Sports

SUPER BOWL FLASHBACK

Patriots shocked the Rams in XXXVI

Lawyer Milloy and the Patriots defense grounded Kurt Warner and the “Greatest Show on Turf’’ to win the franchise’s first Super Bowl title.

Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images/File 2001

Lawyer Milloy and the Patriots defense grounded Kurt Warner and the “Greatest Show on Turf’’ to win the franchise’s first Super Bowl title.

Nobody was talking about the Patriots and that’s just the way safety Lawyer Milloy liked it.

In New Orleans and around the country, everybody was talking about the “Greatest Show on Turf,” the St. Louis Rams.

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How were the 14-point underdog Patriots and their wunderkind quarterback supposed to compete?

“It was the perfect storm,” Milloy said.

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Before Milloy knew it, he was dancing in the end zone with Ty Law after Law’s pick-six that sparked New England’s 17-0 run.

“Up to that point, it was a chess match,” Milloy said. “All of a sudden, boom we’re in the end zone and we’re celebrating.”

The Rams tied the score, 17-17, only to see second-year quarterback Tom Brady drive the Patriots 53 yards down field to set up Adam Vinatieri’s 48-yard game-winning field goal.

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Brady went from obscure backup to Super Bowl MVP as the Patriots’ no-name cast of characters delivered the first championship in team history.

“Some people thought the season was over when we lost our veteran quarterback [Drew Bledsoe],” Milloy said. “Bill said, ‘Look, you guys want a chance to win, we’ve got to believe in this kid and give him a shot,’ and ultimately Tom came out and proved he was worth us giving him a shot and eventually we saw what coaches saw in him.”

Milloy was a rookie when the Patriots lost the Super Bowl in 1996 and said he wasn’t ready to understand the magnitude of that game. This time was radically different for Milloy, a captain and bonafide leader.

“I had a voice,” Milloy said. “I told everybody, nobody remembers who finished second.

“I told them we can party now because we made it to the Super Bowl, or we can party forever because we won it.”

Anthony Gulizia can be reached at agulizia@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyGulizia.
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