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  • Writer's pictureJack Mullaney

The Battle of Preparation

There is no doubt the New England Patriots have been the NFL's best team in the new millennium. Since 2000, led by Head Coach Bill Belichick, they have won 17 AFC East Titles, nine AFC Championships, and six Super Bowl Titles.

One sign hangs alone in the home locker room at Gillette Stadium. It is a quote from Sun Tzu's The Art of War that reads, Every battle is won before it is fought.

If editing for accuracy, I'd amend the phrase to say, Every battle begins before it is fought. The gap between opponents can be so large that an underdog's surplus in preparation can't close it.

But changing the quote doesn't inspire action quite the same. It doesn't elicit a level of focus and attention to detail in preparation as much as the way Tzu phrased it.

By winning the preparation battle, your chances are always better in the actual battle.

The NFL is a league designed for parity. In other words, the average team should win 50% of its games. Since 2000, the Patriots are 242-89. That's a winning percentage of 73.1%.

Better prepared. Better chances.

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