(First in an occasional series.)
It is exactly 7:30 a.m., and the silence in the neighborhood is shattered as a garage door hums open. Matthew Slater, special teams captain of the Patriots, emerges, wearing a black Red Sox cap and driving a black Lexus. He has a big grin on his face. Today is a good day. Slater has just won the NFL’s Bart Starr Award given annually to a player who exemplifies character and leadership on and off the field.
Smack dab in the middle of the Patriots’ bye week, we are carpooling to work on a cold January day.
Slater, wearing glasses he never wears during a game, looks more like a professor at UCLA (his alma mater) than a special teamer who has been named to six Pro Bowls, but the nine-year NFL veteran has football coursing through his veins. His father, Jackie Slater, was a Hall of Fame offensive lineman who was named to seven Pro Bowls. They are the first father-son duo to win the Starr Award.
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