The New England Patriots announced today that former QB Drew Bledsoe was overwhelmingly selected as the newest inductee into the Patriots Hall of Fame. Bledsoe, according to the Patriots’ official statement, received the largest percentage of votes for any candidate since the Pats started the fan selection process in 2007. While becoming the 18th member of the Patriots Hall of Fame, Bledsoe also became the first player inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Patriots CEO Robert Kraft released a statement acknowledging Bledsoe and congratulating him on his induction:
“Drew Bledsoe played such an integral role in our efforts to rebuild the Patriots brand. He gave fans hope for the future and provided many memorable moments during his record-breaking career. I will never forget Drew’s record-setting performance in that come-from-behind victory against Minnesota the year I bought the team. It sparked a seven-game win streak and put the Patriots back in the playoffs for the first time in a decade. For a franchise that had only hosted one playoff game in its first 35 years, winning the AFC Championship Game at home in Foxboro and taking the Patriots to the playoffs for three consecutive years were unimaginable goals prior to his arrival.”
Kraft also called Bledsoe personally this morning to congratulate him on his induction. You can listen to some of the audio of the phone call and see Bledsoe highlights in a video clip posted HERE. Bledsoe called it an “exciting” and “humbling” honor. The emotions he felt being selected seemed to take him by surprise.
“Obviously, just a tremendous honor to be elected to the Patriots Hall of Fame,” Bledsoe said in a conference call. “Receiving the call from Mr. Kraft, honestly, a little bit emotional, more than I thought it would have been.”
Bledsoe’s induction ceremony will be held Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Hall at Patriot Place in Foxborough, MA, and is free for fans. I will certainly be there to witness my childhood football hero take his place in Patriots history. You can read my original plea for Bledsoe’s induction HERE and also review what Bledsoe dubbed as some of his fondest memories in New England HERE.