The Bledsoe Factor

Colts. Patriots. Patriots. Manning. Brady. Colts. Colts. Belichick. Dungy. Peyton. Brady. Colts. Patriots. Sean Salisbury.

Sweet Crimmity, I’m sorry. I got stuck there. Ahem. Moving on…

Two professional football teams are playing this week, and after busting out my abacus I’ve arrived at the conclusion that they are both half-way decent. Sliding a few more colored pegs around, it’s also dawned on me that the respective quarterbacks of said teams are also above average flingers of the football. But these are all trivialities that our beautiful colored, TV boxes have been sharing with us for some time now.

But amongst all the hoop-la and rabble rousing done by our favorite sharers of sports information, you hear the words “greatest” and “best ever” a lot. And, to be fair, it’s hard to argue in this instance. Especially pertaining to the quarterbacks.  Tom Brady and Peyton Manning… They put up good numbers.

Numbers. They empower a lot of Manning and Brady arguments — Peyton’s already creeping in on the Top 10 and Brady’s on pace to break all sorts of single-season marks.  But those same numbers can also be swung to work in the other direction. Why?

Drew Bledsoe.

If you actually take a look at the full list of all time touchdown leaders, passing leaders and completion leaders you’ll find a lot of consistent names in the three, but one of them is Bledsoe. In fact, his rankings of 13th, 7th and 5th would place him ahead of players like Jim Kelly, Steve Young, Troy Aikman and Dan Fouts. Those guys have busts in Canton. I’m not expecting the same for Drew.

This is not to say that numbers don’t matter. They do. But they don’t paint the whole picture. Neither do Super Bowls. Nothing does. And I guess, that’s kind of my point. Arguments about greatest this and best that are really frugal and staged more for effect.

Now I’m aware that this is no big news. [Dateline — Chicago. Man discovers that T.V. arguments may be a waste of time.] All I’m hoping is that if we, as fans, viewers and third-party participants, can become slightly more educated as to what is and isn’t productive and beneficial discourse, perhaps, maybe, possibly we can begin to see the same from the media. For every pointless argument you get into with a co-worker over impossible-to-decide circumstances, you’re only encouraging more “Budweiser Hot Seats” or “First and Tens.”

The stupid argument-based talk show only occurs because stupid arguments happen in the first place.  

So next time you overhear some Joe and Jim in a heated exchange over whether Brady’s Super Bowl rings place him ahead of Manning, just chime in, “Yeah, but what about Drew Bledsoe?”

***Now Back to our Regularly Scheduled Broadcast***

Patriots. Colts. Colts. Brady. Bob Sanders. Bruschi. Belichick. Colts. Colts….


1 Response to “The Bledsoe Factor”

  1. 1 fid
    November 3, 2007 at 8:23 am

    Jim Poore of Patriot’s Insider writes: “I remember sitting in the stands during the last game of 1994, Bledsoe’s rookie year. The Patriots were on a five game winning streak, and the Miami Dolphins had taken the hometown team to overtime. It was on the opening drive in the extra session that Bledsoe led the team to a game winning touchdown, a beautiful pass to Patriots wide receiver Micheal Timpson. When the game was over, every single one of the 60,000 fans at Foxboro Stadium refused to leave, because the state of the team at that point was still in a flux. They wanted to show their support to team owner James Orthwein. He apparently understood what the fans were saying. They stayed in Foxboro, and that is when Robert Kraft, a local guy living in Brookline who had been a fan since he was a kid, decided to purchase the team. And history was made.”

    They were in the Superbowl three years later, after which parcells took off with the team’s best players. Drew had five coaches in ten years, four different systems, and not half the talent around him of Manning and Brady. He is number one all time in attempts per game, followed by Favre, and then Marino. Only Favre has won a Superbowl – against Drew. This stat proves that he was on subpar teams that relied too much on the pass…either way, he was a different kind of player who was fun to watch and a great guy to be around.

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