SHARON – About 60 fans hungry for another New England Patriots Super Bowl title learned over breakfast this past weekend in Sharon about another Super Bowl-hungry bunch.
Former Patriots offensive guard Joe Andruzzi said during the Brotherhood's 7th Annual Sports Breakfast that the current roster reminds him of the 2001 team, which began New England's streak of three Super Bowl champions in four years.
"Our '01 team, there's a reason why we came out as a team that year: because we were a bunch of nobodies," Andruzzi said one week before the Patriots face the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, in Indianapolis.
"Nobody knew Tom Brady. Nobody knew anybody on that team. They knew a few guys, the first rounders, Willie McGinest, this guy, that guy. But you know what? Tedy Bruschi, nobody knew who he was at that time. He was just starting out at linebacker that year. Let's not forget, he was a defensive end in college, and he was used sparingly by (then-Patriots head coach Bill) Parcells. Ty Law was a no-name.
"But, we came out as a team. We were hungry that year. And I see a lot of that in these guys here."
Super Bowl Sunday marks a rematch four years in the making. The Giants won round one, 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII.
"This Giant team is very scary. They have gotten stronger, week by week. And this Patriot team has gotten stronger," said Andruzzi, a member of the Patriots' 2001, 2003 and 2004 Super Bowl championship teams.
Andruzzi reflected on his career, his battle with non-Hodgkin's Burkitt's lymphoma, and his charitable foundation, and then answered questions and signed autographs.
The Joe Andruzzi Foundation "helps cancer patients and their families with utility payments," as well as supporting pediatric brain cancer research, according to its website.
Andruzzi said people can help not only through monetary donations, but also donating blood ("My whole family came up from New York and donated blood," he said.), donating platelets, and holding a bone marrow registration.
"Every little bit counts," Andruzzi said.