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Today in Patriots History Thread

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by jmt57, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Charlie Weis

    Happy 63rd birthday to Charlie Weis
    Born March 30, 1956 in Trenton, New Jersey
    Patriot coach, 1993-1996; offensive coordinator, 2000-2004

    New England Patriots History: Happy Birthday Charlie Weis -

    Today in New England Patriots history we say happy birthday to Charlie Weis. He was part of the Pats coaching staff for eight seasons. Weis earned three Super Bowl rings as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator for Super Bowls 36, 38 and 39. He won another ring as part of Bill Parcells’ coaching staff when the Giants beat the Bills 20-19 in Super Bowl 25.

    Weis was a Patriot position coach for four years and offensive coordinator for five seasons. He owns four Superbowl rings and has 36 years of football coaching experience.


    Weis had 11 years of high school and college coaching experience when he joined Bill Parcells’ New York Giant staff in 1990. After three years with the Giants he rejoined Parcells in 1993 in New England. Weis was the TE coach in 1994 when Ben Coates was an All Pro, with career highs of 96 receptions and 1174 yards receiving. The following season Weis was the RB coach, when rookie Curtis Martin rushed for 1487 yards and 14 touchdowns. Then in 1996 as the WR coach, rookie Terry Glenn had a career-high 90 receptions, and 1132 yards receiving.


    Weis followed Parcells out of town the next year to spend three seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Jets. Then in n 2000 Bill Belichick added Weiss to his newly formed staff in New England as offensive coordinator. As the OC Weis had a critical role in Tom Brady’s first NFL season as starting quarterback. That 2001 season of course culminated in the first of seven (and counting) Patriot Super Bowl victories. All his then-neophyte quarterback went on to accomplish was to become the best there ever was.


    Not a flash in the pan, Weis earned two more rings in Super Bowls 38 and 39. He left New England to become head coach of Notre Dame in 2005. Later he was the OC for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2010, OC for the Florida Gators in 2011, and head coach at Kansas from 2012-14. Though he may be bored now that he is no longer working, his family should be set for generations thanks to buyouts.

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  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Other March 30 Birthdays

    Aside from Charlie Weis there are a couple other March 30 birthdays.

    Happy 72nd birthday to David Chapple
    Born March 30, 1947 in Arcadia, California
    Patriot punter, 1974; uniform #10

    Chapple was a productive punter and kicker at the University of California at Santa Barbara. In 1966 he kicked ten field goals, which would have been an NCAA record at that time – but Jan Stenerud kicked 13 the same year. Chapple was an All-American and selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the 1969 draft. A slipped disc delayed his football career and he eventually signed with the Bills in 1971.

    The following year Chapple joined the Rams and was named to the Pro Bowl, averaging 44.2 yards per punt. Perhaps even more impressive is that his net average was almost the same, 42.1 yards per punt. In one game at Soldier Field he averaged over 50 yards on his five punts.

    Chapple’s punts started losing distance though, perhaps due to the bad back. He went from LA to New England in 1974. With the Patriots he averaged 35.4 yards on 26 punts, and did not play in the league again. In 40 NFL games he averaged 40.2 yards on his 162 punts.

    With his pro football career over, Chapple rediscovered a hobby from his youth: painting. Over the last 40-plus years he has been an accomplished artist, particularly in oil paintings and sculptures.


    The Painting Punter

    Island International Artists - David Chapple

    A bout with rheumatic fever meant that the ten year old boy was confined to bed for many months. During this time he dreamed of the days he'd spent in the Sierras and studied many bird books. He had already won several school sponsored art contests and decided to use the time to develop his natural artistic talent. The books and his pencil were his constant companions.

    Like most young boys, Chapple dreamed of participating again in sports but was not permitted to exercise strenuously because of the illness. Eventually, it occurred to him that kickers did little running, and he saw that as the solution to his problem.

    As in drawing, Chapple found that 'practice makes perfect' in punting. After an appearance in the Sugar Bowl as a college senior, he was drafted by the San Francisco 49rs. Later, he was acquired by the Los Angeles Rams, and in 1972,as an All-Pro Punter, led the league in punting and set an NFL record for the longest punt.

    During the off season, Chapple pursued his interest in the wild by studying taxidermy. He has first- hand knowledge of bird anatomy that few can claim. And today he holds state collecting permits as he continues to gather specimens for the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum.



    Happy 43rd birthday to Chris Canty
    Born March 30, 1976 in Long Beach, California
    Patriot CB, 1997-1998; uniform #26

    Pats 1st round (29th overall) selection of the 1997 draft, from Kansas State

    In the first year of the Pete Carroll era the Patriots selected Canty with the 29th pick of the 1997 draft. That choice by Bobby Grier, with Bill Parcells no longer over his shoulder, would go down in infamy as one of the worst draft picks in the history of the franchise.

    Canty seemed to put more effort into his excessive celebrations over insignificant plays than in becoming a productive player. The Pats jettisoned the defensive back after just two seasons, and he was out of the NFL two years later. He later spent four years playing Arena football, but never made it back to the NFL.


    A couple other NFL players share today's birth date:

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  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Jim Colclough

    Happy birthday to Jim Colclough
    Born March 31, 1936 in Medford, MA
    Died May 16, 2004 at the age of 68
    Patriot flanker, 1960-1968; uniform #81


    The Quincy native and Boston College grad was an original Patriot and star of the American Football League. He was a late draft pick by Washington in 1959. Colclough did not make the Redskin roster and then played in Canada for one year. Colclough is a member of the Pats’ All-Decade Team of the 1960’s. He caught 283 passes for 5001 yards, averaging 17.7 yards per reception while scoring 39 touchdowns.

    From the Patriots’ 1968 media guide:

    An all-time Patriot … has provided Pats fans through the years with some of their greatest thrills … ranks behind only (Lance) Allworth and Dubenion in best all-time AFL average gain with passes caught (17.6) … ranks ninth in top ten of all-time AFL pass receivers.

    More from the Patriots’ archives:

    Jim Colclough was one of the original Patriots, having played with Boston from 1960 through 1968. He was also one of the most productive wide receivers in franchise history, a fact not widely known among some of the later-generation Patriots fans since his playing days came in the early days when pro football was just getting its foothold in New England.

    But make no mistake, Jim had some of the best hands in the game.

    Jim spent a season in 1965 with the New York Jets where he developed a close friendship with superstar Joe Namath. Later, along with the Bruins Derek Sanderson, they opened a sports bar in Boston’s Park Square called The Bachelors 3.

    After football, Jim got a Masters in Education. He was the head coach at Boston State (Div. III) and won the league championship in 1978-79. He also worked in the financial services field and authored a Lotus program eventually bought by New England Life.

    From his 2004 obituary:

    Colclough launched his professional career as a defensive back for a season in the Canadian Football League, but returned to his native New England in 1960 when he signed as a receiver with the Boston Patriots of the American Football League. That year, he led the team with 49 receptions for 666 yards and nine touchdowns. For the next nine seasons, he was one of the most productive players in the AFL, compiling 283 career receptions for 5,001 yards and 39 touchdowns. His 17.7-yard average per reception remains third in franchise history and his 39 touchdown receptions currently ranks fourth.

    He held the Patriots career record with 5,001 yards receiving until Stanley Morgan eclipsed it in 1983 and he remains one of only five Patriots players to reach the 5,000-yard receiving plateau. His 283 career receptions still ranks seventh in franchise history.
    On a side note, for more on Bachelor’s 3 check out the following:

    The End of Daisy Buchanan’s: Sports Stars Flocked to Storied Boston Bar | Boston Globe

    Bruins Legend Derek Sanderson Recalls His Venture Into The Bar Business With Joe Namath | The Post Game

    The Bachelor’s III Ordeal | Tales from the AFL

    Today in the history of the New England Patriots we celebrate the birthday of the man, the myth, the legend: Ernie Adams.

    Ernie Adams turns turns 66 on March 31. The Pats’ Football Research Director is Bill Belichick’s trusted right hand man. Though he avoids publicity more than Greta Garbo, Adams is arguably one of the three most important people to the team’s success this millennium

    Happy 66th birthday to Ernie Adams
    Born March 31, 1953 in Waltham
    Patriot Administrative Assistant, 1975-1978
    Patriot Football Research Director, 2000-present

    As a youth Ernie Adams’ primary interests were military history and football strategy. ‘Interest’ is actually putting it extremely mildly. As a teen Adams owned a copy of Football Scouting Methods, an obscure book read almost exclusively by a select group professional football scouts. That book was written by one Steve Belichick – Bill Belichick’s father. As fate would have it the two would meet when the younger Belichick enrolled at Phillips Academy. The perfect alliance was born.

