Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Lane Johnson would rather have fun with one Super Bowl ring than not have fun with five Super Bowl rings.
Enjoy your one ring, Lane.
You can rest assured the New England Patriots have already turned the page after a disappointing loss to the Eagles at Super Bowl LII. It’s on to the offseason for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and the front office as they work toward making a sixth championship run in 2018.
The Eagles are more likely to dwell over their first Super Bowl win than the Patriots are over the loss. That’s been the key difference between that organization and everyone else for nearly two decades of dominance. Belichick runs the team like a business that makes no excuses or exceptions. The Patriot Way is a simple concept that has yielded five Lombardi Trophies and eight Super Bowl appearances.
Take the game seriously and reap the rewards of being in a winning culture. Step out of line and risk being traded or released. Johnson called the Patriots a “fear-based organization” when assessing this method.
“I just think that ‘The Patriot Way’ is a fear-based organization,” Johnson said, during an appearance on “Pardon My Take” podcast show, via NESN. “Obviously, do they win? Hell yes, they win. They’ve won for a long time. Do I think people enjoy and can say, ‘I had a lot of fun playing there’? No, I don’t. That’s just the God’s honest truth. They’re successful, but when they go to interviews, they act like [expletive] robots. Hey, stop being a [expletive] head. We can be cordial for a little bit. You only get to do this job one time, so let’s have fun while we’re doing it. Not to be reckless, but I’d much rather have fun and win a Super Bowl than be miserable and win five Super Bowls.”
Tight end Rob Gronkowski isn’t having fun when he’s dancing in the end zone and making “69” references during press conferences? Wideout Julian Edelman isn’t having fun when he’s doing Belichick and Tom Brady impressions? Belichick isn’t having fun when he’s openly trolling the media about “Snapface” and “InstantChat?”
If the Eagles are lucky enough to even have half of the Patriots success, they will also have to adopt a similar business-like approach in all things football. Winning is the ultimate form of fun across all sports. There’s a reason why many of the best players in the NFL marvel at playing for a successful franchise like the Patriots.
If you want fun, go play for the Cleveland Browns, but if you want to win football games, join the Patriots.
Everything is brand new for the Eagles right now, but they’ll soon learn staying on top is much harder than climbing to the top. The sustained level of excellence from the Patriots is unlike anything we have ever seen in the NFL.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban has adopted a similar approach with his program, and he is equally as successful on the collegiate level. It’s not about limiting the fun in the locker room for players as much as it’s about instilling focus.
There’s a reason why the Patriots always appear to be the more disciplined team in all of their games. That discipline has led to five Super Bowls, eight conference championships and nine consecutive division titles. The kind sustained excellence that builds legacies rather than personalities is a different kind of fun.
It’s the perpetual kind that remains etched in stone.