That man would be Rockport's Phil Bissell, who created the original New England Patriots logo Pat Patriot in 1960 shortly after the team - then known as the Boston Patriots - was formed as one of the eight squads to play in the American Football League (a league that existed from 1960-1969 before merging with the NFL).
"So we wanted to reach out to Phil
for help in doing so."
Way back in 1960, Bissell
was asked to draw a cartoon for a Boston paper depicting the future of the newly formed Boston Patriots.
Bissell's creation was a tough-looking, somewhat-angry minuteman in a crouched football stance ready to hike the ball.
went by the name of Pat Patriot
In the cartoon, Pat said "now to make some history around here."
As it turned out for Bissell
, who was 34 at the time, his
creation would become the official team logo in 1961, after the paper gave the logo to the Patriots free of charge.
That began a long-standing relationship between Bissell
and the Patriots
, as he
contributed original works to the covers of Patriots game programs throughout the 1960s.
In celebration of this year's anniversary, Bissell
has once again been commissioned to create a series of scenes featuring Pat that will grace the covers of Patriots game day programs this season.
Because of the evolution of Pat over the years, the logo still looks fairly similar but is a bit of a smoother, less feisty looking Pat.
"Even though my original Pat may not be here, he
is here in spirit through this other guy," said the 83-year-old Bissell
, who moved to Rockport in 1978.
"However, people are going to see him now more than ever.
I'm having a great time."
James, who asked Bissell
to do the home program covers for this season in 2007, and the rest of the Patriots organization are elated to continue to work with Bissell
is a special person," said James.
may be known to many in the area as the creator of Pat Patriot
But don't be fooled, he
has accomplished a great deal more than that.
Bissell, originally a Worcester native, is a very, very accomplished cartoonist with extensive experience.
He was a sports cartoonist for several publications spanning from 1950 until 1995.
At one point in time in the mid 1960s, he
serviced 200 papers that didn't already have a cartoonist.
also has cartoons and illustrations on display at the Pro Football, Pro Hockey, Pro Baseball and Pro Basketball Hall of Fames.
has illustrated many legends including Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi and Celtics owner Walter Brown.
Of course his
drawings are also on display in the Patriots History Museum and Hall of Fame
on the Gillette Stadium grounds in Foxborough.
Many local high schools such as Gloucester and Hamilton-Wenham
have also reached out to Bissell
and asked him to illustrate student-athletes.
is always more than happy to help out.
"My only regret is that Bev (Bissell's late wife of 55 years) isn't here to witness all of this," said Bissell
is unquestionably happy to be the creator of Pat Patriot
"I have two sons (Steven and Christopher) and I considered Pat to be my third son," said Bissell
"The whole thing has just been a great ride.
Money is nice, but it's also nice to be appreciated."
Down at Gillette Stadium, Bissell
is more than appreciated.
has formed a close friendship with Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a Brookline native who grew up enjoying Bissell's cartoons.
will attend virtually every Patriots home game this year in a private suite with his
"I'm really enjoying spending time with my two sons," said Bissell
This fall should be a very busy season for Bissell
, as he
will undoubtedly be invited to attend frequent functions celebrating the anniversary and his
role in giving the Patriots
is taking it in stride and looking forward to the fun that lies ahead.
Those who were not already aware of Bissell's contributions will have a chance to learn.
"We're so thrilled to have Phil
still be a part of the organization," said James.