Thursday, July 28, 2005

A Tale of Two Teds

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was a time of championships, it was a time of freak health problems and unexpected fucking retirements. Sorry for the language, I respect Ted Johnson's decision, I'm just not happy about it.
For the first time in essentially a decade my beloved Pats will be without either of the killer T's. Over the last couple of years after Bruschi moved to the inside, the two linebackers formed an inside tandem that had to be one of the top tandems in the NFL.
For my money, you can keep Ray Lewis, Zach Thomas, and Brian Urlacher. Give me one of the Teds...well, before this year.
Sure, those other guys got all the press, but, and I admit, this is arguable, Johnson was, pound for pound, one of the best linebackers that I ever saw in regards to his ability to take on lineman. Even in the last couple of seasons, when injuries had taken their toll on him, and he had become only a shadow of his former self, he was still an above average inside linebacker, playing the position with the physicality of a lineman. Johnson and Bruschi are largely responsible for the fact that Jerome Bettis has almost a yard lower per carry average against the Pats than against the rest of the league.
Bruschi -I don't even know where to start with, that's not true - Bruschi was a play machine. With the line and Johnson eating up blockers, Bruschi lived his football life as a kamikaze. For someone who is just a pure football fan, watching Bruschi play was something special. There was a certain unbridled joy that he brought to his play. He has been everything that all the pundits have said Zach Thomas was throughout his career, only with a greater knack to make a game changing play. Last year in the playoffs Bruschi had the quintessential Bruschi moment. In a career full of great plays, the play against the Colts when he ripped the ball out of the Colts' receiver's hand while making the tackle - I will always remember that, not so much as the defining moment of his career as the play that described his career. It was a big play when a play was needed - it is simply what he did.
Bruschi may be back late this season, or maybe sometime next season. But if he never makes it back, I can live with that.

I'm sorry to see the Ted's go, I will miss them.