There are certain stories that feel written in the stars, like they would only work in that specific scenario in that specific point in time. The moment Patriots fans were introduced to Gunner Olszewski, it was clear this was one of those stories.
Hearing about the prospect of an undrafted college cornerback at Bemidji State he could turn into a wide receiver, Bill Belichick brought Gunner home where he belongs, as a New England Patriots legend. You are either born with it or you’re not. Put your nose in the playbook as much as you want but without that certain je ne sais quoi, Patriots fans won’t give a shit. Danny Woodhead, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, and hundreds of training camp cult heroes can all co-sign.
After almost losing Gunner once on roster cut day following a notable training camp and preseason, Gunner started off on the wrong foot, literally, and was placed on IR with an ankle injury 2 months into his NFL career. Our dreams were put on hold for another year, and Patriots fans kept Gunner’s seat warm until August arrived, where Pats cult heroes make their bread and butter. In a shortened offseason with a new quarterback for the first time in 20 years, the only thing people could seemingly talk about after a socially distant training camp was, that’s right, Gunner Olszewski.
He was getting accolades from Bill Belichick, nicknames from Cam Newton and with a banged up Julian Edelman it looked like it was time for The Gun Show to officially kick off in New England.
Then he got put on IR with a foot injury and ever the Gunner faithful started to wonder if it was simply too good to be true. A D-2 college cornerback becoming a consistent receiver and return weapon right after you just turned a college QB at Kent State into a consistent receiver and return weapon makes absolutely no sense. That’s why what Gunner Olszewski did in week 12 against the Chargers is so much fun. It makes absolutely no sense and complete sense at the same time.
So, at this point in the season, where the Tom Brady-less Patriots are just .500 for the first time in decades, grasping at one thread of hope for playoff contention, fading out of the In The Hunt graphic, there’s only one man who can save us all. Maybe two, including Jake Bailey.
I’d argue if the Patriots lose out the rest of the way in horrific fashion but Gunner has multiple games like he did Sunday, some Patriots fans might consider the season a success. Gunner has that affect on people. Would rather watch Gunner have fun and get a high draft pick than lose Wildcard weekend without him. Right now, this 2020 New England Patriots team is Gunner’s team* They can only go as far as he takes them. And don’t worry Gunner, Patriots fans are going to ride this one until the wheels fall off.
*until Edelman comes back.