July 17, 2008

Next stop Canton

Now I know this is coming a little belated. Congratulations to Ben "BennnnnnnnnnnnYYYYYYY!" Coates on making the Pats Hall O Fame. Old number 87 was probably one of the biggest reasons I became a Pats fan next to the drafting of Bledsoe. He was a steady contributor and you knew he would be open every time the Pats needed a big TD or first down. He wasn't the fastest, flashiest, or most famous TE of his time, but he was consistent, a load to tackle, and had the best hands I've ever seen in the NFL in my 26 years here on God's green earth. From 1993 to '98 you knew the Pats had two guys that gave them a chance to win Bledsoe & Coates.

Forgive me for sounding like a homer. Coates somehow never really got the appreciation in his playing days that he deserved. I still believe he was the best tightend I have ever seen. Better than the great TE's of his era Sharp (horse faced attention whore), Novacheck, evern Tony Gonzalez. If he doesn't make the NFL Hall of Fame then it is a complete shame. This guy was what every NFL player should be hard as stone and a consistent force in every game he played. I only hope he and Bledsoe are inducted in the same year so me and the crew can see Bledsoe to Benny in the corner of the endzone one last time. This guy is one of my idols from my childhood and gave me so many memeories I had to do a tribute to him. Here are some of his astounding NFL numbers:

  • In 1994 he caught an NFL TE record 96 passes for 1174 yards receiving. (AS AN F'N TE!)
  • From 1995 to 1998, he caught 84,62,66 and 67 passes, respectively, in those 4 seasons.
  • Coates played in 158 games with 499 receptions for 5,555 yards and 50 touchdowns.
  • He ranks on the Patriots all-time touchdown list with 50 and third in receptions with 490.

Hard to find Ben Coates highlight reels. Look for him at 1:39 , 3:01, 3:23 marks making classic Coates grabs. Needless to say that vid is given me a woody! By the way anyone else think Byars is the most underated fullback of our time. Love the half steppin.

Prepare the tissue at the 5:39-:53 mark. Classic Bledsoe to Benny at 6:50.

These videos just go to show that Parcells is an ass. That 96-97 squad was one year away from a dominating run. They could have won at least on Lombardi if only Belichick had stayed in NE instead of following in Bill's shadow to the Jets.

On a side note: My buddy Cinco somehow met Benny's college roomate from Livingstone College one summer. So he's chatting the guy up getting some good old Benny stories and they guy up and gives him Ben Coates cell number. Now Cinco was unfathomably elated as were the rest of us when he told us the story. He actually even called Benny and Benny answered and Cinco spilled his guys how he was a huge fan, thanked him for the memories, and even said he'd see him in Canton at his induction speech. Now this was like finding the holy grail for us we were die hard Pats fans that grew up on the Bledsoe/Benny days. After that first call Cinco made I told him he needed to think long and hard about any potential (yeah right it was inevitable) 2nd call. Well it took about a month before we got sauced enough in the old IWO Arena to give Benny another call. This time he knew to set it to voice mail, but that voice mail message was immaculate from what I recall. Basically it consisted of some praise for being such a big part of our obsession with the Pats and that Biddo had his back. Man good times.


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Teddy Ballgame

Teddy Ballgame
#9 on the field #1 in our hearts.