INDIANAPOLIS — Super Bowl week can be an overwhelming experience, especially for a first-time participant.
Amani Toomer and Adam Vinatieri, who know what it’s like to have the Vince Lombardi Trophy in their hands, made the rounds Wednesday on Radio Row, sharing their thoughts on the week of preparation from a player’s perspective.
“It’s pretty overwhelming, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to know that it’s just a football game,” said Toomer, who won Super Bowl XLII with the Giants, the last time they faced the Patriots for all the marbles. “You’ve got to understand that you’re here for business and don’t try to come down here and have a great time. That’s for your family and your friends. Your good time will come when the parade happens or with the memories you create by winning.”
Vinatieri has played in five Super Bowls, and owns three rings with the Patriots and one with the Colts.
“It’s a little bit nerve-racking, but it’s fun as well,” he said. “You try not to get caught up in all of the excitement and stuff. This is why you play football, to have an opportunity to play in this game. For you to be able to wipe out all of the distractions out of your mind and really focus in on this game, it’s difficult to do, but that’s really what they need to do.”
Vinatieri knows a thing or two about focusing, since he kicked the game-clinching field goals in each of the Patriots’ three Super Bowl wins.
“For a kicker, there’s no greater feeling ever,” Vinatieri said. “Professionally, for me, that’s the apex of everything. You play this sport to be able to help your team, but to actually have a game-winner in the Super Bowl is indescribable. I tell all the little kids, ‘Whatever the most fun thing for you is, Disney World or getting a new bike at Christmas or Christmas morning, take that, multiple it by 10, and that’s what it’s like.’”
– Matt Florjancic, Special to NFL.com