Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Defining class.

I've been a New England Patriots season ticket holder since the year before Bill Parcells came to town.

In other words, I remember the bad old days. Not just of bad players and bad play, but of REALLY bad ownership.

But since Bob Kraft bought the team, a couple of remarkable things have happened.

One, the Patriots have won three Super Bowls. (Which still, to this very moment, astonishes me to my core).

Two, the level of class the Patriots organziation exudes is amazing. From the gem that is Gillette Stadium, to the civic responisbility the players bring to our community, to the still-outstanding play on the field.

But yesterday just sealed the deal for me. And actually brought a tear to my eye. I received my 2006 season tickets in the mail. And guess who was featured on the ticket for the first regular season game?

Adam Vinatieri.

Yes, the same Adam V. who departed in the offseason to the arch-rival Colts.

But more importantly to the Krafts, and to every Patrots fan, the same Adam V. who drove a 45-yard field goal through driving snow and wind in the Snow Bowl. The same Adam K. who knocked home the winning field goal in the Pats' first Super Bowl win. And in their second.

The same Adam K., who will receive a prolonged and heartfelt standing ovation upon his return to Gillette Stadium this year.

An ovation sure to be led by one Mr. Robert Kraft.

Class stands on its own.