4 banner was lifted into the rafters, and fans let Orr know that they appreciated watching the greatest player in the history of hockey.
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