    Adams enrolled at Northwestern University where he sought a job as a student assistant on the football coaching staff, and his coaching career took off. After graduation he bugged Chuck Fairbanks for a job as an unpaid assistant, and New England’s coach finally relented. He immediately impressed far beyond expectations. After Fairbanks departed for greener pastures, Adams caught on with the New York Giants. Once there he told head coach Ray Perkins there was somebody he needed to hire: Bill Belichick. Adams moved up the ranks and was Bill Parcells’ director of pro personnel from 1982-85. After becoming frustrated with the Giants he left football to become a bonds trader on Wall Street.

    Belichick and Adams reunited when BB became Cleveland’s head coach in 1991. Art Modell – who should go down in infamy for firing the two greatest coaches in pro football history – dumped Belichick on his way out of town for Baltimore. Adams was apparently not eager to again work for Bill Parcells, and started his own investment business.

    Ernie Adams joins the New England Patriots

    Adams joined the Patriots’ staff when Belichick became New England’s head coach in 2000. Adams is known for thinking outside of the box, beyond the scope of traditional football thought. A Rutgers statistics professor once published a study on when teams should go for a two-point conversion. Adams was the only NFL person to contact the professor to follow up on his work. From his viewpoint up above in the coaches box, Adams is one of the few with direct communications to Belichick.

    Tom Brady said Adams “knows more about professional football than anyone I ever met.” Brady added “You have to make (the defense) defend the width of the field and the length of the field. Ernie told me, he once told me, ‘Make them defend every blade of grass.’ I think that’s a great thing to do. They’ve got to be able to – that’s how you stress the defense. You can force the ball to all different parts of the field, and they never really know who’s going to get it.”

    I highly recommend that everyone read (or re-read) David Halberstam’s Education of a Coach for more insight on Ernie Adams. If you don’t have a copy already you can get one on Amazon for a couple bucks. In the interim, check out these articles; they are well worth the time to read them (despite in some cases the source).

    Mystery Man – If you’re a true Patriot, then you need to know Ernie Adams, Coach Bill Belichick’s voice-in-his ear, football-genius right-hand man | Northwestern University Magazine

    Who Is This Guy? You don’t know his face, but he’s the biggest secret behind the Patriot’s success | ESPN

    The Patriots’ man behind the curtain – Is little-known Bill Belichick confidant Ernie Adams the secret to the Patriots’ success? | Boston Globe

    Tom Brady shares words of wisdom from New England Patriots research director Ernie Adams |

    Adams’s role? It’s top secret |

    Why Ernie Adams is so interesting | WEEI

    Happy 37th birthday to Brandon 'Bam' Childress
    Born March 31, 1982 in Warrensville, Ohio
    Patriot WR, 2005-2006; uniform #13

    As a basketball player in high school Childress averaged 18 points per game and his team won the state championship. His football team made it to the state semifinals. Childress set school career records for scoring (202 points), touchdowns (33), receiving yards (2,258), touchdown receptions (21), punt returns for a touchdown (seven) and all-purpose yardage (7,103). Childress was named the state of Ohio’s ‘Mr. Football’ in 1999. He began his college football career at Ohio State as a cornerback, then reverted to his role at wide receiver.

    The Patriots signed the 5-foot-10-inch, 185-pound Childress as an undrafted rookie in July of 2005. The Pats worked Childress out at both corner and receiver and he spent nearly the full season on the practice squad. Childress was activated for the final 2005 regular season game. In the game most well known for Doug Flutie’s drop kick, Childress saw his first NFL action. He caught three out of four passes thrown his way for 32 yards, with a long of 21. Childress also had five tackles (two solo).


    Childress was part of final training camp cuts in 2006. He spent most of the season on the practice squad, activated for the season opener and a week 15 game. He spent all of 2007 on New England’s practice squad and then signed with Philadelphia. The Eagles cut Childress just prior to the start of the 2008 season. He signed on with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders but was once again a final training camp cut. Childress is now back in Ohio, employed as a State Farm insurance agent.

    Happy 31st birthday to Dorin Dickerson
    Born March 31, 1988 in Oakdale, PA
    Patriot practice squad TE, 2011

    Dickerson was a 2010 7th round draft pick out of Pitt by the Texans. The Patriots added him to their practice squad on December 7, 2011. Seven weeks later he was placed on injured reserve. After his contract expired, Dickerson signed with Buffalo after the draft. Dickerson ended up playing in 24 NFL games, with nine receptions for 117 yards.


    Other pro football players with New England connections:

    Don Gillis, 84 (3/31/1935); Medford High School
    Chicago/St Louis Cardinal center started 43 games from 1958-61.

    Kory Sheets, 34 (3/31/1985); born in Manchester CT, went to Bloomfield HS
    RB played briefly with Miami and Oakland.

    Kermit Schmidt (born 3/31/1908)
    The Flying Dutchman was an E/HB with the 1932 Boston Braves.
  4. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Don Hasselbeck

    Happy 64th birthday to Don Hasselbeck
    Born April 1, 1955 in Cincinnati
    Patriot TE, 1977-1983; uniform #80

    Pats 2nd round (52nd overall) selection of the 1977 draft, from Colorado

    With Russ Francis already on the roster, Hasselbeck was not prominent in the passing game when he joined the Patriots. Initially he was utilized more as an additional lineman to block in the running game. At 6'7 he did make for a compelling red zone target though; Hasselbeck had four touchdown receptions his rookie season on just nine receptions.

    After the end of the 1980 season, Francis suddenly retired at the age of 27, fed up with the Sullivan's cheapness. Francis was named to the Pro Bowl but did not play due to an injury, and the organization used that as an excuse to not pay him a bonus in his contract for being a Pro Bowler. More egregious was how he saw the team treat Darryl Stingley after he was paralyzed, attempting to cancel Stingley's life insurance.

    Hasselbeck entered the void created by Francis' departure and became the starting tight end in 1981. Despite missing two games with a knee injury he caught 46 passes, which was one off of the franchise single season record for a TE at that time. Hasselbeck had 808 yards receiving in '81, setting a team record for a TE. In addition his 17.6 yards per catch was best in the NFL by a tight end that year, and ranked fifth best by any receiver in the league that season.


    In the strike shortened 1982 season Ron Meyer split playing time at tight end between Hasselbeck and Lin Dawson. The following year the Pats added Derrick Ramsey and Brooks Williams to the position, and Hasselbeck was moved to Oakland. He spent one season each with the Raiders, Vikings and Giants before retiring after the 1985 season. Hasselbeck had 18 touchdowns in 123 games, averaging 14.4 yards on 107 receptions. He played in 86 games with 30 starts while with the Patriots, with 99 receptions for 1,444 yards. Hasselbeck scored 15 touchdowns for the Patriots and averaged 14.6 yards per reception with the club.


    2004 Cincinnati High School Sports Hall of Fame


    Without question, Don Hasselbeck is the finest all-around athlete in La Salle High School history. He earned 13 varsity letters with the Lancers and was inducted in 1995 as a charter member of the school's Hall of Fame.

    Don, who graduated from grade school at 6-foot-4, went on to become a Parade High School All-American in football, a collegiate All-American at the University of Colorado, and enjoyed nine seasons in the National Football League with New England, the Super Bowl champion Oakland Raiders, Minnesota and the New York Giants.

    Hasselbeck was a two-way starter as tight end and defensive tackle at La Salle where he started for four straight seasons. Only partial statistics could be discovered on Hasselbeck, but he was an all-city selection in both football and basketball as both as junior and senior. He set a school record for 32 receptions for 416 yards as a junior at La Salle. Don was also a four-year starter in track. As an indication of his outstanding athletic ability, as a 6-foot-7 sophomore, he actually won the Greater Cincinnati League high jump title!​

    New England Patriots Alumni - Don Hasselbeck

    Once football was finished, Don decided to put his education to use and he opened up an architectural design company and also earned his real estate license. He did well with his career choice, but over time, he wasn’t quite getting the enjoyment out of it he would have liked.

    After reading the book, “What Color Is Your Parachute,” Don decided he needed to somehow get back into working with the game once again.

    At the time Reebok was the No. 2 shoe manufacturer behind Nike, and Don saw an opportunity for them to tap into the football market. Reebok gave him a shot and he got a meeting set up with Lou Holtz at Notre Dame. Since then, things have worked out pretty well for Hasselbeck; he is now in charge of Reebok North, serving Maine across to Alaska with 26 sales reps all under his direction.

    Don has also done well as a dad. His three sons, Tim, Matt and Nathaneal, all grew up loving and playing football. Tim and Matt played quarterback at Boston College and in the NFL and Nathaneal is currently a cornerback with Boston College.​

    Happy birthday to Bob Soltis
    Born April 1, 1936 in Minneapolis
    Died June 26, 2009 at the age of 73
    Patriot DB, 1960-61; uniform #42

    An original Patriot Bob Soltis pro football career was cut short due to a serious back injury early in the 1961 season. He played in 17 games for the Patriots with two interceptions. Soltis spent much of his post-football career as a sales executive and manager in the computer industry.

