“There was a perception of kickers not being athletes. That’s in the past.”
Adam Vinatieri, “the Man”
Adam Vinatieri has been a place kicker in the National Football League for 21 years. Vinatieri has been selected to play in the Pro Bowl on three occasions. Vinatieri spent the first 10 years of his NFL career with the New England Patriots, and he has been an
Indianapolis Colt for the last 11 seasons. Vinatieri has been on four Super Bowl winning teams; three with the Patriots and one with the Colts. Adam Vinatieri holds the NFL record for consecutive Field Goals with 44. Adam Vinatieri’s great, great grandfather, Felix Vinatieri, was General George Custer’s Bandmaster. Fortunately, General Custer told Felix Vinatieri, “to stay back”, and not accompany him to Little Bighorn!
Adam Vinatieri has a great work ethic, and he is very self confident. These two qualities are critical for sustained success. When Vinatieri came out of South Dakota State no NFL team drafted him! But he had this “belief in himself” and went over to Europe and kicked for a team in Amsterdam. After a year in Europe, the Patriots signed him as a non drafted free agent. He had to prove himself to coach Bill Parcells. Parcells is a tough guy who was not easy on Adam. But Vinatieri persevered and we can say with absolute certainty that the “rest is history.” Vinatieri also is known as “Mr. Clutch” for his very important Post Season Field Goals – one of which won a Super Bowl. Adam Vinatieri currently is the oldest player in the NFL at age 44! He is so prolific that he has played in more winning games than any other player in NFL history! Vinatieri will join Jan Stenerud, as the only man who strictly was a place kicker to be inducted into Pro Football’s Hall of Fame. Kickers Lou Groza (tackle) and George Blanda (quarterback) are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame but each played other positions. Ray Guy is the only punter in the Hall of Fame. Adam Vinatieri keeps himself in outstanding physical condition, and going back to his high school days in South Dakota, he always wanted to be “the man”. After 21 years in the NFL, we can say with great certainty that he is “the man!”