Dan Snapp of Patriots Daily considers the retired trio of ex-Pats Bill Parcells, Curtis Martin and Drew Bledsoe, and while admitting Everclear’s most overzealous fan “did have a fairly decent career”, mostly comes to bury the QB rather than praise him.
Bledsoe™s career got off to a rollicking start, what with thrilling comebacks his rookie season, and then record yardage in the sophomore one, leaving fans with visions of Marino dancing in their heads. In hindsight, the comparison wasn™t fair, but it stuck. So long as he was throwing a heap and amassing yardage, all other means of charting his play were blocked out. We thought he was better than he was.
Fans eventually struck upon a yearly mantra of œThis will be the year he puts it all together, and the needle got stuck. Different perceived obstacles to his development were manufactured in our heads: œHe™s had a different coordinator each year; œHe never had a quarterback coach; œThe line let him down. The excuses shifted to other positions in the post-Super Bowl years: œHe misses Martin back there; œHe can™t count on Glenn; and œHe needs a dominant tight end to succeed.
We never took the time to consider that any quarterback would flourish with the luxuries we deemed necessary for Bledsoe to succeed.
At the same time, Bledsoe cultivated a media-friendly image that was impervious to criticism. He was Boy Scout Drew with the Dad who œParented with Dignity. He jumped through all the proper media hoops. He was modest, self-effacing, and generous with praise to his teammates, whether they deserved it or not.
Those two forces – the perceived greatness and the Aw Shucks persona – generated a fan and media army ready to do battle whenever a threat to his mantle arose. So when a skinny sixth-rounder succeeded with the same parts reckoned defective under Bledsoe™s lead, the fandom split. Some just weren™t ready to trust their disbelieving eyes.
When Bill Belichick announced Brady would be starting the rest of the way in 2001, mouths dropped. Ron Borges was furious, and leapt off the cliff of reason at that very moment, never to be right about anything Patriots again.
œSome people learn from their mistakes, Borges wrote that week. œOthers are doomed to repeat them. If you wonder which is Bill Belichick, go ask people in Cleveland if they™ve ever heard the story of the guy who benched Bernie Kosar for Todd Philcox?
Borges was hardly alone with the crap predictions, of course. At the time of Belichick’s hiring, I told my Dad (pseudo Sports Putz moment here folks, bear with me) the Hooded Casanova lacked the requisite people skills to be an effective NFL head coach.
3 Super Bowls and god knows how many pairs of N.J. housewife knickers later, it’s fair to say I was just as full of shit as Borges.