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Patriots Fans Get it Right Yet Again by Voting Mike Vrabel into the Team's Hall of Fame

It's often appropriate at a time like this to declare "The video says it all," and get on with your life. Especially when said video includes this, from Ernie Adams:

"You don't come here to play this position or that position. You come here to be a football player. And the more you can do, the better it is." 

Few players since the dawn of the Age of Specialization can be described this way like Mike Vrabel can. Yet on a momentous occasion such as this, one of the founding members of the Three Ring Club being immortalized with the red jacket, more deserves to be said:

Patriots – The New England Patriots announced today that former linebacker Mike Vrabel has been voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame by the fans as the 34th inductee. Vrabel joins Troy Brown (2012), Tedy Bruschi (2013), Kevin Faulk (2016), Ty Law (2014), Matt Light (2018), Willie McGinest (2015) and Richard Seymour (2022) as the eighth player to enter the Patriots Hall of Fame as a three-time Super Bowl Champion with the team.

Vrabel will join former assistant coach Dante Scarnecchia, who was named as a contributor to the Patriots Hall of Fame by Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft …

"It's my pleasure to announce Mike Vrabel as this year's selection to the Patriots Hall of Fame," said Kraft. "Mike's leadership and versatility were principal to one of the most successful eras in franchise history, propelling the Patriots to three Super Bowl titles in four years and establishing multiple NFL records for consecutive-game win streaks. Many Patriots players have made contributions in all three phases of the game, but none more significantly than Mike. He was an eight-year starter on defense who also regularly contributed on special teams and is the only player in NFL history to score touchdowns on his first 10 career receptions, including touchdowns in back-to-back Super Bowl victories. He was respected for his football intellect and was destined to become a head coach in this league. I look forward to welcoming him back to New England, where his induction will preserve his legacy as one of the greatest players in franchise history."

I couldn't have said it better myself. Though I did try, when the nominations were first announced, and I declared Vrabel the odds on favorite in a stacked field:

There are plenty of choices for The Big Bang moment when the universe gave birth to the Patriots Dynasty. Mr. Kraft hiring Belichick. Belichick drafting Tom Brady. The Mo Lewis hit on Drew Bledsoe, and so on. But I'm picking one that brought immediate results. And that was the first minute of Free Agency in 2000. Back then it started at midnight on Friday. And as soon as it started, Vrabel got a call from Belichick, who proceeded to cite chapter and verse of all these plays he'd made while being a backup spare part in Dick LeBeau's Pittsburgh scheme. Vrabel signed within hours and paid dividends as their full time outside linebacker/special teamer/tight end secret weapon from the jump. In addition to those Super Bowl touchdowns, his blitz in Super Bowl XXXVI forced Kurt Warner to hurry his throw, forcing a Pick-6 by Ty Law in a game that was decided on a last second field goal. He still remains the best free agent signing in team history, despite being a role player before he got here and moderately priced on a team that was still reeling from the salary cap Shawshank Pete Carroll/Bobby Grier put it in. In that way, he's practically the quintessential Belichick Guy.

And let's not discount the fact he's been on the ballot for six years. The seventh time was the charm. As well it should be. 

It's incredible to think that there are now eight Three Ringers from those 2001-04 teams in the Hall already. With Adam Vinatieri and Tom Brady in the waiting room to make it an even 10. And you can make a case that apart from Vinatieri and Brady, none of them had a bigger impact than Vrabel did. 

They typically do the induction the weekend of a Patriots preseason game, which will make this one a scheduling nightmare given that he's the first selection to ever be head coaching another team, and therefore otherwise occupied. But let's hope like hell they can find a time and not just have to resort to a prerecorded acceptance speech or Zoom or whatever. Because he's one of the great personalities to ever come through this era in Foxboro. And listening to him, Belichick and Mr. Kraft swap old war stories will be electric. 

Anyway, nice job by Pats fans once again. If America could elect leaders the way New England does HoFers, there might be hope for our future.