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USA Today:
Adam Vinatieri savored all those New England celebrations.

He made the two big field goals in the "Tuck Rule" playoff game and, of course, the two game-winning Super Bowl kicks.

On Sunday, the longtime Patriots kicker will return to his former home, possibly for the final time.

"It's amazing," the 42-year-old Colts kicker said when asked about his career this week. "I could never have been more lucky. If I wrote it as a book, people would never believe it."

The bloodlines are solid. Adam Vinatieri is the great, great grandson of Gen. George Armstrong Custer's bandmaster. The General's younger brother, Thomas is a United States Army Captain and two-time recipient of the Medal of Honor for bravery during the American Civil War. He is also a distant cousin of daredevil Evil Knievel.

It took only 15 games for the undrafted kicker from South Dakota State to be accepted. In a 1996 regular season game against the Dallas Cowboys, Adam chased down and tackled Dallas Cowboys returner Herschel Walker on a kickoff. This sparked the remark from Patriots' head coach, Bill Parcells, "You're not a kicker—you're a football player."

Holding the record of most postseason points with 233, on Sunday Adam will pass Jerry Rice for most postseason games with 29. 12 more points from Adam next season will give him 1,000-points with two different teams.

There is one team record on the Colts that is held by Mike Vanderjagt. Mike is the kicker who got all liquored up and ran his mouth at the 2003 Pro Bowl. From Peyton Manning, he is the "idiot kicker" who makes great kickers like David Akers and Adam Vinatieri look bad. Mike's franchise record of 995 points will keep Adam Vinatieri around for at least one more season.

The kick against the Oakland Raiders was great. The boot against the St. Louis Rams was greater. And if he does it again on Sunday against the New England Patriots, I won't boo. He is the Muhammad Ali of kickers.

“You try to focus on the job at hand and not the grandness of it all.” Thanks for the memories, Adam.




Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.

Follow me on Twitter at @_prmurphy

For more of my articles, click here.

Paul Murphy 1/16/2015 02:33:00 PM Edit
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