    Happy 72nd birthday to Brian Dowling
    Born April 1, 1947 in Cleveland
    Patriot QB, 1972-73; uniform #14

    Dowling is most well known for being the inspiration of "BD" in Doonesbury comic strip. He was Yale's quarterback in 'The Game' in 1968, the 29-29 tie versus Harvard.


    Character forever linked to tie game Yale 'lost' to Harvard in '68

    Football's Unforgettable Tie

    Yale quarterback Brian Dowling refused to lose


    BD was with the Patriots for two seasons, appearing in 25 games with no starts. He completed 29 of 54 passes (54%) for 383 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Dowling spent much of his professional career as an an insurance industry consultant, working with a venture capitalist in the Boston area.

    Happy 63rd birthday to David Posey
    Born April 1, 1956 in Painesville, Ohio
    Patriot K, 1978; uniform #9

    After John Smith missed all but three games in 1978, the Patriots had a revolving door at the kicker position. Posey only went 11-22 on field goal attempts (including 5-11 from 30-39 yards away), resulting in his NFL career only lasting one season. However, he did connect on the 21 yard game-winning field goal that clinched victory for Pats' first division title in 15 years.

    Something Less Than Super | Sports Illustrated

    Happy 49th birthday to Mark Wheeler
    Born April 1, 1970 in San Marcos, Texas
    Patriot DT, 1996-1998; uniform #97

    Mark Wheeler is part of an answer to New England Patriot history and trivia: he was one of four players lost in free agency that led to the Pats getting a certain compensatory draft pick in the sixth round of the 2000 draft. He was originally a third round draft pick by the Bucs in 1992. Wheeler was a starter for four seasons in Tampa, then started at left defensive tackle for two more years in Foxborough.

    Wheeler played in 40 games with 31 starts for the Pats, with 118 tackles (77 solo), five sacks, one forced fumble and on fumble recovery. Chad Eaton replaced Wheeler in the starting lineup in '98, and Wheeler departed the following offseason as an unrestricted free agent, signing with Philadelphia. Overall Wheeler played in 108 NFL games with 77 starts, collecting 1g sacks and 277 tackles (217 solo).


    Happy 42nd birthday to Chris Eitzmann
    Born April 1, 1977 in Belleville, Kansas
    Patriot TE, 2000; uniform #46

    The Harvard grad was once a roommate with Tom Brady. The 6-5, 255 pound tight end played in five games during Bill Belichick's first season as head coach of the Patriots, with one start.

    9/6/2000: Patriots sign tight end Chris Eitzmann to practice squad |

    9/26/2004: Huskers hear about life after football | Lincoln Journal Star

    9/29/2016: Brady's roommate saw the fire early | Worcester Telegram
  5. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target Supporter

    Sep 13, 2004
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    Hasselbeck.jpg It's Don Hasselbeck's birthday (one of the very first Pats players I recognized!)
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  6. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History

    Only one Patriot with an April 2 birthday.

    Happy 81st birthday to Oscar Lofton
    Born April 2, 1938 in McCall Creek, Mississippi
    Patriot tight end, 1960; uniform #86

    Lofton played all 14 games in the inaugural season of the Patriot franchise. The 6'6" alum from Southeastern Louisiana had four touchdown receptions that year. His first TD was the second in franchise history. That came on a 60 yard pass from Tom Greene against the New York Titans at the Polo Grounds on September 17, 1960. The Pats were down 24-7 at the time and the TD sparked a second half rally. That game culminated with Chuck Shonta's epic 52 yard fumble return for the game winning score as time expired, giving the Patriots a 28-24 victory over the team that would later be known as the Jets.

    Shonta finished the season with an average of 18.9 yards per reception, on 19 catches. His pro football career was derailed after being drafted during the Berlin Crisis, and he served in the military for two years. Lofton suffered a hamstring injury during the following Patriot training camp, and he never got back on the field after that.

    There's a great article on Lofton on the Patriots website for more info on his career:

    Alumni Spotlight: Oscar Lofton | (Nov 16, 2007)

    Oscar Lofton - Southeastern Athletics Hall of Fame


    April 2, 2015:
    Houston Antwine is selected to the Patriots Hall of Fame by the ten-person Senior Selection Committee. The good news was that an egregious oversight was finally corrected. The bad news was that it took so long to happen. Antwine never had a chance to enjoy the honor: he had passed away three and a half years earlier.

    4/2/2015: Houston Antwine elected into Patriots Hall of Fame |
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  7. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History

    There was an old blog that has since been devoured by defunct hard drives, but the fact that I actually received a response from Russ Francis was - and still is - a very cool thing to me.

    Happy Birthday, The One And Only, Russ Francis

    Russ Francis - All World Tight End

    Your comments from last year, on my birthday, were sent to me by a friend. I wanted to thank you both, John and Emerson, for your kind and funny thoughts and comments.

    It was a very special time in my life. While I had the time of my life both in New England and San Francisco, I started and ended in New England with the Patriots and those memories are etched in the bedrock of my soul as some of the most joyous and spectacular days and Monday nights of my life.

    Thank you both. And John, thank you for being the Paul Revere of Pats fans by keeping the past and present stories alive online so we can all enjoy and benefit from your good work. Aloha nui loa to you both, #81

    When I first saw that the AWTE had responded, I assumed somebody was just screwing with me.

    For those of you that are too young to see him, my condolences.

    Happy 66th birthday to Russ Francis.
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  8. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot In the Starting Line-Up

    Aug 3, 2005
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    I bought a Francis red throwback years ago...Russ if you read this post i need your autograph on it...
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  9. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Other April 3rd events

    April 3, 1995
    The Patriots publish the premiere issue of Patriots Football Weekly, the team's official newspaper.

    It is with mixed emotions that we must inform you that PFW will stop publishing at the completion of the 2018 season.

    After 24 seasons of PFW, it was a difficult decision to stop printing the newspaper, but as you know, how most fans consume their content has changed. Let's face it, keeping up with the fast-paced news cycle isn't easy with a weekly newspaper! To that end, the staff of PFW will be providing you with even more content on the various Patriots platforms including, the Patriots app and all of the Patriots social media accounts.

    Thank you for being a PFW subscriber and fan!

    The entire staff of Patriots Football Weekly​

    April 3, 2001
    In celebration of a long-standing construction tradition, the final beam was hoisted into place at CMGI Field to signify the "topping off" of the structure's steel.

    CMGI Field topped off | The Sun Chronicle

    Another milestone was reached in the building of the new CMGI Field when the final steel beam was hoisted onto the facility's upper northwest corner Tuesday.

    Adding a bit of drama to the “topping off” ceremony, a 12-foot long two-by-four that was holding in place a banner attached to the steel beam broke off once the almost 6,000-pound beam was near its final destination. The large piece of wood sailed down from the sky and landed in an area reserved for the media. Bryan Morry, editor of the Patriots Football Weekly, was slightly injured when the wood hit the top of his left leg, but he did not require hospitalization, according to Patriots' spokesman Stacey James.​

    Happy 75th birthday to Randy Beverly
    Born April 3, 1944 in Wildwood, New Jersey
    Patriot CB, 1970-1971; uniform #27

    Beverly played in 21 games with 4 starts for the Pats, with two interceptions. He was primarily a special teams player, and later spent a season in the WFL.

    He is best known for two plays in Super Bowl III.
    From Wikipedia:

    The Jets had managed a solid defense throughout the season, but going into Super Bowl III, the Jets passing defense was not considered particularly strong. With the Jets installed as an 18-point underdog, Beverly's small stature made him a main target of Colts' quarterback Earl Morrall. However, Beverly put together a remarkable performance, becoming the first player ever to record two interceptions in a Super Bowl.

    In the first quarter, the Colts drove down the field, seemingly fulfilling the predictions about their offensive prowess. Reaching the Jets' 10-yard-line, Morrall threw a pass into the end zone, but the pass bounced off a Jets lineman, then hit the shoulder pads of Colts tight end Tom Mitchell. Beverly tracked the ball and caught it in the end zone, ending the Colts first drive.

