Published in the February 8, 2017 edition

Now that was a Super Bowl game.

The New England Patriots, once the laughingstock of the National Football League and quite possibly of all professional sports, came back in historic fashion Sunday night in Houston to win the 51st edition of The Big Game in overtime.

It was the team’s fifth Super Bowl victory in nine tries.

Down by 25 points with about 18 minutes left in the globally-televised affair, the Patriots showed true spine when it counted most, scoring two 2-point conversions and marching downfield in the extra session to win 34-28.

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick cemented their legacy as the best head coach–quarterback tandem the league has ever seen. The Kraft family continues as overlords of a renowned sports dynasty. And everyone in the region smiled brightly when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was roundly — and soundly — booed as he handed Robert Kraft the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

This is nothing short of sweet revenge, which the Patriots served up as cold as it comes. They gave the NFL a great game and at the same time stuck it to the man who ruled that Brady couldn’t play in the first four games of the season.

Good for them.

The Patriots kicked off this Boston sports championship trend in February 2002. Combined, the Pats, Sox, Celtics and Bruins have won 10 world titles since then.

This has been quite a run, all the more impressive because it has been sparked by the once saddest of town franchises.

And in true patriot spirit, they rebelled against the most powerful sports league in the world and showed it up. Mission complete.

Congratulations! And to Patriots nation, whose support for their team never wavered, this is one epic victory. Savor it!