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    Monday, August 31, 2009

    A True Patriot: Tedy Bruschi Retires

    Today at a press conference in Foxboro a New England Patriot legend has announced his retirement from the gridiron. In 1996 when the Pats drafted Tedy "Beercan" Bruschi in the third round no one would have guessed we'd be talking this way about him 13 seasons later. Heck we were all too busy talking about how great Terry Glenn was going to be, and "she" was for awhile. The linebacker from the University of Arizona went from special teams captain to captain of the entire defense in just a few short seasons. 1,110 tackles 30.5 sacks and 12 INTs are numbers that could and should get him into the Hall, and not just the Hall at Patriot Place either. At first glance those numbers don't wow you, but when you dig into his career, he is the only player in NFL history to return four consecutive INT's for touchdowns, he was the defensive captain on 2 of 3 Super Bowl winning teams. But numbers are not what we will remember most about Tedy Bruschi.

    After one of the greatest seasons in Patriots history, only days after winning the third championship in four years all of Pats nation stood stunned to learn that Bruschi had a stroke and was in the hospital in Boston. He was suffering from a heart defect which caused the mild stroke, and many at this point were just hoping he would walk out of that hospital again never mind come back and play for the Pats.

    Though he would announce that he would sit out the entire 2005 season, Tedy was cleared to play in October and with the heart of a Patriot, and with the nervousness of us all watching, Tedy came back and played against the Buffalo Bills Oct 29th on national TV and wound up winning the defensive player of the week. He would go on to win Comeback Player of the Year that season, and of course play THREE more seasons with New England, something many thought was not possible. That heart and determination is what we will remember most.

    Tedy "Beercan" Bruschi is a New England Patriot, and at age 36 he has done everything a football player can do. He is retiring with his head held high, he will not go down as the greatest linebacker there was, but he will be in my mind one of the greatest New England Patriots I have ever had the pleasure of watching.

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