This year, the 50th Super Bowl will take place, a milestone for the NFL and one the league is celebrating. One such was is by naming a Super Bowl 50 Golden Team, which was announced today.
The team was compiled by the Hall of Fame Board of Selectors and named the best Super Bowl player by position, recognizing them for their efforts on the game's biggest stage. One player stands out among the rest, however, as only one was a unanimous choice: kicker Adam Vinatieri. Vinatieri is also the only active player selected to the list.
Vinatieri has played in five Super Bowls in his career, winning four of them. As a rookie in 1996, Vinatieri's Patriots made the Super Bowl but lost to Brett Favre and the Packers. A few years later, the Patriots were once again back in the Super Bowl, facing the St. Louis Rams to conclude the 2001 season. In that game, Vinatieri hit a 48-yard field goal as time expired to win the game for New England, and he was in the same situation two years later, hitting a 41-yard field goal to defeat the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl. The Patriots would win the Super Bowl the following year as well by a field goal, and then two years later Vinatieri - now a part of the Colts - won his fourth ring. The Colts made another Super Bowl in the 2009 season, but Vinatieri was injured and didn't play in that game.
In his five Super Bowls, Vinatieri has hit 7 of 10 field goals and 13 of 13 extra points, scoring 34 points and hitting two game-winners. He will go down as one of the greatest and most clutch kickers in NFL history, and a large part of his legacy lies in the Super Bowl. He really is a no-brainer decision to be the kicker on the Super Bowl 50 Golden Team.
"It's awesome," Vinatieri told FOX59's Mike Chappell of the recognition. "It's obviously an honor to be named for a prestigious award like this. It's a blessing to say I've been able to play in so many Super Bowls and I've had some pretty memorable moments in a couple of them. As a player, you're fortunate to be able to play in one Super Bowl. If you're fortunate to play in four or five or six, I guess your name gets mentioned more."
It's a great and well-deserved honor for Vinatieri, who one day deserves to wind up in the Hall of Fame as well. But before that, the 42-year old hopes to continue playing. It's likely the Colts will re-sign him, and it'd be great if he could add another ring to an already incredibly impressive Super Bowl resume.