Former Patriots Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Bledsoe has been named to the Patriots Hall of Fame, beating out Bill Parcells and Houston Antwine for the yearly fan vote for the honor. The following is part of the team's press release, courtesy of the team's Media Relations department:
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced today that Drew Bledsoe has been voted by the fans as the 17th player and 18th member to enter the Patriots Hall of Fame. Since the new process for induction was instituted in 2007, Bledsoe earned the highest percentage of votes for any candidate and becomes the first player to be selected by the fans into the Patriots Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
"Drew Bledsoe played such an integral role in our efforts to rebuild the Patriots brand," said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. "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."
Bledsoe will join Jon Morris, who was selected to the hall of fame by the senior selection committee, as the 2011 honorees. Bledsoe and Morris will be inducted in a public ceremony outside The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon on Saturday, Sept. 17. The event is free to the public and Patriots fans are encouraged to attend.
I will be back with my thoughts on the induction later. But no doubt, this is a great and well earned honor for Drew.