    The Jets defense continued to stymie the Colts for the rest of the first half, shutting them out and prompting the insertion of Colt legend Johnny Unitas at quarterback. Driving the Colts down the field and poised to score the team's first touchdown of the game, Unitas threw a crossing pattern to one of his wide receiver's in the end zone, but Beverly stepped in front and caught the ball in the end zone, downing it for a touchback. While the Colts managed to score a late touchdown, the Jets' 16-7 triumph is considered to be one of the greatest upsets in the history of professional sports in the United States.​


    From the 1971 Patriots Media Guide:

    Came to Pats as free agent early last season ... star of first AFL victory in the Super Bowl as starting cornerback for the New York Jets ... picked off two big interceptions on Baltimore pass plays ... starter for Jets in '68 and '69 ... traded to San Diego Chargers in 1970 for receiver Richard Trapp ... eventually waived by Chargers and claimed by Pats ... played well on special teams last year ... going into fifth pro season ... signed with Jets as free agent in 1966 ... has 10 pro career pass interceptions ... lettered in basketball and track and won Junior College All-America honors at Trinidad (Colo.) J.C. ... state broad jump champion at Wildwood (N.J.) H.S. ... returned kickoff 99 yards at Colorado State ... adds good depth to Pats' speedy cornerback corps.​

    Happy 70th birthday to Ralph Anderson
    Born April 3, 1949 in Dallas, Texas
    Died 12/20/2016 at the age of 67
    Patriot free safety, 1973; uniform #49

    Anderson played in 13 games for the Pats with 11 starts. He had two interceptions and two fumble recoveries in Chuck Fairbanks' first season as head coach for the Patriots.

    The Pats acquired Anderson in a September 1973 trade with Pittsburgh. The Steelers used that 4th round draft pick on WR John Stallworth - who they were initially going to select in the first round - but chose Lynn Swann instead.

    Stallworth went on to play 14 seasons in Pittsburgh, and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Anderson never played in the NFL again after that 1973 season.

  10. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Leon Gray is elected into the Pats Hall of Fame

    Whether it was by design or just coincidence, I find it fitting that Leon Gray is elected into the New England Patriots Hall of Fame on John Hannah's birthday.

    Leon Gray elected into Patriots Hall of Fame

    Gray was a third-round draft pick in 1973 by the Miami Dolphins as an offensive tackle out of Jackson State. He was cut by Miami before the start of the season and claimed off waivers by New England. By the 1976 season, he was viewed as arguably the best left tackle in the game. He was a key member of an offensive line that allowed a franchise-low 14 sacks in 1977. Gray teamed with Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer John Hannah to form what is generally considered one of the best guard/tackle tandems in NFL history. At the end of the 1976 season, Gray was selected to play in the Pro Bowl – the first of two such honors as a Patriot and the first of four trips to the Pro Bowl during his 11-year NFL career.

    In 1976, Gray helped power a Patriots rushing game that averaged 210.6 yards per game (which remains a franchise record) and led the Patriots to their first 11-win season in franchise history. In 1978, Gray once again paved the way as the Patriots surpassed their season rushing record with 3,165 yards, an NFL record that still stands 41 years later. Gray was named a first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press, Pro Football Weekly and the PFWA. He was also selected to the Pro Bowl for the second time.

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  11. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    John Hannah

    Happy 68th birthday to John Hannah
    Born April 4, 1951 in Canton, Georgia
    Patriot LG, 1973-1985; uniform #73

    Pats 1st round (4th overall) selection of the 1973 draft, from Alabama

    • 9 Pro Bowls
    • 10 All Pro selections
    • Pats All-Decade Team of the 70s
    • Pats All-Decade Team of the 80s
    • Pats 50th Anniversary Team
    • New England Patriots Hall of Fame
    • Uniform #73 retired by Patriots
    • Pro Football Hall of Fame
    • NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
    • Anchor of offensive line for the 1978 team that set the NFL record with 3,165 yards rushing
    • Considered by many to be the best guard in the history of the NFL

    John Hannah | Pro Football Hall of Fame Official Site

    In 'Offensive Conduct,' NFL Great Hannah Details His 'Living Nightmare'

    John Hannah says Bear Bryant 'brainwashed' him about the importance of practice

    John Hannah | American football player
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  12. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Jon Morris

    Happy 77th birthday to Jon Morris
    Born April 5, 1942 in Washington DC
    Patriot center, 1964-1974; uniform #56

    Pats 4th round (29th overall) selection of the 1964 draft, from Holy Cross

    Jon Morris | Patriots Hall of Fame

    Jon Morris played 11 seasons for the Patriots, appearing in 130 games from 1964-74. He earned seven consecutive All-Star appearances with six AFL-All Star games (1964 through 1969) and was an AFC Pro Bowl center in 1970. His seven league All-Star selections rank second in Patriots history behind Pro Football Hall of Famer John Hannah (9). Morris was the first Patriots’ player to be selected to the NFL Pro Bowl. Morris anchored an offensive line that opened holes for Jim Nance to amass a team-record 45 rushing touchdowns from 1965-71.​

    New England Patriots of the Past: Jon Morris | Last Word on Football

    Morris played in all 14 games of his rookie season, and immediately became known as one of the most dominating centers in football. Morris took home the team’s Rookie of the Year award in 1964, while also winning All-AFL honors and a spot on the AFL All-Star team.

    The Holy Cross product would go on to show that he was no one-year wonder, either. Morris was selected to every AFL All-Star team from 1965-1969, being named All-AFL each year. The center was an absolute iron-man, as he never missed a game during his AFL tenure.

    The AFL merged with the NFL prior to the 1970 season, and Morris went down as one of the best players in the AFL’s history. His great play and long list of accomplishments earned him the honor of being named Second-Team, All-Time All-AFL. The First-Team selection, Oakland Raiders center Jim Otto, played four more AFL seasons than Morris.

    Much like fellow Boston Patriot Gino Cappelletti, Morris remained connected to the Patriot football scene after his retirement. Starting in 1979, Morris served as the primary color commentator for the Patriot radio games. Morris would eventually relinquish the post in 1987 after receiving a better offer with NBC Sports.

    Morris had an incredible impact with the Patriot organization, both on and off the field.

    Jon Morris Elected to Patriots Hall of Fame | CBS Boston

    “It was overwhelming,” said Morris of his reaction to the call from Patriots owner Robert Kraft. “I thought my days were numbered. This announcement came as a complete surprise. I consider this the crowning achievement of my football life and I am so thankful to the Kraft family and the selection committee for allowing me to experience this feeling.”

    “I give the Krafts all the credit for making the alumni feel so special and I look forward to being a part of this year’s hall of fame ceremony,” Morris added.

    Welcome to Pats Hall, Jon Morris | Mike Reiss, espn - New England Patriots Blog

    Morris' selection was made by the newly formed Senior Committee. Morris will be joined this year as an inductee by one of three yet-to-be-announced finalists.

    A member of the Patriots' 50th anniversary team, 35th anniversary team, and 1960s all-decade team, Morris was a six-time AFL all-star. He had been a finalist for induction in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

    The Senior Committee, a 10-person group consisting of some of the most tenured Patriots beat writers and staff, felt it was time that Morris' wait officially ended. The establishment of the committee was to ensure that early-era players who are deserving of induction are given that consideration.​


    Jon Morris on his Induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame | Tales from the AFL

    Believe it or not, Jim Otto was not the only man to play center in the American Football League! As incredible and enduring as we was (and he was both), Jim Otto garners nearly 100% of the attention when the center position is brought up in regards to the AFL. But there were other very fine centers through the league, Sam Gruneisen, Jon Gilliam and Al Bemiller, to name a few.

    From 1964-1974, Jon Morris played center for the Boston Patriots. Drafted out of Holy Cross in the second round of the 1964 AFL Draft, Morris won the Patriots’ Rookie of the Year honors in ’64, and settled in for his 11-season stay as leader of the Patriots offensive line.

    In 2011, after many near misses, Jon Morris was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame.

    Boston Patriots | Remember the AFL

    Jon Morris was a sensational three sport athlete in high school and played center and linebacker for three seasons at Holy Cross College, where he was the New York Daily News' "Athlete of the Year" in 1960 and Varsity Club Athlete of the Year and Lineman of the Year in 1963.

    Morris was selected All-East and All-America in his senior year, played in the College All-Star Game and captained the Senior Bowl. He was inducted into the Holy Cross Hall of Fame in 1973.

    The Packers were unable to lure him as a No. 2 draft choice and the Patriots signed him as their third pick. Morris was the Patriots' team Rookie of the Year in 1964, and their Unsung Hero in 1965.

    He was an American Football League All-Star six times, 1964 through 1969, and played 128 games for the Patriots (eighth best individual record in club history). Morris was named to the second team, American Football League All-Time Team.

    * Note: At the time Morris actually ranked 7th in the history of the Patriots in number of games played with 130. He now ranks 35th, tied with Logan Mankins in that category.

    Why '10 voting for Patriots HOF is so big |

    Do you feel, Jon Morris, it’s tougher for American Football League players to get recognition? Seems I set him off a little:

    “I had this conversation with someone the other day — I think it’s a disgrace that the all-time leading scorer in the American Football League is not in the NFL Hall of Fame,” Morris said, referencing Gino Cappelletti. “And I just wonder if that has something to do with it.”

    And that led us down another road.

