Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure black alignment spacer
alignment spacer The New England Patriots
alignment spacer
Super Bowl Champion Patriots and Coach Belichick


Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure was a continual source of inspiration for the New England Patriots during the 2001-02 season, as they rose from being an average team in their league to Super Bowl champions.

Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick motivated the team with the true story told in Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure: the story of polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914-1916 Trans-Antarctic Expedition, in which 28 men worked together to overcome obstacle after obstacle to survive the nearly two years they were stranded in the Antarctic, with no means of contacting the outside world.

After seeing Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure with his family at the Museum of Science in Boston, Belichick scheduled a special screening of the film for the Patriots, during the grueling summer training program. He explained, "It certainly wasn't football, but many of the same principles of endurance, courage, and teamwork apply to what we're trying to accomplish during the most physically demanding time of the football season: training camp." He later commented, "Sometimes you have to put things in a context other than football."

On the eve of the AFC playoff game against the Oakland Raiders, Belichick spoke about how he has used Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure to inspire his team not just during training camp, but all season. At the playoff game, during a blizzard reminiscent of the Antarctic, the Patriots came from behind to defeat the Raiders in overtime.

Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady said that Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure "told you that there are always going to be obstacles in the way. You have to keep your faith, keep believing in each other, keep working together, even if you think you're never going to make it."

Belichick said, "I had talked to the team about how it was going to be a long season, that a lot would happen, and there will be obstacles along the way. The bottom line was how those guys [Shackleton's crew members] held together and supported each other. Guys had to give up things they wanted for the good of the group."

Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure tells the extraordinary true story of polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated 1914-1916 British Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. While never accomplishing its goal of the first crossing of the Antarctic continent, this expedition has become a testament to heroism and human endurance, with all 28 men surviving nearly two years in the barren, frigid Antarctic when their ship, the Endurance, was caught in pack ice and eventually crushed. Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure is a production of White Mountain Films and NOVA/WGBH Boston, presented by Morgan Stanley.

alignment spacer Home
About the Film
Sir Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance Expedition
Shackleton's Leadership Role
About Antarctica and the Subantarctic
Where to See the Film
blue background
alignment spacer
Photo courtesy of the New England Patriots

See the Film Trailer | Where to See the Film | Special Events | For Parents & Teachers | Email a Postcard to a Friend | Merchandise | WGBH Giant-Screen Film Distribution

shadow background (c) 2001 WGBH Educational Foundation