He is, he admits, still a bit uncertain about his new fame, new wealth, new surroundings. "At first I thought seeing my face in the media was pretty cool," he says. "Now, I'm more interested in whether I sound like an idiot or not." Even the Boston accents of the locals mystify him. "My favorite," he says, "was this ball boy we had who told me he played football, and when I asked him what position he played, he said, 'I'm a god.' "
Last season Bledsoe never washed a dish at his house; instead he ate almost every meal at training camp or at a restaurant. One favorite establishment, Applebee's, which is in Franklin near his house, went so far as to order several cases of Bledsoe's favorite beer, Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve, from Portland, Ore., to keep the solitary diner happy.
Money has never meant that much to Bledsoe. In fact, one of the main reasons he came out of college early to sign a pro deal was so that his good friend and backup quarterback, Mike Pattinson, could get a chance to start at Washington State. Last year Barbara became irritated with Drew when he left his car at a stereo shop for some work. Seems somebody dropped the visor and a couple of checks totaling about $40,000 fell out.
But it is Drew's loving family, stable as granite, that is at the heart of his success. "We never pushed him," says Mac. "Our boys know the only thing that's important is that they be fine people and that their mother and I love them."
Bledsoe sits back on his couch, R.E.M. on CD singing about losing religion and Healy back at work on her paper. This is college music, and Bledsoe is a college guy who is making his mark in the adult world of the NFL. Every now and then, though, he needs his dose of home life, 3,000 miles away. During the Patriots' recent break during their bye week, he hopped a jet and flew for seven hours back to Yakima, just so he could watch Adam play quarterback for Eisenhower. That he even asked Parcells for permission to leave practice early that Friday afternoon to make his flight was a major breakthrough in their relationship.
Bledsoe (cautiously): What kind of mood are you in?
Parcells (grumpily): Why?
Bledsoe: If I leave soon, I can catch a 1:30 flight to see my brother play in his high school game.
Parcells (cynically? solicitously?): Get out of here.