Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Haven't we seen this before?

Tom Brady is not going to be playing any football for the New England Patriots this season. The Patriots have placed him on the injured reserve list which effectively ended his season so that he can rehab his left knee.

Patriot fans are upset with the fact that their star quarterback is out for the year. Last year they came so close at perfection (18-1 record) that they were hoping to run the table this year. That opportunity vanished in the 1st quarter of Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The major television networks that carry NFL games are upset about Brady being out because he is a major star that is one of the most marketable athletes in the world. A casual fan is more likely to watch a Patriots game with Tom Brady at quarterback than they are a Patriots game with Matt Cassell is at quarterback.

So everyone is upset that Tom Brady is out for the 2008 season. The Patriots should just pack it in for the year. Or should they? If you go back in your sports history books, you will find that two very similar situations to this one happened not so long ago.

Let's take a trip back to 1999. The St. Louis Rams were led at quarterback by Trent Green. He was a solid, dependable NFL quarterback. In a preseason game that year, he got injured and was out for the year. So, the Rams had to go with their backup, an unknown by the name of Kurt Warner. The year before he was playing in the arena football league and stocking groceries during the off season. The Rams went on to become the "Greatest Show on Turf" and defeated the Tennessee Titans to win the Super Bowl.

Now let's jump a couple years to the 2001 season. The New England Patriots were led by Drew Bledsoe. He was a former #1 overall pick and played like one too. He had made numerous Pro Bowl appearances and was one of the better quarterbacks in the league. Well, in the second game of the season, he went down with an injury that forced him out for most of the year. So, the Patriots had to bring in their backup, a young (fairly unknown) man by the name of Tom Brady. Brady played so well while filling in for Bledsoe, that by the time that he was able to come back and play, Brady had taken Bledsoe's starting job from him. Since then, Bledsoe left New England to play for the Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, and is now out of the league. Brady, on the other hand, has won multiple Super Bowls, played in Pro Bowls, won Super Bowl MVP's, and is dating supermodel Gisele Bundchen.

So here we are in the 2008 season; all world quarterback Tom Brady is out for the year and unknown quarterback Matt Cassell is now starting for the New England Patriots.

History always has a way of repeating itself. Is this season no different?

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