    “I don’t know if any politics are involved in terms of the old AFL-NFL rivalry. I think that’s long gone, don’t you?” Morris continued. “I just think the longer you’re away from football, the easier it is to forget.​

    Boston Patriots Near Forgotten Heroes Live with CTE - Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute

    Several other former Patriot players have been diagnosed with CTE. Aaron Hernandez most recently, Junior Seau, Mosi Tatupu and Kevin Turner also played for the Patriots. These men or their relatives are part of the group of 5,000 retired football players involved in a class action lawsuit against the NFL.

    Other retired players from the 1970’s like Jon Morris, a former team captain and a member of the Patriots Hall of Fame, awaits the findings of baseline examinations. Morris played 11 seasons with the Patriots and snapped the ball to at least two quarterbacks, Jim Plunkett and Joe Kapp, who suffer from neurological disorders.

    Marty Schottenheimer, now 74 and a coach with an outstanding history, reports that he is struggling with Alzheimer’s. Bill Johnson, who played defensive back with Schottenheimer, lives with Alzheimer’s and has pledged his brain for research.

    The heroes of 1960’s and 70’s played football in a time when salaries were low and players relied on off-season work to make ends meet. Little was known about concussion and players were coached to lead with their heads. Concussion awareness in that era was low allowing players to be returned to the game often after a violent collision.

    Billy Johnson suffered a subdural hematoma attempting to take down Larry Csonka, a Dolphin’s running back in 1970. Johnson has no memory of the game but he participated in the next practice and played in the next game. He contemplates committing suicide as he lives with cognitive deficits and memory loss.

    John “Bull” Bramlett was known as “The Meanest Man in Football” joined the Patriots in 1969, He helped the team develop a reputation and earned much recognition for his ferocity of the field. He died at 73 from the complications of Alzheimer’s.

    Bill Lenkaitis studied dentistry in the off-seasons; joining the Patriots in 1971 he earned a spot on the Patriots All-Decade team. By his late 60’s he lost interest in his dental practice and according to his wife he was showing the signs associated with CTE. Lenkaitis died in 2016 from Glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, but the toll of concussions was showing long before that.

    Dennis Wirgowski played football in high school and college and excelled in other sports, he joined the Patriots in 1970 and was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1973. As he aged he lost the athleticism that had marked his life and following an orthopedic injury was confined to a wheelchair.He spoke with his football friends about his increasing depression and began to collect articles about former football players who committed suicide. On January 25, 2014 he killed himself with a borrowed shotgun.

    Many of these heroes of football are now out of sight as they live with disability or have died. It is important that we understand how multiple concussions changed their lives as we look for ways to increase concussion awareness and build greater safety into the game.​
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  13. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    Other April 4-5 events

    April 4, 1970:
    Foxborough is selected to be the new playing site for the Patriots.

    4/4/2000: Patriots reach 30 years in Foxboro |

    On April 4, 1970, the organization announced its move to the town after playing 10 years in Boston. The official ground-breaking for a new stadium, which was later named Schaefer Stadium, was held five months later on Sept. 23, and the park was opened nearly one year later.

    Before the Patriots played at Gillette Stadium |

    The Foxborough Bay State Raceway was the proposed site of a new Patriots stadium in 1970. The Boston Patriots had played in various venues in the city for their first 11 seasons, including Fenway Park from 1963 to 1968.

    The exterior of the Patriots' new stadium, Schaefer Stadium, in 1971. The stadium was built in just 327 days at a cost of $7.1 million.

    Happy 68th birthday to Arthur Moore
    Born April 4, 1951 in Daingerfield, Texas
    Patriot DT, 1973-1976; uniform #75

    Yes I Can

    During the prime of his NFL career, Art's life took an unexpected, near-fatal turn.

    "Going into my sixth year in the league, I was living in Jacksonville, Fla., and some people conspired to kill me by putting arsenic, lye and Drano in my drink," Art explains. "This drink destroyed my life. It tore up my entire digestive tract to the point that I couldn't even digest an aspirin. I was forced to take medical leave from the Patriots. Doctors in hospitals all around the country were telling me that I wasn't going to make it.​

    Former New England Patriot Works To Change Lives

    Former professional football player Art Moore has done charity work all over the country. He recently moved to South Mississippi from Baton Rouge, LA. Now, he's looking to spread his message of hope and inspiration across the coast.

    Standing 6'6", in the 1970s, Art was known as one of the most dominant defensive lineman in the NFL.

    "They say I hold the most single season tackles against OJ Simpson," Art said. "I played against the Namaths and the Terry Bradshaws."

    Art spent six seasons with the New England Patriots when he said his career was cut short after a near death experience. That experience led to a life changing encounter. ...

    Art and Gail's Yes I Can Ministry is partnered with Mike Alise, of Gulf Coast Produce. This weekend, they're teaming up to provide 500 meals for Pine Belt tornado victims and volunteers at East Jerusalem Baptist Church in Hattiesburg.​


    Happy 72nd birthday to Eddie Ray
    Born April 5, 1947 in Vicksburg, Mississippi
    Patriot RB, 1970; uniform #36
    Pats 4th round (83rd overall) selection of the 1970 draft, from LSU

    Happy 48th birthday to Bob 'Scooby' Kuberski
    Born April 5, 1971 in Chester, Pennsylvania
    Patriot DT, 1999; uniform #93

    Kuberski served in the Navy for two years before playing in Green Bay for four years. He earned a Super Bowl ring there when the Packers defeated the Patriots in the 96-97 season. Kuberski played in five games with the Pats in what was his final NFL season.

    Kuberski has enjoyed a very successful post-football career. Following his rookie season in Green Bay he worked as an intern at Associated Investment Services. He then worked as a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, ten years as Regional VP for Invesco, and head of retail sales for Ridgeworth Capital Management. Kuberski is now the Director of Global Relationship Management at Eaton Vance Investment Managers.

    12/5/1992: Navy Defensive Lineman Contemplates NFL | LA Times

    10/1/2018: One Year In, a Top Sales Vet Rises at Eaton Vance

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  14. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    April 6 Events

    April 6, 1979
    Francis "Bucko" Kilroy is named General Manager
    Former Patriot offensive coordinator Ron Erhardt is named Head Coach


    7/11/07: Legendary NFL player and executive Bucko Kilroy dies at 86 |

    Kilroy was a member of the New England Patriots organization for the past 36 years, serving as personnel director (1971-78), general manager (1979-82), vice president (1983-93) and scouting consultant (1994-2007). He was a contributor to 14 of the club’s 15 playoff seasons, including all five of the franchise’s trips to the Super Bowl.

    As personnel director of the Patriots, Kilroy was responsible for selecting the team’s two Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees, John Hannah (1973) and Mike Haynes (1976). He is credited with building some of the best teams in Patriots’ history, drafting Julius Adams, Hannah, Sam Cunningham, Steve Nelson, Russ Francis and Steve Grogan during his first five years as personnel director (1971-75). Over the next three years (1976-78), the Patriots compiled a 31-13 record (.705), including two playoff appearances.​

    Speak My Language

    The backbone of the Erhardt-Perkins system is that plays — pass plays in particular — are not organized by a route tree or by calling a single receiver’s route, but by what coaches refer to as “concepts.” Each play has a name, and that name conjures up an image for both the quarterback and the other players on offense. And, most importantly, the concept can be called from almost any formation or set. Who does what changes, but the theory and tactics driving the play do not. “In essence, you’re running the same play,” said Perkins. “You’re just giving them some window-dressing to make it look different.”

    The biggest advantage of the concept-based system is that it operates from the perspective of the most critical player on offense: the quarterback. In other systems, even if the underlying principles are the exact same, the play and its name might be very different. Rather than juggling all this information in real time, an Erhardt-Perkins quarterback only has to read a given arrangement of receivers. “You can cut down on the plays and get different looks from your formations and who’s in them. It’s easier for the players to learn. It’s easier for the quarterback to learn,” former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis said back in 2000. “You get different looks without changing his reads. You don’t need an open-ended number of plays.”​

    Happy 81st birthday to Charlie Long
    Born April 6, 1938 in DeKalb, Alabama
    Died 12/16/89 at the age of 51 in Framingham
    Patriot LG/LT, 1961-1969; uniform #76

    Pats 8th round (59th overall) selection of the 1961 draft, from Tennessee-Chattanooga

    Long became a starter at left tackle his rookie season and was an immediate upgrade at the position, replacing George McGee. He was named to the AFL All-Star team at LT in '62. The following year the Pats had a hole at left guard, and he moved inside to man that position. The transition went smoothly as the Pats made it to the AFL championship game, and Long was again named to the All-Star team.


    Charlie Long was a steady and reliable performer for the Patriots, missing just two games over his nine seasons with the Patriots. Along with his two All-Star selections he was also awarded inclusion to the Patriots All-Decade Team of the 1960s.


    Boston Patriots | Sports Illustrated - September 12, 1966

    There is a strong suspicion that the most valuable member of the Patriots last season was Bill Bates. Bates does not run, pass, kick, block or tackle. He tapes. As the team trainer, Bates taped the Patriots to a 4-8-2 record, worst in Boston history. But, in retrospect, it is difficult to understand how he and the team did that well.

