Matt Slater, New England Patriots’ special team captain, was this year’s winner of the Bart Starr award.
This year’s Bart Starr award which “best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community,” will go to Matt Slater, special team captain of the New England Patriots.
The way he was told that he won the award was a little bit unconventional.
He thought that he and his team were going to study the Bible, as usual, on Monday morning. When he came to the training center of the Patriots, there were over 60 people in the room — coaches, players, medical staff, etc.
“I said, ‘Man, we’re about to have a good Bible study now!'” Slater told the media afterward.
At first, Slater was a bit surprised, but then the even bigger surprise came.
When coach Jack Easterby began reading the Bible his phone rang. There was an older lady looking for Matt.
Slater thought that she was looking for defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia.
“They exchange a little bit and she’s like, ‘Is Matt there? I’m looking for Matt,’ and I’m like, ‘Where’s Matty P. (Matt Patricia)? Is he in here?’” Slater said. “I’m not thinking me, but they call me down and the woman on the phone is Mrs. (Cherry) Starr. She tells me I win the award, and they had the cameras in there and my allergies start acting up a little bit. You know, seasonal allergies there. She told me my dad and I were the first father and son to win this award and I mean, I don’t know. I’m just blown away by it. I really am.”
Slater was overwhelmed with joy because he achieved what his father did 21 years ago, when Jackie Slater won the same award as a player of Los Angeles Rams.
He got very emotional when talking about this interesting fact and he also added that he didn’t manage to find out his father’s reaction because his mother went crazy in the background.
“I think it’s very humbling for us, an offensive lineman and a special teams player to get this kind of recognition,” Slater said. “We don’t really hold ourselves in that high of a regard. We’re just guys that are thankful for all the opportunities we’ve had. We’ve had a special journey, my dad and I, through the last … starting in 1976 for him and starting in 2008 for me.”
Slater will get his Bart Starr award officially at the Super Bowl breakfast during Super Bowl weekend in Houston.