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The Man!

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  • Karen Cardoza
    A FEW mistakes.. but a great article anyway! Nearing a decade of service in NFL, Bruschi loyal to Patriots The Associated Press 2004 Tedy Bruschi, with son
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 26, 2004
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      A FEW mistakes.. but a great article anyway!
       
      Nearing a decade of service in NFL, Bruschi loyal to Patriots
      The Associated Press 2004
      Tedy Bruschi, with son Tedy at last year's Super Bowl, wants to finish his career in New England.

      By Jack Magruder
      ARIZONA DAILY STAR
       
      TEMPE
       
      T
      edy Bruschi took his wedding ring out of his travel bag, kissed it, slipped it on the proper finger and walked into the adoring light.
       
      About 100 New England Patriots fans, some wearing No. 54 Bruschi jerseys, hailed Bruschi as he left the locker room following a 23-12 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday.
       
      It has become a routine. A former UA All-America defensive end, Bruschi improved to 5-0 at Sun Devil Stadium, even if this one seemed a bit surreal.
       
      "It was sort of eerie out there walking out there," he said. "I think I should be wearing No. 68 (his UA number), wearing an 'A' on my helmet."
       
      Still, it was another in a series of A-list days. After winning his second Super Bowl in three years Feb. 1, Bruschi did not exactly sit around polishing his ring.
       
      In the interim, Bruschi has:
       
      ● Visited the White House;
       
      ● Attended opening day at Fenway Park;
       
      ● Leveled the back yard in his Las Vegas home to create more play room for his two sons, with a third on the way;
       
      ● And, oh yes, signed a four-year, $8.1 million contract that included a $3.5 million signing bonus.
       
      Nine years after tying an NCAA record for sacks, Bruschi has a firm grasp on his future, too.
       
      "The Pats are my team, the place I want to stay," said Bruschi, 31.
       
      "I've been with them through ups and downs, and I don't see why I shouldn't finish with them."
       
      Nor they with him.
       
      "He's got a lot of energy. He's a real upbeat guy. He's a very emotional guy, which is great for our team," coach Bill Belichick said after the Patriots limited the Cardinals to 167 yards offense.
       
      "He's smart. He's made the transition from being a down lineman in college to not only being a linebacker, but being a coverage linebacker, not just a rush linebacker. He's a great team player."
       
      Another connection to the past was made at halftime, when former ASU and Cardinals safety Pat Tillman was honored.
       
      Tillman was killed in Afghanistan last spring while serving as an Army Ranger. All NFL teams wore Tillman's No. 40 on their helmets Sunday.
       
      Bruschi and Tillman never met but they had a lot in common. Bruschi was the Pac-10 defensive player of the year in 1995; Tillman won that award in 1998.
       
      "I was proud to wear the '40' on my helmet today. He's an American hero in my mind, for what he did and the sacrifices he made," Bruschi said.
       
      About 50 family members and friends watched Bruschi play, including former UA teammates Jim Hoffman and Chris Lopez.
       
      "It's nice to have a homecoming when I come back here," Bruschi said.
       
      Bruschi draws a crowd in the Northeast, too. There are two Internet fan sites devoted to Bruschi, a fan favorite who has adopted the "Full Tilt, Full Time" motto of the fans in Section 116 at Gillette Stadium.
       
      A New England football signed by Bruschi was going for $106.95 Sunday on the Internet. His autographed throwback No. 54 red jersey is sold out, although a few in the crowd had them on Sunday.
       
      "My family is great. My career has gone OK to this point," Bruschi said with typical modesty.
       
      "I'm just trying to keep it going. Today was (New England linebacker) Roman Phifer's 200th career NFL game. I look to him in terms of longevity.
       
      "Hopefully I can play as well and as long as he has."
       
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