FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Every now and then, Matthew Slater will fire up the video of Super Bowl LI and experience it as a fan.
And each time, the Patriots’ six-time Pro Bowl special teamer cycles through the same emotions seemingly every fan in New England did that night.
“I get nervous every time I watch it, like I don’t know the outcome,” Slater said Tuesday of the 34-28 overtime win against the Falcons in which the Pats rallied from a 28-3 third-quarter deficit. “Pretty unbelievable what we were able to accomplish. Again, I’m just very proud to have been a part of such a special team in 2016.”
It was a special win for Slater, who said it had a different feeling than the Super Bowl XLIX victory against the Seahawks. After battling through some injuries last season, Slater had an extra sense of accomplishment to be on the field for the win.
But when he describes watching the game, he sounds like any Patriots rooter.
“I’m sitting almost as a fan, like, ‘What are they doing?'” Slater said. “I don’t know. It’s unbelievable. To think that we were down 25 points.
“The one thing I won’t forget is the way we looked at one another. I’ve been on teams when we were down three points, 10 points, and the confidence level wasn’t there on that day for whatever reason.
But that Super Bowl Sunday, we had it. We maintained our belief. As I sit there and watch it as a fan, I think about the looks I saw on guys’ faces over the course of (a) 60-minute ballgame, and it puts a smile on your face.”
Someone who has not put a smile on the faces of many Patriots fans and members of the organization lately is NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who pledged to make it to Foxborough for the 2017 season opener. The much-anticipated arrival of the man who punished the Patriots heavily for Deflategate has many fans hungry to somehow take out their frustrations on Goodell, but Slater said he’s not about to get involved in that sort of discussion.
“You know, that’s not for me to say,” Slater said. “That’s up to our fans, how they choose to receive him. I think us, as a team, we’ve moved on. We moved on a long time ago.
“We went out last year and took care of our business. Now it’s up for us to take care of our business this year. And we have a lot of important things to worry about, a lot of things we need to get ourselves ready.
“So how should he be received? I haven’t given that a whole lot of thought. How will he be received? I’m not the one to ask that question. I think you should ask the good people of Foxborough how they’re going to receive him.”
As Slater enters his 10th season in the league, he admits he never envisioned his career being this successful.
But for the 31-year old who has one young child and another one on the way in August, retirement is not at the forefront of his mind.
“I still love the game of football. It’s something I’m very passionate about. I think I have more fun doing it now than I did as a rookie. I’m thankful for the opportunity I have here, and I’m just going to enjoy every day that I have.”
The city of St. Louis filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the National Football League over the Rams’ relocation to Los Angeles, alleging the league violated its own relocation guidelines and enriched itself at the expense of the community it left behind.
The move comes 15 months after the team departed. St. Louis is joined in the lawsuit by St. Louis County and the region’s sports authority. The lawsuit filed in St. Louis Circuit Court names the NFL, all 32 teams and their owners, and seeks unspecified but “extensive” damages and restitution.
The NFL says there is “no legitimate basis” for the lawsuit. A spokesman for the league, Brian McCarthy, said it worked diligently with local and state officials in a process he called “honest and fair.”
The Rams moved from Los Angeles to St. Louis prior to the 1995 season, lured in part by a new taxpayer-built domed stadium.
Stan Kroenke, a real estate billionaire and native of Missouri, was minority owner of the team until purchasing it outright in 2010, two years after the death of longtime majority owner Georgia Frontiere.
The suit claims that it wasn’t long afterward that Kroenke began plotting a move, despite public comments from him and team executive Kevin Demoff that the Rams hoped to remain in St. Louis for the long term.
CHARGERS: Los Angeles re-signed tight end Jeff Cumberland to a one-year contract, even though he hasn’t played in a regular-season game for the club.
The Chargers signed Cumberland last year after he spent six seasons with the New York Jets, but he injured his Achilles tendon during their second preseason game.