One constant in my Patriots' Fandom has been #80, Troy Brown. For what seemed like an eternity, he'd been doing something for the New England Patriots. Be it wide receiver, cornerback or kick return specialist, Troy was on the field, doing what he loves and that is playing football for the New England Patriots.
I've hesitated writing a story about Troy because there's so much already out there. Our links guru, Marima, has done such an awesome job combing through all the information and pulling it together for you and I to digest that I felt like everything in need of saying had been said. In the end, there were just a few things I had to get off of my chest and if you care to forge ahead with me, that would be just fine.
Troy's career was that of the consummate overachiever. A little too small or a tad too slow, Troy fought for every minute on the field. He played as if it was his last play and he would never see the gridiron again. With that much of himself invested in "the job", I ask you, what would it be like to stop? How can one turn that motor off? A good friend of mine faced a similar issue. Having played guitar for over 35 years, he experienced intense pain in the ring finger of his left hand, his fretting hand. Unable to even hold a guitar for more than a minute, he was lost. This instrument had been an extenstion of himself for so many years and now it was over. The magic of medicine and a direct cortisone shot into his knuckle (yikes!!) brought the world of music back to him.
Such is not the case for Troy.
Earlier this year, Coach Belichick had to be the messenger of bad news. The messenger who had to tell Troy Brown, Mr. Patriot, that there would not be a roster spot on the New England Patriots for him. In both their hearts they knew this to be the right choice. They knew the level of play that both Troy and Coach Belichick had come to expect was not there. The body was no longer keeping up with the heart and mind. But there was that motor, that drive. Troy investigated playing with other teams, specifically the New York Jets. He could have prolonged the end for another year, but he knew it wasn't right. The red, white, and blue were the only colors for his back.
How ironic. The very thing that kept Troy in the game, his perpetual drive to play at the highest of levels despite his "shortcomings", would be the thing that would make it hardest to leave. How does one turn the motor off? How do you extinguish the drive? Maybe it is to be focused somewhere else. I'm not sure what that "somewhere else" is, but whatever it is, Troy will be great, as always.
Thank you, Mr. Patriot. Thank you.