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Patriots to debut first top ten list on friday

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The Patriots are celebrating their 50th anniversary with their fans through a series of acknowledgements and dedications during 2009. As part of the celebration, on March 13 the team will unveil the first in a series of 20 "Top 10 All-Time" lists.

The lists include the all-time Top 10 games, heartbreakers, personalities, runs and catches, just to name a few. Fans will have the opportunity to discuss, debate and cast their own votes for each list at Patriots.com, and will have final say in determining the "Top 10 Moments in Franchise History," which will then be revealed during the 2009 season.

For the month of March, the team will recognize the "Top 10 Personnel Moves in Franchise History." The list will be featured on "Patriots All Access" at 7 p.m. on March 13 on WBZ-TV and posted on Patriots.com after the show.

Next month, the Patriots will feature the "Top 10 Draft Classes in Franchise History."

50 YEARS OF THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

On Nov. 16, 1959, the Boston Patriots became the eighth and final original AFL franchise. During the 1960s, the Patriots played home games at stadiums throughout Boston, including Boston University Field, Fenway Park, Harvard Stadium and B.C. Alumni Stadium. A year after the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, the franchise moved to the newly-constructed Schaefer Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. and the team was renamed the New England Patriots.

The franchise enjoyed only moderate success in its first 34 seasons (1960-1993), appearing in one AFL title game in 1963 and one Super Bowl in 1985, both losses. In the last 15 seasons, coinciding with Robert Kraft's purchase of the team in 1994, the Patriots have claimed three Super Bowl victories, five conference titles and eight division championships. Their 173 victories in the last 15 years are the most in the NFL.

New England is currently in the midst of a remarkable run of sustained success as the only NFL team to have a winning record in each of the last eight seasons. The Patriots are one of just two teams in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span, and in 2007 became the only team in NFL history to complete a regular season with a 16-0 record. The team now plays its home games at state-of-the-art Gillette Stadium, a 68,756-seat facility that opened in 2002. Patriots fans are among the most loyal and passionate fans in the country, selling out each home game since 1994. In 2008, the team unveiled The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon, a cutting-edge, 36,000-square-foot experience showcasing the tradition of the New England Patriots, providing a home for the team's hall of fame and exploring the history of football in New England.

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