I was born in January of 1994 during a New England snowstorm. Like most other children raised in the Boston area, I grew up a Patriots fan. Many of my earliest sports memories include watching players like Ty Law, Troy Brown, and Tom Brady establish the Patriots’ identity as one of the NFL’s premier organizations.
A huge part of that identity was Adam Vinatieri.
Vinatieri made 20 game-winning kicks during his time with the Patriots. He also scored what were likely the three most important points in franchise history.
It was January of 2002, during another New England snowstorm. I had just turned eight years old and the Pats were playing the Raiders in the AFC divisional playoffs. Vinatieri was lining up for a near-impossible 45-yard field goal with 32 seconds left and a chance to send the game to overtime. At the time, I wasn’t aware of the decades of misery generations of Patriots fans had gone through. I didn’t realize they weren’t supposed to win. Moments earlier, New England’s hopes had been brought back to life by way of the infamous (and now defunct) Tuck Rule.
Somehow, through gusting winds and blinding snow, Vinatieri drilled that kick.
It was arguably the toughest, most clutch field goal in football history.
In overtime, Vinatieri hit a 28-yarder to win the game and send the Patriots on to play for the AFC title. Two weeks later, Vinatieri nailed another game-winning field goal as time expired to give the Patriots a 20-17 victory over the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. It was the first championship in team history. The New England Patriots’ dynasty was born.
Fast forward to 2017. Vinatieri, now 44 years old, is incredibly about to begin his 22nd NFL season. I am in my second year at WHOOP.
As a member of the WHOOP team, I now have a unique perspective on professional athletes–from getting to work with them behind the scenes, to learning the lengths players like Vinatieri go to in order to ensure they are prepared and equipped to compete at an elite level for as long as possible.
As a fan, I have watched Vinatieri remain one of the best at his position year after year for almost my entire life.
The connection between the two is no coincidence. Adam takes incredible care of his body. He is a tireless worker and he knows exactly what his limitations are and how they’ve changed over the years. He has taken control of his career and continued to be great.
Over the decade he spent with the Patriots and the 11 seasons he’s been with the Colts, Vinatieri has appeared in five Super Bowls, winning four of them. He’s scored 234 points in the postseason and made 10 field goals in overtime, both of which are all-time records. He is also the only player in NFL history to score 1,000 points with two different teams.
If Vinatieri had a cell phone when he entered the league in 1996, it probably looked something like this:
Today, he has an Android device that allows him to view his daily Strain, Sleep and Recovery via the WHOOP app.
Vinatieri was one of the early beta testers of our Android app, now officially available to the public. “As an athlete, avoiding injuries is a top priority in order to have as long and healthy of a career as possible,” he said. ”WHOOP recognizes that I’m not an athlete three hours a day, but 24/7. It has been essential in helping me prioritize sleep and recovery, which has allowed me to train smarter. Thanks to WHOOP, I’ve got a competitive advantage come game day.”