Bledsoe, Parcells head nominees for Pats' Hall

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Bledsoe, Parcells head nominees for Pats' Hall

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

Now it's going to get pretty interesting. Drew Bledsoe, Bill Parcells and Houston Antwine are the 2011 three nominees for the Patriots Hall of Fame. Voting starts today, April 15, at Patriots.com. Fans have a month to vote. The winner will be announced the week of May 16. And this promises to be the most fascinating race since the teambegan this system in 2007 of having nominees put forth by a committee then openingvoting to fans. Fans have a month to vote. The winner will be announced the week of May 16. And this promises to be the most fascinating race since the team began this system in 2007 of having nominees put forth by a committee then opening voting to fans.

In Bledsoe, you have a player almost single-handedly responsible for resuscitating on-field hope for a franchise that - before his arrival - was only relevant as an NFL punchline. Drafted by Parcells, he was here for nine seasons. Six of them were good ones. Five of them were loaded with anticipation that Bledsoe would be the next MarinoKellyMoon. Even though his play spiraled downward in the final days of Pete Carroll and the early days of Bill Belichick, even though his departure was unseemly (traded within the division a year after signing a 10-year, 103 million contract), his mark here is indelible.

So too was the mark left by Parcells, though. He's the one that drafted Bledsoe. He's the one that remade the team, created a program and changed the perception of the franchise. He was only in town four years. He led the Patriots to the playoffs in 1994 and the Super Bowl in 1996 but his dismount from the team was ugly. He fled to the Jets after getting uppity about what he perceived to be the meddlesome ownership of the Krafts.

Finally, there's Antwine. A three-time nominee, Antwine played 11 seasons for the Patriots, appearing in 142 games (1961-71). He led the Patriots in sacks for three consecutive seasons from 1967-69 and his 39.0 career sacks are tied for 10th (with Richard Seymour) on the Patriots all-time career sacks list. Antwine earned six consecutive American Football League (AFL) All-Star selections from 1963-68. His six all-star appearances are tied for the third highest total in franchise history. He was named to the All-Time All-AFL Team, the Patriots All-1960s team as well as the Patriots 50th Anniversary Team.

Last month, seven-time all-star center Jon Morris was the 17th person to be inducted into the teams hall of fame by a newly formed senior committee.

The complete list of Patriots Hall of Famers is listed below:

John Hannah (1991)

Nick Buoniconti (1992)

Gino Cappelletti (1992)

Bob Dee (1993)

Jim Lee Hunt (1993)

Steve Nelson (1993)

Vito Babe Parilli (1993)

Mike Haynes (1994)

Steve Grogan (1995)

Andre Tippett (1999)

Bruce Armstrong (2001)

Stanley Morgan (2007)

Ben Coates (2008)

Jim Nance (2009)

Sam Cunningham (2010)

Jon Morris (2011)

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran