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Vinatieri saw his most memorable kick as far from automatic


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.