Robert Kraft and the Patriots organization announced this week that they would bring out four honorary captains for Sunday's AFC Championship game. Drew Bledsoe's second visit to Foxboro this season will be with Troy Brown, Tedy Bruschi, and Ty Law.
All four players were on the field for the first ever conference championship game in Foxboro against Jacksonville in 1996. Five years later they were a part of the team's first Super Bowl victory. In honor of the 10th and 15th anniversaries of those two seasons, these current and future Patriot Hall of Famers will be out on the field prior to kickoff.
This is just another example of this organization doing things the right way. Boston's teams as a whole have had a knack for choosing great players for first pitches, ceremonial puck drops, and all other sorts of events involving/thanking players from their pasts.
Baltimore will also have an honorary captain. He's an athlete I have the ultimate respect for. He's an icon for the city of Baltimore and a Hall of Famer. Strangely that hall of fame is in New York, not Ohio. The Ravens have chosen Cal Ripken Jr. as their honorary captain. You win a Super Bowl and all of those players are still alive and the best you can come up with is a baseball player to walk out with the likes of Bledsoe and Bruschi? Was Trent Dilfer too busy in faraway Bristol, CT? Tony Siragusa is not on Fox's NFC championship crew, and Shannon Sharpe will be at the game if CBS sticks with their custom of being on location for conference championship games.
All in all a strange decision by the Ravens brass. Should be a very cool scene at Gillette for Patriots fans to be able to see four of their favorites on the turf together again. It just shows that Belichick's players see it as an honor to come back and support the team and be part of the organization. Obviously that is not the case with the Ravens.