by Scott Benson, Patriots Daily Staff
August 31, 2009

Tedy Bruschi, a Patriot from beginning to end, will complete his storied 13-year NFL career by announcing his retirement later this morning.

His rise to prominence mirrored that of the only professional football team he would ever play for. A third-round pick that began as a sometimes-defensive end and special teams player, Bruschi went full-tilt, full-time for 10 years as a starting linebacker, captain, pro bowler, and three-time world champion.

Even a shocking, debilitating stroke in 2005 – suffered mere hours after his crowning NFL achievement – was not enough to stop him. He battled back to play four more seasons after his very life had hung in the balance.

As a result, few players have forged a more impenetrable bond with fans. From modest beginnings this Everyman reached the ultimate goal, armed only with his God-given abilities and honest, relentless effort. It was the kind of dream we have for ourselves, and in living it, Tedy Bruschi not only entertained us but lifted our very spirits.

But time…time we cannot deny. As the Patriots prepared for another season, this franchise icon almost seemed to linger behind. It was as if Bruschi, so much a part of the team’s history, was struggling to find his place in its future. Today he ends that search, though the example he set is sure to echo in the locker room and on the field for years to come.

Mere words are not sufficient to express our admiration and affection for him. Yet we, and so many over the next few days, will try. We can only hope that we do our jobs as well as Tedy Bruschi did over 13 unforgettable seasons.

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