In the rolling hills and pine forests of rural New England, the legend of Michael Bishop's explosive right cannon remains alive after more than a half-decade.
At least in the minds of Tom Brady and Kevin Faulk.
"It is the strongest arm I've ever seen," Brady said this week, shaking his head in disbelief.
Brady would know. He, like Faulk and a handful of Patriots, learned that lesson the hard way when they gathered on a practice field in Providence, R.I., after a training camp workout back in 2000.
They had seen this football freak of nature run and pass his way to superstardom during his college days at Kansas State, a one-man show who ended up as the runner-up for the 1998 Heisman to Ricky Williams.
But there were still questions. Here was this brash kid, a seventh-round pick of the Pats in the 1999 draft, boasting about how much pop he had in his muscular throwing wing.
He threw that thing the length of the field!" Faulk exclaimed. "Close anyway. It must have went 90-95 yards.
"It was amazing!"
Among those looking on in awe was a quarterback selected in the sixth round of the 2000 draft out of Michigan. Some baby-faced guy named Tom Brady.
"Incredible," Brady said when asked to describe Bishop's memorable heave.
"They didn't believe I could throw it that far," Bishop laughs now. "It was that way dating back to college. This was the same situation."
Playing behind the likes of Drew Bledsoe and John Friesz, Brady and Bishop became friends during that 2000 campaign. Bishop finished the season completing 3-of-9 passes for 80 yards while Brady, the Hall of Famer in waiting, went 1-for 3 for six yards.
"We hung out a lot that first year. It was great," Brady said. "We were both near the bottom of the depth chart."
They talked about what would happen if they ever got the chance to showcase their talents on a regular basis with the Patriots.
"We used to tell each other all the time: "If I get a shot, I know I can do it.' "
NEVER GOT THE CHANCE
Brady got that shot the following season when he stepped in for an injured Bledsoe and led the Pats to their first Super Bowl.
Bishop never had the chance. He ended up in NFL Europe, the start of a journey that eventually landed him with the CFL's Argonauts.
Tomorrow, in stadiums 120 km apart, both will continue their quest for championships.
Bishop will be at the Rogers Centre attempting to lead the Argos past the Blue Bombers in the East final; while Brady and the Pats will try to run their record to 10-0 vs. the Buffalo Bills.
Bishop says he is not bitter that Brady got the chance with the Pats that he never did.
"I played a little bit on third down but I never got the chance there,"Bishop said. "Had I got the opportunity Tom got, who knows? The fact is, I never got it. Maybe if I had, our situations would have been reversed."
It's a nice thought. After all, the man with the rifle arm can dream, can't he?