Jersey Monday: Drew Bledsoe

I did this a couple weeks ago, where I matched the number on the jersey to the date of Jersey Monday, and since I don't have any other natural tie-ins for today's entry, I'll do that again with the only No. 11 jersey in my collection: Drew Bledsoe.

I got this Bledsoe jersey the first year New England switched to this style, which I believe was 1995. They introduced the "flying Elvis" jerseys in 1994, but the logo was on the sleeve and the number style was traditional. In '95, they flipped the TV numbers and logo, increased the size of the logo (seriously, you can't tell from this picture, but the Patriot head on the shoulder was HUGE) and went with what I always thought of as NASCAR-style numbers on the front and back. Just compare Bledsoe's 11 with the 11 on the side of Denny Hamlin's car.

I wasn't a Patriots fan, and since the aborted move to Hartford they've become one of my most hated teams, but I wore the crap out of this jersey when I was in high school. I honestly loved how it looked, with the subtle alternating color strips in the fabric, and I wish the Patriots had never ditched it for the darker jerseys they use now.

Even though I didn't particularly like the Pats in those days, I did love Bledsoe, mostly because Bill Parcells had him putting up crazy numbers in the mid '90s. Bledsoe was on the first fantasy football team I ever had, back in 1994, and I still remember him getting me multiple victories that season, including the game in which he threw an NFL-record 70 passes. Of course, for some stupid reason, we had a completion percentage component in our league, and that was a bitch to calculate by hand in 1994. I'm so glad fantasy football is all internet-based these days.

Jersey Monday will continue every Monday until I run out of jerseys to spotlight. And since I’ve got more than 150 of them, that could be awhile.