HOUSTON, Texas – When it was over, when the world record was in his grasp, Adam Vinatieri face-planted on the turf.
Adding your name to the Guinness Book of World Records can be downright exhausting.
“That wasn’t for show,’’ the Indianapolis Colts veteran placekicker said Friday evening as beads of perspiration still formed on his brow. “I was winded.’’
And again, the latest addition to Guinness’ collection of world record holders after kicking 28 footballs through the uprights from 20 yards out in 60 seconds. You don’t buy it? There was a representative on hand from New York-based Guinness to authentic the feat.
“It’s cool,’’ Vinatieri said. “Does it compare to kicking in the Super Bowl? Probably not.’’
That’s the voice of experience. Vinatieri has been on the active roster for six Super Bowls and has four world championship rings under lock and key. When the Super Bowl last visited Houston – Feb. 1, 2004 – it was his 41-yard field goal with 4 seconds remaining that lifted the New England Patriots to a 32-29 win over the Carolina Panthers.
Friday, though, was all about giving back. On the strength of Vinatieri’s right leg and the deft holding of long-time sidekick Pat McAfee, the world record resulted in Barclaycard donating $15,000 to the Pat Tillman Foundation.
“It’s an awesome experience to have this many people around to watch this, enjoy this,’’ Vinatieri said. “The best part of this is I get to partake in something that benefits the Pat Tillman Foundation. Helps veterans, giving scholarships to vets and their families.
“What Pat stood for and who he was as a man, how do you not want to jump on this no matter what? When they asked, it was a no-brainer.’’
Vinatieri and McAfee always are aiding the military.
Vinatieri’s brother, Beau, is in the Army National Guard and has served two tours in Afghanistan and another in Kuwait. The Colts honored him at a home game in December following his third tour. His father served. His great-great grandfather served under General George Custer.
“Runs in our blood,’’ Vinatieri said. “The way I look at it is these guys defend our country to defend our lifestyle so we can live great lives.
“How do you not take your hat off (for the cause)?’’
As for the record, Vinatieri was asked how far he could push it. Despite the rhythmic routine between kicker and holder, 60 seconds flies by. He attacked the first 20 kicks, then noticeably tailed off.
“If I practiced and got into better shape where I didn’t slow down at the end – the last 5, 6, 7 kicks were a lot slower than the first 20 – if I did this often and got in better shape cardiovascularly, I bet you I could get 31, 32.
“But I think 28’s a pretty good showing.’’