If fans of the New England Patriots are having trouble coping with the fact that Wes Welker may be entering his final season with the team, then Patriots legend Gino Cappelletti's announcement that he is hanging up his headset after 32 years of broadcasting games on the radio is an absolute bombshell.
Yes, the man known as "Mr. Patriot" around these parts is retiring, and the Patriots and Sunday afternoons in New England will never be the same.
Cappelletti and his partner, Gil Santos, have teamed up to herald the accolades of Tom Brady and fellow Patriots legends nearly every Sunday since 1990, and had called many games together before then. The two were on-air for the Patriots' first Super Bowl victory in 2001, and Santos' echoing repetition of "It's good! It's good!" with Cappelletti by his side are forever a part of Patriots lore.
As if that were not enough, Cappelletti was the man who called the game between Boston College and the University of Miami that featured Doug Flutie's famous Hail Mary pass in the waning seconds to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
But Cappelletti had made a name with the Patriots long before his days in a broadcast booth.
Cappelletti played every game in the American Football League for the Boston Patriots as a wide receiver and placekicker, and retired as the all-time points leader in AFL history. He was inducted to both the AFL Hall of Fame and the Patriots Hall of Fame and his number 20 will never adorn the jersey of another Patriot.
His football achievements are numerous, and Cappelletti even took the MVP honors in the 1964 season. He also had a stint with the Pats as a special teams coach.
Cappelletti has been with the team in some way for virtually all of its existence, and he has seen both the triumph and tribulation a sports franchise can experience. Without a doubt, he will always be there for the Patriots in some way.
“Through five decades, my romance with football and my relationship with the Patriots organization have provided me with a lifetime of wonderful memories,” read Cappelletti's statement in the Boston Globe.
“I have had the privilege of sharing the broadcast of six Super Bowls, and amazingly, five in the past decade,” wrote Cappelletti. "The memory of the first Super Bowl victory will always be fresh in my mind. For me, it serves as a special reminder of how far this franchise has come, the challenges that were met, and the adversity we faced in those early years. But as they say in the huddle after a long, successful day’s work, it’s time to take a knee and celebrate the win.’’
You have earned your win, Mr. Cappelletti. Your win, however, is Patriots Nation's loss. Congratulations on an amazing career and thank you for all you have done for the organization. You will be greatly missed.
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