Adam Vinatieri had a free pass here in The Hater Nation. The former Patriot kicked off one of the greatest sports calendar years of our lives in 2002. Vinatieri single-footedly eliminated both the Oakland Raiders and the St. Louis Football team in the same playoff season. Both in demoralizing and excruciating fashion. (And lucrative too, seeing we had the Patriots on the money line for the Super Bowl).
That started a year in which the Anaheim Angels would win the World Series. There were no bigger heroes than Troy Glaus and Vinatieri. Now Glaus is playing in Toronto which is cool because his can’t-miss replacement Dallas McPherson won't even make the (expletive) roster this year.
But what really hurts is Vinatieri leaving New England.
Actually, how could he join the Colts? There is a very real possibility that Peyton Manning could shake his choker status with Vinatieri on his side. The Colts would have beaten Pittsburgh if they had Vinatieri. Let's put it this way, Manning will not be referring to his new kicker as an idiot.
Can a kicker really make that much difference?
Yes. Without Vinatieri, Tom Brady is Jim Kelly. He is John Elway without Terrell Davis. The media has been telling us for years that the Patriots are smarter than us, but this is just a dumb move. What an error. This is not like cutting a favorite veteran who is past his prime. This is not cutting Junior Seau at the end of his effectiveness. Vinatieri has been his club’s most valuable player for the past five seasons. Who would you want more than anybody to line up for a game-winning kick?
This has the potential to end very badly. Hopefully the Patriots know what they are doing. Talk about it in The Hater Nation Forums.