Giving Pats fans a reason to cheer
Catching up with Hugh Millen
SNOQUALMIE, Washington -- He came to play every single game with a blue-collar mentality that was a big hit with New England Patriots fans.
Despite the struggles of the Patriots during the early 1990's, fans admired and respected Hugh Millen.
"It was great playing in Boston because the people are so provincial there," said Millen. "The passion for sports is awesome. I really loved Boston and loved the experience. The people in Boston were so great to me."
These days, Millen resides in Snoqualmie, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. He grew up in that area, and was a star quarterback for the Washington Huskies in 1984 and 1985.
Millen lives with his wife, Michele, and their two boys, Cale, 4, and Clay, who is about to turn two.
"It's like Dorothy said, 'there's no place like home,'" said Millen. "Seattle is home for me and is where I grew up. It's where my family and friends are."
Millen works as a television and radio analyst for the Seattle Seahawks and is a radio analyst for the Washington Huskies.
"It keeps me close to the game," said Millen. "I do love the game and it works out well. The Huskies have 68,000 season ticket holders. There is a much bigger following here for Washington than in Boston for B.C. (Boston College)."
In addition to his analyst duties, Millen owns commercial real estate and has been involved with Microsoft, working with their NFL football game.
"I was doing that (commercial real estate) when I was playing," said Millen. "The market has been good out here in Seattle."
Millen played for the Patriots in 1991 and 1992 under head coach Dick MacPherson.
His best season with the Pats was in 1991 when he played in 13 games, throwing for 3,073 yards and nine touchdowns. His completion percentage that season was 60.1 (246 for 409). It was the first time in his career Millen was the regular starting quarterback.
"It was my first year starting and it was really a thrill," said Millen. "Prior to that year I had only started three games for Atlanta in my career. You need to play at a Pro Bowl level, but very few guys do that their first year. I felt like I was getting great experience."
Millen's two season with the Patriots were very different. In 1991 the Patriots were coming off a 1-15 season. They improved to 6-10 that year. In 1992, however, New England took a step back and went 2-14.
"The two years were just completely different," said Millen. "I felt like 1991 there was a feeling of great optimism, fun and hope. When you feel like your best days are ahead of you there is excitement."
"In 1992 pretty much everything came tumbling down for me personally. I separated my shoulder in the seventh play of the season and it was third degree, which is the worst kind you can have. It was very difficult for me to play with that injury. I didn't make any plays that year and I didn't want to take myself out of the line-up because I had worked so hard to get a
starting job. Everything we started building in '91 came apart in '92."
Millen played eight seasons in the NFL for the Los Angeles Rams (1987), Atlanta Falcons (1988-90), New England Patriots (1991-92) and Denver Broncos (1994-95).
Despite living in Washington, Millen still keeps an eye on on the Patriots. As a former Patriots quarterback, Millen greatly respects Tom Brady.
"I am a great admirer at what Tom Brady has been able to do," said Millen. "He will not go down as the most physically gifted quarterback to ever play the game, but above the neck he's playing at a level very few have ever played. He may not be a special player from the neck down, but he is a special player from the neck up."