I have three. In chronological order, here they are:
1.) Oct. 1 1978, I was an 11-year old at Schaefer Stadium when Steve Nelson intercepted Dan Fouts at the end of the game on the goal line to preserve a 28-23 Patriots victory over the san Diego Chargers. John Jefferson had two touchdown catches for San Diego, but Harold Jackson matched him with two that day for the Pats. Steve Grogan’s touchdown run in the 4th quarter was the game winner. Exciting! Those Patriots players from the 70s and 80s will always remain my sentimental favorites.
2.) January 12, 1986. I was a freshman in college at Syracuse and my friend was a Dolphins fan from North Palm Beach who invited me to the AFC Championship Game in Miami. The Orange Bowl had been a house of horrors for the Pats, but not on that day! Wearing my “Squish the Fish” T-shirt, I watched the Pats dismantle the Dolphins much to my delight. It wasn’t easy sitting amongst all the Miami fans in my section, but well worth it. The curse of the Orange Bowl was over and the Pats were on to Super Bowl XX as a the first Wild Card team to win 3 consecutive road playoff games.
3.) I sat next to the late Will McDonough of the Boston Globe in the auxiliary media section of the Superdome for Super Bowl 36 at the same end of the field where Adam Vinatieri kicked the game-winning field goal. As it split the uprights, Patriots fans (and those members of the media covering the team like yours truly) erupted with joy! Walking down the ramps to the postgame press conferences, Will McDonough said something to me that I will never forget. He said, “Scotty, I have covered a lot of great moments in New England sports like Celtics and Bruins championships and great Red Sox seasons. But, none will top this one!” I couldn’t agree more! The Pats were HUGE underdogs to the Rams and had not been given much of a chance to win the game, yet they found a way to get it done. That was, and will likely always be, the single greatest sports moment and memory of my life.
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