At the onset, there are few things the Patriots have in common with the critically acclaimed show "The West Wing," which followed President Jed Bartlet and his senior staff's tenure at the White House from 1999 to 2006.
Yet one former cast member found a way to draw similarities between the two.
Rob Lowe, who played Sam Seaborn on the show's first four seasons, did an interview with "The West Wing Weekly," a podcast that analyzes and discusses the show one episode at a time, before the Super Bowl.
Rob was talking with hosts Hrishikesh Hirway and fellow "West Wing" actor Joshua Malina about an episode which earned Rob an Emmy nomination. In its run, "The West Wing" won 26 Emmys and was nominated a total of 95 times, and Rob said the vibe on "The West Wing" set was what he imagined it feels like to play for the Patriots.
"'The West Wing' was like being [on] and practicing for the New England Patriots. You know, there are a lot of NFL teams and a lot of them are good and a lot of them win Super Bowls, but there's a very specific culture and you don't even need know too much about it to know it's real," Rob said. "It was the New England Patriots … It was a culture of winning. It was a culture of your best work, and everybody, you know, gave blood from the minute they showed up to the minute they left. Every year we expected to go to the Super Bowl."
The episode was released on Feb. 1, just a few days before the Patriots proved that the established culture works in Super Bowl LI.
Last summer, Rob posted a photo with Danny Amendola on Instagram, and given the comparison just days before the Super Bowl, it's no surprise Rob was pulling for the Patriots to walk away with their fifth ring.
Though it's been more than a decade since "The West Wing" ended, the Patriots and their winning culture, according to Rob, are still going strong. This, of course, begs the question made famous by President Bartlet: What's next?
On to the 2017 season.