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Charity flag football game

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Fencer, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    Originally posted on KFFL, because that's where I learned about this annual event. KFFL in-jokes deleted.

    So I went to the game between the Patriots players and Acton town firefighters, with my 10-year old nephew.

    Current Patriots participating were Gostowski, Alexander, Spann, Cassell.

    Ex-Pats were DeOssie, Francis, Brock, Clayburn, Zolak, Smerlas. Zolak and Clayburn are the two who seemed in decent shape, although Clayburn admitted to getting stiff afterwards.

    I spoke very briefly with all of them at autograph time except DeOssie and one of Smerlas/Brock. The particularly memorable ones were Spann, Francis, and Cassell (more on that in a moment).

    The game itself was 7-on-7 flag football, clock running in 12-minute quarters. A few plays were pure clowning, but most of the game was at least semi-serious.

    Since there didn't happen to be any great football talent in the Acton Fire Department, with the exception of one guy who had speed and wiggle, it was a blowout. The most competitive aspect was the "tackling" on both sides, as the Patriots didn't have any special talent at flag-grabbing, so that bringing "down" runners was a semi-worthy challenge for them.

    All the current athletic ability on the Pats' side was shown by the current players and Zolak. Alexander had 3 interceptions and Gostowski 2. When the Pats wanted to give the firefighters a chance, they did something like put DeOssie or Smerlas at QB, both of whom immediately threw interceptions. Gostowski and Spann, however, were almost as effective at QB as Zolak.

    Placekicking was an adventure, despite the lack of block attempts. Francis and Cassell each shanked at least one of their tries. (Gostowski definitely wasn't kicking and DeOssie I think wasn't snapping.)

    Spann got my attention by competing hard throughout, the occasional gift excepted (e.g., on an Acton 2- point conversion he didn't make any real defensive effort). Afterwards, as he was bending over and being great with the kids, I complimented him on competing hard even here. He responded with a quiet, warm, and obviously heartfelt "Of course." I'm rooting hard for that guy to make it now. He's the real deal in character and personality.

    I'll miss Spann. :(

    Cassell was VERY polished in the meet-and-greet. On the other hand, he played the fewest downs by far of any of the Pats, despite obviously being uninjured. The other one who was astonishingly gracious afterwards was Francis, but then I'd warmed to him anyway because he was playing barefoot.
  2. nhpatsfan

    nhpatsfan Rookie

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    Sounds like fun.
    Any pics?
  3. psychoPat

    psychoPat Role Player PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Must've been fun.

    Of course Hawaiians play barefoot.

    Would be too ironic if Antwain's last action as a Patriot
    was playing flag football.
    Maybe he'll return somewhere, somehow ... say, p/s a little over a month from now
    ... if no one else rosters him.
  4. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I am now picturing Gostkowski pulling a fake field goal and throwing for a touchdown (to Mike Vrabel, no less). It's a nice mental image. I want to see it on TV some day. :)
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2007
  5. Fixit

    Fixit Rookie

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    When I woke up this morning I had no idea I'd see the name "Scott Zolak" before I even had breakfast.
  6. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That's great.

    I always need one lower-roster/practice squad/ex-Pat to support and follow. Antwain Spann is now it. Good luck, man!
  7. E Belichick Unum

    E Belichick Unum Rookie

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    I was there also, the event was put on by Smerlas' company and I have a friend who works them for Fred. The thing that amazes me is just how good a athlete Steve Gostowski really is. He has really soft hands and runs very well. I asked him if there was any plan to have him make any plays as a receiver and he said that Belichick only wants him to kick. Shame, last year he would have been number two on the depth chart.:D
  8. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    According to Wikipedia, Gostkowski was a serious soccer player in High School and he played baseball to a high level in college. He also lost his two front teeth playing hockey. Sporty guy!

    (Thanks for the report, by the way.)

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