Monday, December 5, 2011
Hated Villain Adam Vinatieri Returns to Foxborough, Gets Booed. Wait What?
There are plenty of things to talk about after the Patriots defeated Dan Orlovsky's Colts yesterday, but the one thing that is going to stay with me for a while is the home crowd's treatment of one of the greatest players to ever don a Patriots uniform, Indy kicker Adam Vinatieri.
In the first quarter of a meaningless game, Vinatieri was lustily booed when attempting a field goal. Needless to say, I was angry, embarrassed, but not at all surprised. Gillette Stadium has sucked for the last few seasons, as the expectations for the Patriots has risen. We have all heard the stories.
Overpriced parking, endless traffic, silence when the Patriots are on defense, being told to sit down, the lack of fights, walking past a Victoria's Secret to get into the stadium. We can go on and on about all the reasons why this stadium blows. But yesterday takes the cake.
Booing Vinatieri for going to the Colts is beyond asinine, classless and unbelievably out of touch. The guy was a Patriot from the start and gave everything to this franchise, including several of the most clutch kicks in NFL history (not to mention three Super Bowls). Maybe it was the mix of the fans in the stands yesterday, as it was clearly one of those games where season ticket-holders sell their tickets. That doesn't excuse the behavior however.
The natural comparison to make is when Johnny Damon was booed at Fenway during his first game as a Yankee. While similar in nature, Vinatieri was clearly more of a true Patriot than Damon was a true Red Sox. What could you be mad about? The fact that he left for a monster pay raise or the fact that Vinatieri went to the Colts?
Either way, for a town that prides itself on its passion and knowledge of their sports, yesterday was a black eye on the Patriots fan base. This wasn't Dennis Wideman coming back to the Garden. This was a future NFL Hall of Famer who had as big a role as anyone in building this dynasty.
And Patriot Place, Pink Hat Patriots fans, Davio's and Toby Keith's bar wouldn't be there without Vinatieri, if that changes your mind at all you assholes.