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Adam Vinatieri

From Academic Kids

Adam Matthew Vinatieri (born December 28, 1972 in Yankton, South Dakota) is an American football player who currently serves as the placekicker for the National Football League's New England Patriots.

He is the second of four children. He has two familiar family ties. His great-great grandfather is Felix Vinatieri, who served as General George Armstrong Custer's bandmaster. He is also a third cousin to the famous daredevil, Evel Knievel. Adam attended Rapid City, South Dakota's Central High School, where he was a letterman in football, track, wrestling, and soccer.

He was a four-year letterman at South Dakota State University as a placekicker and punter. He finished up his college years of football as the school's all-time scoring leader with 185 career points scored. (His younger brother Beau was a place kicker at Black Hills State University before graduating in 2003.)

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Life after college

He spent the fall of 1995 training to compete professionally. He received a tryout for the World League of American Football, now known as NFL Europe, and earned a roster position with the Amsterdam Admirals as a placekicker and punter.

New England Patriots

In 1996 he was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent to be a place kicker. He sports the number 4 and has been with the Patriots for his entire career, during which he has played in four Super Bowls, out of which they lost one and won three.

In the 2001 playoffs, during a blizzard against the Oakland Raiders at Foxboro, Vinatieri kicked a 45-yard field goal to tie the game 13-13 and send it into overtime. The Patriots then won the game on another field goal of 23 yards by Vinatieri. That 45-yard kick in driving snow is regarded as one of the greatest clutch plays in NFL history (and is one of the reasons that game is now called the Snow Bowl). In Super Bowl XXXVI he kicked a field goal on the final play to give the New England Patriots a 20-17 win over the St. Louis Rams. Two years later, and in an almost identical situation, he kicked a field goal with 4 seconds left in Super Bowl XXXVIII to boost the Patriots to another championship (after missing one field goal and having another attempt blocked in the first half). This time, the Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers, 32-29, making Vinatieri the first player ever to be the deciding factor in two Super Bowl games, and arguably the greatest clutch kicker of all time.

Vinatieri led the NFL in scoring in 2004 with 141 points (31-for-33 on field goals, and a perfect 48-for-48 on points after touchdown or PATs). His best game of the season came against the St. Louis Rams, against whom he scored 16 points (4 field goals, 4 PATs), and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Troy Brown on a fake field goal attempt (that pass gives him a career passer rating of 122.9).

Since he has been with the Patriots he has been very active in his home town and state which includes helping Christian athletes, D.A.R.E., and the Governor's Highway Safety Bureau. He also is a spokesperson for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island's teen anti-smoking contest. His hobbies include hunting, riding motorcycles and golfing. He is married, and has several children.

Honors and awards

External links

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