Drew Bledsoe might have been the only person on the planet who didn't expect to hear his name called for the Patriots Hall of Fame.
Bledsoe, who received the highest percentage of votes during the five-year history of the balloting process, was inducted Monday. Former head coach Bill Parcells and former defensive lineman Houston Antwine were the other two finalists.
While few will deny what Parcells and Antwine did for the organization, this year's vote had Bledsoe's name from the day he retired. The quarterback spent nine seasons as the face of the Patriots, and he broke a handful of franchise records during his New England tenure.
"Just a tremendous honor to be elected to the Patriots Hall of Fame," Bledsoe said. "A little overwhelming this morning to receive the call from [Patriots owner Robert] Kraft, honestly a little emotional, more than I thought it would have been. Just to be considered in the company of Bill Parcells and Houston Antwine was a great honor in and of itself, and then to be elected to the Hall of Fame was really a tremendous honor. I'm really looking forward to being back there [for the induction ceremony]. I'm greatly honored. It means a lot to me. It means a lot to my family."
Bledsoe elaborated on the call from Kraft and said he was truly surprised to earn the selection.
"First of all, in the company that I was in during the election process, and to think that I was going to be elected out of that group of three, I didn't know if that would happen or not, and that's being honest," Bledsoe said. "So that was part of it. Then, just to talk to Mr. Kraft, and he had some words that he shared with me that just were to express some gratitude from my time there that were really touching."