Weeks after Rozier name-dropped the retired former New England Patriots quarterback following a Boston Celtics playoff victory, Bledsoe was on hand at TD Garden on Wednesday night to watch Rozier and his teammates play the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 5 of the teams’ Eastern Conference semifinal series.
“Coming back here to New England is always special,” Bledsoe told reporters after Boston’s series-clinching 114-112 victory. “To watch what the Celtics have done and just be a fanboy is really, really cool.”
Bledsoe played for the Patriots for the first nine seasons of his 14-year NFL career, leading the team to a Super Bowl appearance following the 1996 season. Now a wine maker in Washington, Bledsoe has been embraced by a new generation of New England sports fans this NBA postseason thanks to a comment made by Rozier last month.
During a postgame interview following a Celtics’ playoff victory over Milwaukee last month, Rozier referred to Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe as Drew Bledsoe. That’s all it took for some local fans to dig out their old Patriots No. 11 jerseys and wear them around town.
“Boston is a pretty unique sports town. It’s a very serious sports town and people remember their history, remember the athletes who played here,” Bledsoe told WBZ-TV before Wednesday’s game. “Thankfully they didn’t all throw their Drew Bledsoe jerseys out; kept them in the back of their closets so they could find them.”
Rozier also sported one of those jerseys before and after Game 1 against the 76ers.
Last week, Bledsoe posted a photo of himself wearing a “Scary Terry” shirt in honor of Rozier.
And before Wednesday night’s game, this finally happened.
Later, Bledsoe could be seen in the crowd — wearing a Rozier No. 12 jersey, of course — enjoying the game with the rest of the fans.
Afterward, Bledsoe crashed the Celtics’ news conference and spoke with reporters.
“This whole thing with Terry’s been super fun,” Bledsoe said. “It’s been fun going back and forth with Terry, but it’s mostly just fun because the Celtics are playing great basketball and I’ve been a fan a long time.”
Before he left the podium, Bledsoe half-joked that he’d like to name a wine after Rozier.
"Actually, the Terry Rosé may be the thing," Bledsoe said. "Watch out. I'll have to talk to him, bring him out to Washington and develop a profile. We'll come up with the Terry Rosé. It's going to have a great finish."