08-31-2009, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: In a van down by the river
NFL Season Cancelled...
They should call it 'Pu$$ball' now...
FOXBOROUGH – Welcome to Gillette Stadium, where linebacker Tedy Bruschi is scheduled to announce his retirement at 10:45.
Entering the media workroom here at the stadium, a projector screen is hanging behind the stage where Bill Belichick holds his press conferences. It has images of Bruschi from throughout his career. There are two blue Bruschi jerseys hanging above a blue curtain, and pictures of Bruschi are hanging throughout the room. A table is set up with Patriots helmets and one official NFL ball.
There are 12 television cameras in the back of the room. Driving into the stadium, television trucks from local stations were parked outside, prepared to go live with the press conference. A handful of newspaper photographers are lined up along the left side of the room to shoot Bruschi's entrance.
More to come, as the plan will be to live blog this press conference (the updates will be posted here, so those wishing to follow along can hit the refresh button).
(10:42 a.m.) -- The room is quiet in anticipation of Bruschi's arrival. Standing room only crowd.
(10:49 a.m.) A video montage of all Bruschi's career moments is now running on flat-screen televisions.
(10:50 a.m.) Bruschi has entered the room with his wife Heidi. Owner Robert Kraft is now at the podium, as the video montage rolls. Coach Bill Belichick is sitting next to Bruschi at the table which has two Patriots helmets and an NFL ball. President Jonathan Kraft is standing along the right side of the room.
(10:53 a.m.) Robert Kraft says that Bruschi embodies what he believes the Patriots stand for -- hard work, perseverance, overachievement, selfless team-first approach. "He's handled every stage of his career with great class."
(10:54 a.m.) Robert Kraft reflects on two memories that stand out to him -- the snow game against the Dolphins when he scored on an interception return before falling to his knees, and how he took the field before the Super Bowl with his kids. He concludes his remarks by saying that Bruschi is a "true iconic legend who will always be part of our family." Bill Belichick is now at the podium.
(10:56 a.m.) Bill Belichick says he's coached a lot of great players and he puts Bruschi up there with all of them. "I don't think I've ever seen a player do what he's done," he said, reflecting on how he made the transition from defensive end to linebacker. Belichick said "instinctiveness" and "passion" are two words that he thinks of with Bruschi. He calls him the "epitome of everything you'd want in a football player." Belichick is emotional as he delivers his remarks.
(10:59 a.m.) Bruschi is wearing a beige suit with a blue shirt. A lot of smiles throughout the first 10 minutes. He seems at peace with his decision.
(11:01 a.m.) Belichick repeats that Bruschi "always did the right thing." He lists some plays that stand out in his memory. As he talks about Thanksgiving Day interception in Detroit, he looks back at Bruschi and the two smile at each other.
(11:03 a.m.) "How do I sum it up? How do I feel about Tedy Bruschi in five seconds. He's a perfect player. He's helped create a tradition here we're all proud of." Belichick walks off the podium and the two embrace.
(11:04 a.m.) Bruschi now at the podium.
(11:05 a.m.) Bruschi says he always wanted this day to be a celebration. He feels that's the way it is. He's accomplished his goals. Wanted a fourth Super Bowl title, but settling for three isn't a bad thing.
(11:07 a.m.) Bruschi says he talked with a lot of teammates on Sunday to explain to them what was happening. Said he kept coming back to the word "fulfilled" in his conversations. As he starts listing his thank-yous, he starts with his wife Heidi, who has always been by his side.
(11:09 a.m.) Passionate remarks from Bruschi when talking about Belichick. "He taught me how to win." Says he'd often listen to Belichick in team meetings and think to himself "That's exactly what I'd say."
(11:11 a.m.) Bruschi on the fans of New England: "I feel like my career was different than a lot of other players, and also different with my relationship with the fans. They saw me come in as an underdog. ... The fans took that journey with me."
(11:13 a.m.) "Being a Patriot my entire career is something I'm very proud of." Bruschi reflects on the moment he was drafted, and turned to Heidi, who was his girlfriend at the time, and said "I want to play my career with one team."
(11:15 a.m.) "There is a sign when you come into this facility that says 'Do Your Job'. I did my job for 13 years. Now my job is done. My job is done. I'm looking forward to living the rest of my life." Bruschi is now answering questions from reporters.
(11:19 a.m.) Bruschi says he's started to feel his age (36) when he wakes up. That's when he started thinking of retirement.
(11:22 a.m.) Bruschi talks about how the Patriots' franchise has grown since he arrived in 1996. He correlates that to his own career. "It makes me feel that much more connected to the logo."
(11:24 a.m.) Bruschi laughs when asked if this is really it. What if he gets a call in November if the Patriots have a run of injuries? "Bill and I had this conversation. We had a great conversation yesterday. I don't know if the answer to that one was 'Don't call me.' I think if I was in a different situation there would be a different answer to that. I think if there was more than I wanted to achieve, to come back and do more, I would welcome that."
(11:30 a.m.) -- Bruschi says there is no one moment that stands out above the rest. Too many, he says. "To talk about one would cheapen the others."
(11:32 a.m.) Bruschi takes his final question. Says he plans on settling in New England with his family.
(11:34 a.m.) Bruschi walks off the podium. The first person he addresses is his wife Heidi. They kiss and walk out of the room. Reporters are now off to the locker room to interview players. A first-class presentation by the Patriots for Bruschi, one of the all-time franchise greats.