    Due to injuries, Boston played much of the year without its only experienced running back (Larry Garron), its best pass receiver (Art Graham), an All-League linebacker (Tom Addison), a starting offensive guard (Charlie Long) and a starting cornerback (Tom Hennessey). Graham had tendonitis, which is unusual enough. But Addison and Long were affected all year by early-season cases of mumps. Not even Bates had the answer to that.​

    Happy 47th birthday to Chad Eaton
    Born April 6, 1972 in Exeter, New Hampshire
    Patriot DL, 1996-2000; uniform #90

    Eaton worked his way up from being a practice squad player cut by three other teams, to a starter on the Patriot defensive line. He was good enough that it paid off with a $10 million free agent contract in 2001 - though that also meant that Eaton missed out on the glory of Super Bowl 36.


    For more on Eaton, I highly recommend this article:
    Ex-NFL player Eaton bringing attitude to CSU | Dayton Daily News

    The following season he was picked up by New England, which is where he teamed with Ben Coates, the Pats’ standout tight end who is now the CSU offensive coordinator.

    He became popular with Patriots fans because of his blue-collar play and colorful ways.

    “I had gotten all the tattoos and did the wild stuff on the field because I thought it made people think I was a tough guy and crazy, so don’t mess with me,” Eaton said. “Then I realized I was tough enough and didn’t need all that.”

    He had some highlight games with the Pats — he sacked Kordell Stewart three times in one game, blocked two Buffalo field goals in another, returned a fumble 23 yards for a score against Baltimore — then became an unrestricted free agent in 2001 and went back home to Seattle, where he signed a four-year deal worth $10.7 million.​

    At the time the Eaton article was published in 2011, it created a buzz and 'tsk tsk' finger-pointing for this snippet:

    “That first season I was cut by three teams (the Jets and Ravens, too) and finally ended up on Cleveland’s practice squad.”

    His grit and energy caught the interest of head coach Bill Belichick and they forged a pact.

    “If practice was going slow, he’d look at me and just say, ‘It’s time,’ ” Eaton said. “He wanted me to get on somebody’s (case) and start a little fight. I was known for that and it paid off on Fridays. There’d always be some extra money in my locker. Practice players don’t make much, so I really appreciated it.”​

    Happy 30th birthday to Jeremy Ebert
    Born April 6, 1989 in Hilliard, Ohio
    Patriot WR, 2012-2013; uniform #80
    Pats 7th round (235th overall) selection of the 2012 draft, from Northwestern

    Ebert caught 137 passes for 2,013 yards and 19 touchdowns in his final two seasons at Northwestern. The Pats cut him at the end of the 2012 training camp, and the Eagles signed him to their practice squad. He rejoined the Pats in November, signed to the practice squad after James Develin was promoted to the 53-man roster. The Patriots released Ebert following the 2013 draft, after selecting Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce, and then signing undrafted rookie free agents TJ Moe and Kenbrell Thompkins for the wide receiver position.


    In 2013 Ebert bounced back and forth between Jacksonville's 53-man roster and their practice squad, Ross Ventrone-like on an almost weekly basis. Ebert finished his NFL career with three receptions for 18 yards.

    Patriots Today: Meet Jeremy Ebert | video

    Happy 30th birthday to Cyhl Quarles
    Born April 6, 1989 in Tucker, Georgia
    Patriot safety, 2012; uniform #49

    The Ravens signed Quarles as an undrafted rookie out of Wake Forest in 2012. He did not survive final roster cuts at the end of training camp, and the Patriots signed him to their practice squad on September 12. Quarles was released two weeks later to make room for DL Marcus Forston.

    The Pats re-signed Quarles to their practice squad in December. After the 2012 season ended and practice squad players become free agents, he signed with Chicago. Quarles was cut before the end of the 2013 training camp, thus ending his NFL career. He now works as an account executive for Ricoh in Baltimore.


    Happy 80th birthday to Frank Robotti
    Born April 6, 1939 in Stamford, CT
    Died 8/14/71 at the age of 32
    Patriot LB, 1961; uniform #51

    Robotti was a linebacker and fullback for Mike Holovak at Boston College, where he was also a standout baseball player. He played in 12 games for the Pats with two interceptions before chipping a bone in his right ankle on December 5, 1961. The Patriots drafted Nick Buoniconti the following off season and signed him to a no-cut contract, and Robotti's playing days with the Pats were over.

    This is a great article on Robotti, well worth taking the time to read:

    Frank Robotti: The man behind the trophy | Stamford Advocate

    Robotti moved to Florida, got married, did some coaching and worked for Coca-Cola.

    The gang from Stamford stayed in touch until August 14, 1971 when Robotti was age 32.

    "Frank was still close to all of us. But there was a car accident," said Gene Bonina. "Frank died. We were all shocked."

    "There were two little girls in the car with Frank. There were no seat belts then," said Dom Lacerenza. "It was a two lane highway. A young kid, drunk driver swerved across the yellow line. He hit Frank's car head on but walked away without a scratch.
    Frank threw his body over the two girls and took the entire crash force. He saved their lives."

    Happy 55th birthday to Adrian White
    Born April 6, 1964 in April Park, Florida
    Patriot safety, 1993; uniform #38

    White was a career backup and special teams player. He re-joined with Bill Parcells in '93 after five NFL seasons, the first four having been with the Giants. He played in each of the first five games of the '93 season for the Patriots, with four starts.

    From 1999 to 2000 White coached football at various levels, primarily as a defensive backs position coach. He was in the WLAF/NFL Europe for 11 years, Southern Illinois University for two seasons and Indiana State for one. White was also with the Buffalo Bills from 2008-2012, and spent one year in Arena football.


    Happy 55th birthday to Jon Sawyer
    Born April 6, 1964 in Hialeah, Florida
    Patriot safety, 1987; uniform #31

    The former University of Cincinnati Bearcat was a replacement player during the '87 strike season under Raymond Berry.

    30 years ago this month, replacement football came to Foxborough | Boston Sports Journal - Christopher Price
  15. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    April 7 Birthdays

    Happy 47th birthday to Lovett Purnell
    Born April 7, 1972 in Seaford, Delaware
    Patriot TE, 1996-1998; uniform #48, #85
    Pats 7th round (216th overall) selection of the 1996 draft, from West Virginia

    Purnell played in 34 games with seven starts over three seasons with the Pats. He had five touchdowns on 19 catches for 159 yards, averaging 8.4 yards per catch. He also had two receptions in three playoff games with the Patriots.

    In 2007 Purnell was inducted to the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame.


    Happy 29th birthday to Tim Wright
    Born April 7, 1990 in Wall Township, New Jersey
    Patriot TE, 2014; uniform #81

    Wright is most well known for being the player that the Patriots received when Logan Mankins was traded to Tampa. Overlooked at the time was the fact that New England also received a 4th round draft pick, which turned out to pay better dividends: that was used to select Trey Flowers.

    Tim Wright had six touchdown receptions with the Pats in 2014, appearing in all 16 games with 8 starts. He had 26 receptions for 259 yards (10.0 ypc), but was waived prior to the start of training camp the following year.

    The Bucs re-signed Wright, then traded him to Detroit prior to week one in 2015. He didn't do much with the Lions (9 receptions for 77 yards and 2 TD) in '15, and spent 2016 on IR. KC signed him in 2018, but he did not make the 53-man roster. His career NFL stat line is 907 yards on 89 receptions, with 16 touchdowns in 41 games. He also has a ring from the Pats Super Bowl victory over Seattle.


    Happy 80th birthday to Bob Suci
    Born April 7, 1993 in Flint, Michigan
    Died 12/21/15 in Grand Blanc, MI
    Patriot CB/PR, 1963; uniform #21

    Suci spent four seasons in the AFL with the Oilers and Patriots, but unfortunately a knee injury cut his career short. In 1963 he appeared in all 14 games for the Patriots, averaging 9.3 yards on 25 punt returns and 21.2 yards on 17 kickoff returns. That same year Suci led the AFL in pick-sixes (2) and interception return yardage (277).

    Suci was in on nine turnovers for that Patriot defense, with seven interceptions and two fumble recoveries. The Pats ranked first in yards allowed and second in points allowed that year, claimed the franchise's first title (AFL East) and playoff victory in a 26-8 victory at Buffalo.


    Legend of former Michigan State, AFL player Bob Suci still lives on after death

    Greater Flint Area Sports Hall of Fame

    Happy 69th birthday to Kenny Price
    Born April 7, 1950 in Houston
    Patriot LB, 1971; uniform #54

    Price appeared in just one game with the Patriots. On December 19, 1971 John Mazur's squad upset John Unitas and the Baltimore Colts 21-17. The winning points came on an 88-yard 4th quarter touchdown pass from Jim Plunkett to Randy Vataha; that was the second Plunkett-to-Vataha TD connection of the day.

