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Vinatieri saw his most memorable kick as far from automatic

Vinatieri Getty Images

As California Chrome prepares to win the first Triple Crown since I was a lot younger than I am right now (or as the case may be a lot less old), NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk has taken a two-day hiatus, deferring to Belmont Stakes-related programming.

As you patiently await the show’s return on Monday, June 9, here’s a little something from Wednesday’s show.  The Prime Numbers series focused on No. 4 (among others), and Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri joined the program to discuss, among other things, how he ended up wearing the number.

“The day that I arrived in the New England Patriots locker room, the number 4 was in my locker and I wasn’t going to complain, I was just happy there was a number in there at that point,” Vinatieri said. “For me, I was 8 in high school, 7 in college, 5 in NFL Europe, and I didn’t have any loyalties to 4 one way or another, I was just happy to have a number in there. I guess I’ve been wearing it ever since.”

He wore that number during one of the most memorable games in NFL history, the Snow Globe contest in the 2001 playoffs, which went to overtime with Vinatieri nailing a 45-yard field goal. So how many times out of 100 would he make that kick?

“I thought about that many times. I’m sure it’s a pretty low percentage,” Vinatieri said. “I always flirt with that 10-to-20 times maybe, a 10-percent or 20-percent kick. I know it’s probably not a 50-50 situation like that, with four or five inches of snow on the ground, pretty good blizzard, backs against the wall and it’s a 45-yarder. It’s probably a low percentage kick, but thank God everything worked out well that time and I got it over the line of scrimmage and on line, it took a long time, I think I prayed about ten prayers in the three or four seconds it took to get to the upright. I’m sure glad I made that one when I needed to.”

The fact that he made it, along with multiple other clutch kicks, makes him one of the greatest to ever wear No. 4. No matter how he came to wear it.

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27 Responses to “Vinatieri saw his most memorable kick as far from automatic”
  1. beerndrums says: Jun 6, 2014 12:35 AM

    All during the spygate years

  2. andrewluck12 says: Jun 6, 2014 1:16 AM

    Love Adam but the best to wear 4 should be no contest. Favre.

  3. brownsalwaysrebuilding says: Jun 6, 2014 1:45 AM

    Should have prayed for those 30,000 people that starve to death every day.

    Then again, god seems to like football more.

  4. howintensive says: Jun 6, 2014 1:58 AM

    Brett Favre wins best #4. It shouldn’t be close. He was incredible.

  5. jason9696 says: Jun 6, 2014 2:56 AM

    I’m sure Raider fans are going to love reading this article.

  6. jayblack073 says: Jun 6, 2014 3:30 AM

    Hall of Famer

  7. cylondetector says: Jun 6, 2014 6:15 AM

    One of the greatest FG’s ever – its still tough to imagine hitting a 45 yard game winner in such atrocious conditions.

    Hope he makes it into the HoF – even though he’s not a Patriot right now – I still wish him the best.

  8. philvil41 says: Jun 6, 2014 6:31 AM

    Too bad the kick should never have counted since Oakland had already won the game when they recovered the Brady fumble. Without question the worst call in the history of the NFL.For all you losers that say Oakland still had a chance to win the game in OT, your ignorance knows no bounds. They WON the game and it was taken from them. The rule clearly states that there MUST be INDISPUTABLE VISUAL evidence to overturn a call. Obviously the amount of controversy that this call has generated since it was incorrectly interpreted, is proof of that fact.NE was awarded a win they did not earn it. Thusly there is an asterisk* next to the SB they played in vs St. Louis , to go along with the Spygate PROOF that the NFL destroyed . Another FACT to further my point, did anyone ever wonder why Brady never vehemently argued that he didn’t fumble. He sunk his head down and walked off the field defeated. There is something called the eyeball test, and this play never passed it. In conclusion, the rule was on the books, terrible as it was…. But there was not and is not ANY INDISPUTABLE VISUAL EVIDENCE to overturn the call on the field.

  9. cylondetector says: Jun 6, 2014 7:01 AM

    One of the greatest FG’s ever – its still tough to imagine hitting a 45 yard game winner in such atrocious conditions.

    Hope he makes it into the HoF – even though he’s not a Patriot right now – I still wish him the best.

  10. bobnelsonjr says: Jun 6, 2014 7:17 AM

    Most people don’t remember the kick as much as “the tuck rule robbery” committed against Charles Woodson and the Raiders that set it up.

  11. operations666 says: Jun 6, 2014 7:28 AM

    And the Patriots haven’t won **** without him. Coincidence? I think not!

  12. theflyingelvis says: Jun 6, 2014 7:37 AM

    That kick was great, followed by another great kick to win the super bowl. Another memorable thing about that super bowl is that it marked the beginning of the end of DBs playing physical against WRs. I just remember the Pats DBs knocking the hell out of the rams WRs. It wasn’t long after that Polian whined until we have the contact rules we have now. But I digress. Vinatieri is as clutch as they get.

