The date of December 22, 1985 holds a special place in this Patriots Life writer's heart. It was on this day that the Patriots clinched a playoff spot against a very tough Cincinnati Bengals team.

New England's journey to the playoffs was nothing short of rocky. The Pats suffered a huge loss to a Miami Dolphins team that left them in a must win situation. Sullivan Stadium was packed to the gills as the Patriot faithful hoped to cheer their team into the playoffs. Before things even kicked off, the Pats honored Julius Adams, who was playing in his last regular season game for New England. For those that remember Julius Adams, he always knew how to get his team going. It seems like the combination of the crowd and Adams was exactly what the team needed to get pumped up.

After all the pre-game hype, it was time to walk the walk on the field. New England played some very inspired football, as they fought the Bengals until the very end.

It was the 4th quarter and the clock was very close to reaching the two minute warning. The Patriots had possession of the ball facing a 4th and 1. This dream scenario is what every kid envisions in his head. However, it is this same scenario that can make or break a coach's career. With his team leading, 27-24, Coach Raymond Berry was left with a difficult decision of going for it on 4th down or punting away to a red hot Boomer Esiason. Feeling very lucky, Berry decided to call upon the services of employee #24 aka Robert Weathers.

As a four year old (at the time), you have no vivid memories of what really happened. However, I remember hearing my dad tell the story to me like it was yesterday:

The play called was an inside run. Coach said to break it outside if it was there. Sure enough thanks to blocks from Daws (Lin Dawson) & Hawthorne (Greg Hawthorne), I was able to break a tackle and saw the daylight I needed. Next thing I know I am taking it to the house as I celebrated before thousands of fans! Most people don't know that the night before the game, I had a dream about scoring on that same exact play.

Sullivan Stadium was rocking after that playoff clinching run. Pumped up fans stormed the field and tore down the goal post. Weathers, recalls that the fans got a little too rowdy:

The fans almost got shocked when a piece of the goalpost broke off and hit a nearby power line. After hearing this news, I quickly realized how much it meant to the fans that we clinched a playoff spot.

Unfortunately, we all know how this "Wildcard Cinderella's" story ends. However, I couldn't pass up this golden opportunity to share how the story begins and the role my dad played in this gridiron fairytale.

A special thank you goes out to Mr. Panos for reminding me of this spectacular day in history for the Weathers household.

Follow me on Twitter at @michaeljames24

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Michael J. Weathers 12/22/2014 07:00:00 PM Edit

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