    That was the final regular season game in '71, with the Pats finishing 6-8: a four-win improvement over the previous season. It was also Kenny Price's one and only NFL game.

    Happy 29th birthday to Jemea Thomas
    Born April 7, 1990 in Fitzgerald, Georgia
    Patriot CB, 2014; uniform #21
    Pats 6th round (206th overall) selection of the 2014 draft, from Georgia Tech


    Patriots Found Upside in Georgia Tech Do-It-All Jemea Thomas |

    8/26/14: Patriots Cut Six, Including Sixth-Round Pick Jemea Thomas | NESN

    The New England Patriots already cut ties with a 2014 sixth-round draft pick, cornerback Jemea Thomas.

    The Patriots whittled down their roster to 75 players Tuesday by waiving Thomas, defensive lineman Ben Bass, defensive back Travis Hawkins, wide receivers Derrick Johnson and Wilson Van Hooser and linebacker Deontae Skinner. The Patriots also placed running back Tyler Gaffney and linebacker Cameron Gordon on injured reserve.
    Thomas was picked up by the Cowboys, and then the Rams and Titans. He appeared in 28 special team snaps over two games in 2014, one each with St. Louis and Tennessee. he has not played any pro football since being cut by the Titans at the end of training camp in 2015.
  16. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History

    April 8, 1980
    Billy Sullivan, President of the New England Patriots, is re-elected as Chairman of the Board of NFL Properties. No word on whether this experience influenced the Sullivans to branch out into other business ventures, such as bankrolling concert tours.

    Happy 62nd birthday to Fred Smerlas
    Born April 8, 1957 in Waltham
    Patriot NT, 1991-1992; uniform #76


    Long before he became a fixture on Boston sports talk radio Smerlas, was an excellent local gridiron talent at Waltham High School and Boston College. He was the 32nd overall draft pick by the Bills in '79, and was named to five Pro Bowls. The Pats picked him up when he was past his prime at the age of 34, but he did not miss a single game with the Patriots.

    Smerlas played in 200 regular season and six postseason NFL games. He is a member of the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame, Boston College Varsity Club Hall of Fame, and holds the NFL record for most consecutive starts at nose tackle with 110.

    11/14/88: A Wild and Crazy Guy | Paul Zimmerman - Sports Illustrated


    Happy 55th birthday to Frank Sacco
    Born April 8, 1964 in Yonkers, NY
    Patriot LB, 1987; uniform #95

    The Pats went undefeated when Sacco played. The Fordham Flash appeared in two games as replacement player during the '87 strike.

    Happy 52nd birthday to Pat Coleman
    Born April 8, 1967 in Cleveland, Mississippi
    Patriot WR/KR, 1990; uniform #47

    Coleman appeared in only one game for the Pats, with two kickoff returns on the stat sheet. He was originally drafted in the ninth round by the Oilers, and returned to Houston for the next four seasons.
  17. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
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    Today in Patriots History
    April 9

    Happy 60th birthday to Ken Toler
    Born April 9, 1959 in Greenville, Mississippi
    Patriot WR, 1981-1982; uniform #82
    Pats 7th round (185th overall) selection of the 1981 draft, from Ole Miss


    Toler played in 25 games over two seasons with the Patriots, primarily on special teams. He had seven receptions for 133 yards, averaging 19.0 yards per catch. He also caught two TD passes in the 1982 season.

    Both touchdowns came in the third quarter, and both gave the Pats the lead after being down 13-10. His first NFL touchdown was in week one of the '82 season at Baltimore, a 30-yard strike from Matt Cavanaugh. That turned out to be the winning points in a 24-13 victory over the Colts.

    Toler's other touchdown came in the final regular season game of '82. Buffalo had a 13-3 lead before the Patriots rallied. Toler was on the receiving end of a 33-yard pass from Steve Grogan that gave New England the lead. The Patriots went on to win 30-19 and claim a wild card spot in the playoffs, while the Bills were eliminated, one game behind the Pats.

    Toler later spent two seasons with Birmingham in the USFL, playing on a squad that went 27-9 in his two years on the Stallions.

    Happy 77th birthday to Dick Capp
    Born April 9, 1942 in Portland, Maine
    Pats 17th round (147th overall) selection of the 1966 AFL draft, from Boston College

    Capp grew up in Deering Maine before heading to BC. He was on the Pats taxi squad (now the practice squad) and played minor league football in Massachusetts. Vince Lombardi noticed Capp somehow and he signed with Green Bay as a tight end/linebacker in 1967. The Packers, coming off a Super Bowl I victory over Kansas City, were a veteran club so Capp didn’t play much. He played 14 games the following season for Pittsburgh, but that was the extent of his NFL career.


    Deering's Dick Capp had a very special Super Bowl moment

    “Even though it’s nothing like the press coverage and pomp and circumstance that it is today, it still was huge,” he said. “You know you’re playing in a big game. I got interviewed from someone on the New York Times. Me. I wasn’t even a starter. We were all going, ‘Holy smokes, if one of the subs was interviewed by the New York Times, it must be a big game.’ ”

    And Capp delivered. Green Bay led 13-7 late in the first half and was forced to punt from its 17. Oakland’s Rodger Bird attempted to catch Donny Anderson’s punt at midfield but muffed it. Capp – who was activated for the Super Bowl after not playing for months – recovered the ball at the Oakland 45 with 23 seconds left in the first half. The Packers got a field goal to go up 16-7 at the half. The NFL highlight video of that game points to that play as a turning point.

    Capp said he was fortunate to be the one who recovered the it.

    “There were three of us there, it just bounced up,” he said. “And I had pretty good hands.”

    But he jokingly never lets his former teammates know who made the play. “We have reunions in Green Bay a lot when we get together for a couple of days,” he said. “And I always kid the veterans that if it wasn’t for that play, they wouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame.”

    He made his mark playing special teams. “I was good at it; it was the only reason I made the Packers,” he said.

    Capp’s journey to Green Bay began at Deering, where he played football, basketball, baseball and ran track. He was tall and lean – about 6-foot-3, 170 pounds, he said, growing to 6-4, 240 in the pros – athletic, fast and smart. The Rams won the 1959 Class A football state championship his senior year.​

    One other player with a New England connection:

    Happy 56th birthday to Bob White
    Born April 9, 1963 in Fitchburg
    Alum of Lunenburg High School and the University of Rhode Island
    Center played in 24 games with 10 starts for the Dallas Cowboys from 1987-89
  18. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Franchise Scoring Leaders

    The numbers and rankings below are through the 2018 season.
    All statistics solely reflect time with the Patriots.

    Points Scored, Career
    1. Stephen Gostkowski, 2006-2018 - 1,743
    2. Adam Vinatieri, 1996-2005 - 1,158
    3. Gino Cappelletti, 1960-1970 - 1,130
    4. John Smith, 1974-1983 - 692
    5. Rob Gronkowski, 2010-2018 - 482
    6. Tony Franklin, 1984-1987 - 442
    7. Stanley Morgan, 1977-1989 - 408
    8. Ben Coates, 1991-1999 - 302
    9. Randy Moss, 2007-2010 - 302
    10. Sam Cunningham, 1973-1982 - 294

    Touchdowns Scored, Career
    1. Rob Gronkowski - 80
    2. Stanley Morgan - 68
    3. Ben Coates - 50
    4. Randy Moss - 50
    5. Sam Cunningham - 49
    6. Jim Nance - 46
    7. Tony Collins - 44
    8. Gino Cappelletti - 42
    9. Irving Fryar - 42
    10. Larry Garron - 42

    Passing Touchdowns, Career
    1. Tom Brady - 517
    2. Steve Grogan - 182
    3. Drew Bledsoe - 166
    4. Babe Parilli - 132
    5. Jim Plunkett - 62

    Receiving Touchdowns, Career
    1. Jim Nance - 45
    2. Sam Cunningham - 43
    3. Corey Dillon - 37
    4. Steve Grogan - 35
    5. LeGarrette Blount - 34
    6. Tony Collins - 32
    7. Curtis Martin - 32
    8. BenJarvus Green-Ellis - 29
    9. Don Calhoun - 23
    10. Stevan Ridley - 22

    Kickoff Returns for a Touchdown, Career
    1. Raymond Clayborn - 3
    2. Ellis Hobbs - 3
    3. Kevin Faulk - 2
    4. Larry Garron - 2
    5. Bethel Johnson - 2
    6. Brandon Tate - 2
    7. Jon Vaughn - 2

    Punt Returns for a Touchdown, Career
    1. Julian Edelman - 4
    2. Troy Brown - 3
    3. Irving Fryar - 3
    4. Mike Haynes - 2
    5. Roland James - 1
    6. Dave Meggett - 1
    7. Stanley Morgan - 1

