Ex-Patriots Stars Left Feeling ‘Duped’ by ‘The Dynasty’ Documentary

Devin McCourty

Getty Devin McCourty

As the Apple TV+ New England Patriots documentary “The Dynasty” draws to a close, viewers are left with a mosaic of emotions, ranging from nostalgia to frustration.

Former Patriots safety Devin McCourty, a central figure in the series, expressed feeling “duped” upon watching it in its entirety. Despite his deep admiration for Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization, McCourty believes that the series failed to capture the essence of their remarkable success.

“I felt like I got kinda duped,” McCourty shared in an NBC Football Night in America interview with fellow former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison. “It only hit anything that was negative.”

‘The Dynasty’ Only Focused on the Controversy?

McCourty’s sentiments echo the broader critique of the docuseries, which delved extensively into controversies like Spygate, Deflategate, and the tumultuous saga of Aaron Hernandez.

Yet, it skimmed over pivotal moments of triumph, such as the 2004 & 2005 Super Bowls, and cast a shadow over the legendary comeback victory in the 2016 Super Bowl, often lauded as the greatest Super Bowl ever. According to McCourty, the series failed to portray the true essence of the Patriots’ dynasty.

“Hey, we won at a high level, and guys stayed there. Like I could’ve left two times; I signed back. There are reasons why,” McCourty said in the interview.

Moreover, Harrison voiced his disappointment, citing his minimal presence in the series despite investing nearly six hours in interviews. “It didn’t tell the stories like, of me coming and Corey Dillon,” Harrison expressed.

“When everybody else is done with a guy, he brings in a Corey Dillon, he brings in a Randy Moss, he brings in a Rodney Harrison. I interviewed for five or six hours while I was in New York and all they had me saying was (expletive) ’em all.’ Like that’s it!”

‘The Dynasty’ Director Says Patriots’ Super Bowls Were Already Covered

Matthew Hamachek, the director behind the Apple TV+ 10-part Patriots documentary “The Dynasty,” responded to fans’ concerns regarding the limited coverage of New England’s Super Bowl victories.

Hamacheck sat with the “Eye on Foxborough” podcast and explained. While acknowledging the significance of these triumphs, Hamachek stated that their omission was intentional, citing extensive coverage by other media outlets and productions.

“Those Super Bowls were covered,” Hamachek affirmed. “They had been covered by NFL Films. They were covered by Three Games to Glory. Tom Brady covered it in his 10-part doc series.”

Hamachek emphasized that the series aimed to explore a different narrative thread, focusing on the Patriots’ rise from underdogs to perennial champions. He drew parallels to the story of David and Goliath, portraying the Patriots’ journey as a transformation from a humble contender to a dominant force in the NFL.

“I just felt like those Super Bowls had been covered so well by a bunch of other people that it wasn’t really advancing our question that much to continue to go into them,” Hamachek elaborated. “It’s in these moments when you don’t have every weapon in your arsenal and you have to make something out of nothing where true greatness is formed.”

The Series Tried to Look at What It Takes

The series sought to delve deeper into the underlying question posed by former Patriots director of football research Ernie Adams: what does it truly take to win a Super Bowl? Hamachek revealed that this inquiry served as a guiding principle for the documentary, driving its exploration of the human aspects behind the Patriots’ success.

Ernie Adams says at the end of Episode 10 … everybody says that they want to win a Super Bowl,” Hamachek recalled. “But not everybody is willing to do what it takes to actually do it.”

In essence, “The Dynasty” aimed to provide viewers with a nuanced understanding of the sacrifices, dedication, and resilience required to achieve greatness in the competitive realm of professional football.

While some may have desired a more comprehensive recounting of specific victories, the series sought to uncover the deeper layers of the Patriots’ unparalleled success, transcending mere game highlights to explore the human drama behind the dynasty.

Still, there is a lot of focus on the glaring negatives of the Patriot’s historic run and a serious omission of the positives, even if other documentaries and publications already covered Super Bowl championships.

Is Bill Belichick’s Portrayal Warranted?

Harrison’s reflections underscore a broader narrative deficiency in ‘The Dynasty,’ particularly regarding Belichick’s role. The portrayal of the iconic coach hailed as one of the greatest in NFL history, has sparked controversy.

Despite his instrumental role in the Patriots’ unprecedented success over two decades, Belichick has been portrayed in a less flattering light, drawing criticism from fans and former players alike.

Harrison discussed how Belichick was known for giving second chances or first opportunities to players many believed to be washed up or not worth a chance.

“Think about this: He gave me an opportunity, a fifth-round draft choice,” Harrison said to McCourty. “He gave Tom Brady an opportunity. He sent out a $100 million quarterback when no one thought it was popular and started Tom Brady. … He gives guys who are the underdog an opportunity. No one talks about that.

“When everybody else is done with a guy, he brings in a Corey Dillon, he brings in a Randy Moss, he brings in a Rodney Harrison. And I just don’t think that he got enough credit, enough respect, enough props, man. This dude is the greatest coach of all time.”

Longtime Patriots insider Tom E. Curran was on WEEI’s Jones & Mego and said he had information regarding Belichicks’ feelings about the documentary and how it showcased his coaching methods. “(Belichick) Hated it,” Curran said when asked about Belichick’s opinion. “What’s going to be really striking for people is watching the first two episodes and seeing just how different Bill is in 2000 and 2001 than he is in 2024.”

As the curtain falls on “The Dynasty,” it leaves a legacy of polarizing reactions. While it offered a glimpse into the highs and lows of one of football’s greatest dynasties, its failure to capture the full spectrum of the Patriots’ legacy has left many fans and players feeling unfulfilled.

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