When the call came, Drew Bledsoe was distracted, locked in a contest he couldn't win. On the morning of Sunday, April 21 Bledsoe's agent, David Dunn, phoned to inform the New England Patriots' alltime leading passer that he'd been traded to the Buffalo Bills. After going over a few logistical details, Bledsoe hung up and turned to break the news to the only other person in the room—his son John, who was two weeks shy of his third birthday.
"Hey, John, guess what? Daddy just got traded."
John stared blankly ahead. Beset by breathing difficulties caused by a strep infection that made his tonsils and adenoids swell, the kid was confined to an oxygen tent inside a hospital room in Whitefish, Mont., where Drew and John and the rest of the Bledsoe family (wife Maura and sons Stuart and Henry) make their off-season home.
"Dad," John finally responded. "Moooooove."
Drew had blocked John's view of the television, on which the boy was watching a Bob the Builder video. Even Dad, who had relieved Maura at the hospital after a long, anxious Saturday, had no chance of beating out claymated construction foreman Bob for his son's attention.
Can we fix it? Yes, we can!
When the video ended, Drew tried again. "John, Daddy's going to play for the Buffalo Bills. We're going to move to a new house?
John looked up quizzically. "Dad," he said, smiling. "Why are you gonna be a buffalo?"
By Sunday evening John was safely back home, and he and Stuart, who's 4�, were still trying to understand their father's relocation after nine mostly prosperous years with New England.
Stuart: "Dad, why aren't you playing for the Patriots?"