    Interception Returns for a Touchdown, Career
    1. Ty Law - 6
    2. Tedy Bruschi - 4
    3. Asante Samuel - 3
    4. John Charles - 2
    5. Ronnie Lippett - 2
    6. Prentice McCray - 2
    7. Willie McGinest - 2
    8. James Sanders - 2
    9. Otis Smith - 2
    10. Bob Suci - 2
    11. Don Webb - 2

    Fumble Returns for a Touchdown, Career
    1. Randall Gay - 2
    2. Cedric Jones - 2
    3. Willie McGinest - 2
    4. Johnny Rembert - 2
    5. Andre Tippett - 2
    6. Brent Williams - 2

    Safeties, Career
    1. Don Blackmon - 2
    2. 18 other players with one each

    Other returns for TD (blocked kick, blocked FG, missed FG)
    1. Kyle Arrington - 2
    2. 15 other players with one each

    Field Goals Made, Career
    1. Stephen Gostkowski - 367
    2. Adam Vinatieri - 263
    3. Gino Cappelletti - 176
    4. John Smith - 128
    5. Tony Franklin - 93

    Extra Points Made, Career
    1. Stephen Gostkowski - 642
    2. Adam Vinatieri - 367
    3. Gino Cappelletti - 342
    4. John Smith - 308
    5. Tony Franklin - 163

    Two-Point Conversions, Career
    1. Gino Cappelletti - 4
    2. Julian Edelman - 3
    3. Troy Brown - 2
    4. Jim Colclough - 2
    5. Jim Crawford - 2
    6. Curtis Martin - 2
    7. Dave Meggett - 2
    8. Danny Woodhead - 2

    Points Scored, Single Season
    1. - 158, Stephen Gostkowski, 2013
    2. - 156, Stephen Gostkowski, 2017
    3. - 156, Stephen Gostkowski, 2014
    4. - 155, Gino Cappelletti, 1964
    5. - 153, Stephen Gostkowski, 2012
    6. - 151, Stephen Gostkowski, 2015
    7. - 148, Stephen Gostkowski, 2008
    8. - 147, Gino Cappelletti, 1961

    Touchdowns Scored, Single Season
    1. - 23, Randy Moss, 2007
    2. - 18, LeGarrette Blount, 2016
    3. - 18, Rob Gronkowski, 2011
    4. - 17, Curtis Martin, 1996
    5. - 15, Curtis Martin, 1995
    6. - 13, eight times by six players

    Passing Touchdowns, Single Season
    1. - 50, Tom Brady, 2007
    2. - 39, Tom Brady, 2011
    3. - 36, Tom Brady, 2010
    4. - 36, Tom Brady, 2015
    5. - 34, Tom Brady, 2012
    6. - 33, Tom Brady, 2014
    7. - 32, Tom Brady, 2017
    8. - 31, Babe Parilli, 1964

    Receiving Touchdowns, Single Season
    1. - 23, Randy Moss, 2007
    2. - 17, Rob Gronkowski, 2011
    3. - 13, Randy Moss, 2009
    4. - 12, Rob Gronkowski, 2014
    5. - 12, Stanley Morgan, 1979
    6. - 11, Rob Gronkowski, 2012
    7. - 11, Rob Gronkowski, 2015
    8. - 11, Randy Moss, 2008
    9. - 10, Jim Colclough, 1962
    10. - 10, Stanley Morgan, 1986
    11. - 10, Rob Gronkowski, 2010

    Most Touchdowns in a Single Game
    1. - 4, Jonas Gray at Indianapolis, 11/16/2014
    2. - 4, Randy Moss at Buffalo, 11/18/2007

    Most Field Goals Made, Single Game
    1. - 6, Gino Cappelletti vs Denver, 10/4/1964
    2. - 5, Stephen Gostkowski vs Cincinnati, 10/5/2014
    3. - 5, Adam Vinatieri vs Buffalo, 11/14/2004
    4. - 5, Adam Vinatieri vs Jacksonville, 11/22/1996
    5. - 5, Jason Staurovsky vs Indianapolis, 12/3/1989
  19. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Today in Patriots History
    Remembering Houston Antwine

    Houston Antwine was born on April 11, 1939; he would have been 80 today. He was one of the best players in football history that is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Antwine is also the greatest player in Patriot history that most Pats fans don’t know about.

    Antwine played in 142 games over eleven seasons for the Patriots. 270 pounds may not be big by today’s standards, but in 1961 it was. Houston Antwine was a man among boys, constantly commanding double or even triple teams by opposing offenses. He wasn’t just some big slug though; Antwine was extremely athletic, using skills he had acquired as a collegiate wrestling champion. ’Twine was not only strong but also very quick on his feet, and nearly impossible to move out of the middle. He was also a well-rounded, versatile player; not only devastating against the run, but also tenacious on his pass rush, totaling 39 sacks in his career and leading the Pats in sacks three straight years.

    “Houston Antwine was the kind of football player you don’t forget if you ever saw him, but he’s the kind few remember today because he did his playing before ESPN highlight shows existed. If they had, ‘Twine would have been a staple because he was everything you wanted in a defensive tackle — Warren Sapp before there was a Warren Sapp, but without the need for volume control.”

    Antwine was an AFL All-Star six straight years, and was named to the All-Time All-AFL Team. Now stop and think about that for a moment. If a player that was named to the NFL’s all time team of the decade for say the 1990’s or 2000’s that also went to six consecutive Pro Bowls, would there even be any discussion as to whether or not he should be voted in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Probably not. Yet Antwine earned identical honors that just so happened to be at an earlier time. Why was he be penalized for that?

    Perhaps the biggest reason is because it took far too long for his own team to honor him. The Pats set up their team Hall of Fame in 1991. John Hannah was the original inductee, in the same year he became the first Patriot enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The following year Nick Buoniconti and Gino Cappelletti got their bust at Patriot Place. Antwine was arguably more deserving than these two legends though. Buoniconti is more well known for his championships in Miami rather than his seven seasons with the Patriots. And as good as Cappelletti was he was never the league’s premier player at a position the way Antwine was.

    Legitimate cases can be made for those three over Antwine, but not for the next group. In 1993 the Pats’ HoF added three more players from the sixties. Nothing against Bob Dee, Jim Lee Hunt or Babe Parilli, but Houston Antwine was a far more dominant football player. In terms of the Hall of Fame the Patriots were ‘on to the seventies and eighties’ after that, for all intents done with AFL-era players.

    Yes, the Patriots eventually did add Antwine to the hall in 2015. Sadly it was four years after he passed away. He deserved to go in twenty-plus years earlier, while he was still alive. So why did that not happen? His play on the field was such that he deserved to be the first player after John Hannah to enter the Patriot Hall of Fame.

    Rumor has it that some of the old time writers did not care for him. Maybe he wasn’t friendly enough with the old guard and they held a grudge. He was one of 22 players to boycott the 1965 AFL all star game in New Orleans, where Jim Crow laws and blatant racism still prevailed; maybe that protest against conditions there had something to do with it.

    Regardless of the reason, it started a vicious circle. The thought process was that if Antwine’s own team would not honor him, he couldn’t have been good enough for the Pro Football Hall of Fame – who already were showing an obvious bias against consideration for AFL players.

    More time passed, and fewer and fewer writers and fans were old enough to remember or appreciate Antwine. The thinking of those nominating and voting for for the Patriot Hall of Fame mirrored that of those voting for enshrinement to Canton. On the rare occasion his name was brought up it was quickly dismissed. The sentiment was that ‘he couldn’t have been that good if all these other old timers are in and he is not’.

    Commencing in 2011 a ten-person senior committee was formed. They were scheduled to convene and have the option of adding one Patriot that had been retired for at least 25 years. It seemed like such a no-brainer; Antwine surely would finally be honored in Foxboro. He had already been a finalist three times, futily up against more recent and recognizable players. Incredibly his election still did not happen. Jon Morris was a good guy with a nice career but he was not close to the same level of player as Houston Antwine. Apparently the old time writers refused to let go of whatever grudges they were holding on to.

    In December of 2005 Antwine was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The disease was allegedly caused by repeated blows to the head from his playing days, back when concussions were just “dings” and players were expected to just shake it off and keep going. Houston Antwine passed away in December of 2011 at the age of 72, a few months after Morris was inducted to the Pats Hall of Fame. The senior committee must have felt a bit of remorse; they then voted Antwine in the next time they met.

    Fan voting for the Patriots Hall of Fame will commence in the next few days. Hopefully Pats fans will carefully consider “forgotten” players, and not simply cast their ballot for the most recently retired nominee.
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  20. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot In the Starting Line-Up

    Aug 3, 2005
    Likes Received:
    i would have loved to be at least once at Schaefer-Sullivan-Foxboro stadium in person

    pity that i have not been able to do that

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