28 Jim Bowman SS
Height: 6’2 Weight: 215
Yrs /Pat: 5
Acquired: D-2, 1985 (52nd)
School: Central Michigan
Born: Oct 26, 1963 Cadillac MI
- In 1989 started two games at strong safety in place of the injured Roland James (vs. Seattle on 9-24 and at Buffalo on 10-1)
- had played in 71 consecutive games since 1985 before missing the 11-26 game at LA Raiders with a sprained left knee (missed three games)
- In 1988 saw action in all 16 games with one start (at Buffalo on 10-23, replacing James)
- had an interception vs. Cincinnati on 10-16 on the final play of the game (no return)
- In 1987 dressed in all 12 non-strike games (started eight – first two and last six at strong safety) – had best year as a pro – was fifth on team in tackles with 61 (43 solos)…had two interceptions for three yards (both vs. Indy on 11-22)…also had eight special teams tackles
- Named 1776 QB Club Special Teams Player of the Year
- had 15 tackles (eight solos) vs. Philadelphia on 11-29
- In 1986 played in all 16 games with one start (at Denver 9-28) at strong safety
- had 19 special teams tackles (12 solo)
- In 1985 scored winning TD (his 1st pro points) by recovering Sam Seale’s fumbled kickoff in the endzone late in the third quarter vs. LA Raiders in AFC Divisional Playoff game on 1-5-85
- also had another recovery in that playoff game, coming in the first quarter to set up NE’s first TD (recovered Fulton Walker fumble at LA 21).
- Games Played/Started: Total: 73/12.
- Other Stats: Forced Fumbles: 1985 -1, 1988 -1, 1989 -1. Punt Returns: 1988 -one fair catch.
- Went to Central Michigan as a running back, but when coach gave him his choice between being second-string safety or fourth string running back on the first day of preseason practice, he selected defense – although he had never played it before
- Played in Blue-Gray and East-West Shrine all-star games as senior, becoming first player ever from CMU to be invited
- In his three years as a starter, team went 22-9-2, going 8-2-1 his senior year, 6-4-1 his junior year and 8-3 his sophomore year
- His 16 career interceptions (for 140 yards) is a school record, as is his eight pickoffs (for 87 yards, one TD) his junior year
- As a junior and senior, selected first-team all-league unanimously after making second-team as a sophomore.
- After never losing a high school football game (36-0) at Cadillac High, being inducted into the Central, Mich., sports Hall of Fame, excelling at Central Michigan University as a safety and then going into the NFL and with the Patriots, Jim Bowman had his share of success on the gridiron.
- Jim was drafted in the second round of the 1985 draft by New England and stayed with the team through the 1989 season.
- A knee injury had him sitting out the 1990 season and as Jim put it, “when you’re out of football for a year, you realize the game goes on without you.”
- Jim received an injury settlement with the Patriots and, at 27-years of age, began his life after football.
- As a communications major at Central Michigan, sales and working with people was a natural fit. His neighbor was CEO of Hood and was nice enough to forward Jim’s resume to a food broker, Merkert Enterprises. Jim got the job and stayed with Merkert for seven years before going to work for another former Patriots, Jon Morris who headed up Jon Morris & Co., a bakery broker.
- From there, Jim moved on to where he really felt the most opportunity for him was, in the wine and spirits industry and Martignetti Companies in its Gilman Division. That’s where Jim can be found today with one of his accounts none other than Gillette Stadium.
- But there’s much more to Jim’s life after football than simply finding the right career. Shortly after retiring from football, Jim and his wife Tracy’s first daughter, Brielle, was diagnosed with childhood leukemia at two and a half years old. The battle to save their daughter’s life began on a daily basis with treatment and trips to Boston. Remission for Brielle came, but at age seven, she had a relapse.
- The Bowman’s once again began the process of fighting their worst fear with the help of friends and neighbors that held fundraisers to help out where insurance left off. Even the Kraft family, upon hearing of Jim’s battle, helped out.
- Today, Brielle is 13-years-old and she is winning. Now, only once a year does she make the trek to Boston for a complete check-up. She also has two sisters, Shaylee, 10, and Kambrynn, 4.
- Nothing in football could have really prepared Jim for the challenge he faced with Brielle but having gone through it, he feels he has a better appreciation of those things in life that are truly important.
- And football isn’t totally gone from Jim’s life. On Sundays when the Patriots are playing at Gillette Stadium, he is the NFL Uniform Program Representative. It’s his job to make sure that players and coaches, and basically anything else that could appear on camera from the sidelines, adheres to the policies set forth by the league. That means socks rolled up, no unauthorized brand names showing – he even has to make sure Tom Brady doesn’t wear his favorite Red Sox cap when doing a post game interview. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. But hey, compared to other things, it’s a piece of cake.