  13. sambaughslingers says: Jun 6, 2014 7:53 AM

    Hope he doesn’t have any problem being Canton bound. So far Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are a combined 4-0 in the Super Bowl if Vinatieri is their kicker. They are 0-4 in the big game without him.

  14. pats4win says: Jun 6, 2014 8:04 AM

    I was at that game AV was reminiscing about. Section 12, row 6 in old Foxboro Stadium. It was indeed a night to remember…. First time we ever deep-fried a turkey for the tailgate.

    The Kick was great, but the turkey was even better

  15. 44mpo says: Jun 6, 2014 8:39 AM

    Not to worry. Had he missed, the refs would have thrown a flag on the Raiders, moved it up 10 yards and let him try again. “The tuck rule” What a freakin joke that game was!

  16. gisellichek says: Jun 6, 2014 10:08 AM

    I was at that game… the weather was horrendous… I am not playing to the raider faithful or John Gruden when I say… IT WAS A FUMBLE!!!

    THAT SAID…

    5 INCHES OF SNOW ON THE GROUND AND IT IS SNOWING AT A 2INCHES AN HOUR CLIP , WIND , POOR VISIBILITY, NIGHT TIME , FREEZING COLD, AND 45 YARDS AWAY AND TRYING TO MAKE A KICK TO TIE A PLAYOFF GAME WHERE ITS MAKE IT OR GO HOME … HE MADE IT!!!

    THE GREATEST KICK EVAH!!!

  17. somethingsmellsrotten says: Jun 6, 2014 10:42 AM

    ^^^ Finally…a Pats fan saying it was a fumble. First one I’ve ever heard admit it.

  18. sambaughslingers says: Jun 6, 2014 5:39 PM

    “beerndrums says:
    Jun 6, 2014 12:35 AM
    All during the spygate years”

    Are you suggesting that Belichick was also stealing signals from the weather and the goalposts to provide an edge for Vinatieri’s most clutch kicks?

  19. bigwii says: Jun 6, 2014 6:18 PM

    It’s funny all these haters talk about ell this evidence when they have none, just speculation with nothing to back it up.

    Just mad the Pats won. Get over it, they are great, Brady has 3 rings, he earned them get over it.

  20. simonator917 says: Jun 6, 2014 11:24 PM

    As a Raiders fan I’ve been watching football for decades. And I’ve got to say that, despite the circumstances which allowed to even have a chance to make that kick, that between the wind, the swirling snow, the cold, and the consideration that he missed the kick his would lose, that was the GREATEST, most clutch kick I have ever seen in all my years of following football. The spot he kicked it from should be memorialized, even in their new stadium, just like the spot where the ball landed when Pete Rose broke the all-time record for career base hits.

  21. harrisonhits2 says: Jun 7, 2014 9:04 AM

    That was the greatest kick in football history.

  22. jimcarnoven says: Jun 7, 2014 4:57 PM

    “Without question the worst call in the history of the NFL.”

    Maybe very counterintuitive, but it WAS the rule. It was the rule THEN and was the rule for many years after, if not STILL the rule. And it was called on more occasions than just the Snow Bowl.

  23. jimcarnoven says: Jun 7, 2014 5:00 PM

    He delivered many game-winning kicks that year. In the regular season AND the playoffs, including the SB. He also delivered the game-winning kick in the SB against Carolina, the game-winner in a playoff game that same season against the Titans (remember the Titans?) and his one kick in the SB against Philadelphia the following year ended up being the difference in the game.

  24. jimcarnoven says: Jun 7, 2014 5:03 PM

    “I just remember the Pats DBs knocking the hell out of the rams WRs. It wasn’t long after that Polian whined until we have the contact rules we have now. But I digress.”

    Football really has changed since then. It’s a big reason Belichick hasn’t won a fourth. He was always good at drafting and coaching those kinds of players. When the Old Guard left and the rules no longer favored this kind of play, he had to adapt. I have to give him credit for his 18-1 season and those two SBs in which he lost on the final drive.

  25. bcgreg says: Jun 7, 2014 6:31 PM

    I know it’s not football, but Bobby Orr is the GREATEST # 4 ever!

  26. deacon85 says: Jun 8, 2014 9:46 AM

    I love to read articles on about that playoff game on PFT. It brings out all the pent up hatred that a lot of Raider fans (not all) still harbor. Hate all you want, complain all you want, but it’s not going to change the outcome (can’t change the outcome of the 1976 playoff game where the Patriots got robbed, either, but those of us who are Patriot fans live in the present, not the past).

  27. aljack88 says: Jun 8, 2014 5:43 PM

    “…..can’t change the outcome of the 1976 playoff game where the Patriots got robbed…..”

    Most of the whiners of the 2001 Raiders’ playoff loss are probably too young or too short on memory to recall that 1976 game.

    and to those who are still hung up on watching videos on Woodson’s hit on Brady, whose hand is striking Brady’s helmet and no call made?

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