FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri came on to the field to attempt a 31-yard field goal in the second quarter, the crowd at Gillette Stadium booed. It was the reaction he expected, and he said he doesn't take it personally.
"People were very nice after the fact," Vinatieri relayed. "Obviously there is a lot of gamesmanship out there at that point, so I expect all that stuff. As I was leaving the field, there were some nice comments too, so it's cool. They were good to me."
Vinatieri had the chance to catch up with the handful of players still on the roster from the time he was with the team (1996-2005), a group that included quarterback Tom Brady, running back Kevin Faulk, receiver Deion Branch and offensive linemen Matt Light and Logan Mankins. He also visited with several front-office personnel and coaches, including Bill Belichick, someone he said he has "all the respect in the world for."
He hoped to catch up with owner Robert Kraft, but their paths never crossed.
"I would have liked to have seen him and pass along my well wishes for him," Vinatieri said.
This was Vinatieri's third trip to Gillette Stadium as a member of the Colts (2006, 2010), and he was booed in previous visits as well.
Asked if the boos hurt, he said, "No, I don't think so. The same people who were giving me gruff during that were the same people who were yelling nice stuff as I was walking off the field. So I understand the gamesmanship. I understand that type of thing, but I want them to know it doesn't work [winking]. They can keep trying if they want. Obviously the few times I've been back here over the past six years, people have been very, very nice to me. It's good. Good memories."