Vinatieri's kick provides Super finish
By Mike Lopresti, Gannett News Service
NEW ORLEANS — The odds meant nothing, as Adam Vinatieri's kick sailed straight and true for the New England Patriots. By the last second of Super Bowl XXXVI, logic had been left behind. Vinatieri's 48-yard field goal as time expired won the unlikeliest of championships and secured one of the most memorable of upsets Sunday night, giving the 14-point underdog Patriots a 20-17 victory over the St. Louis Rams for their first Super Bowl title. ''Every player and every coach work a lifetime for this,'' Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. Vinatieri's field goal came after the Patriots had blown a 17-3 lead in the last 10 minutes, nearly losing grasp of a game their defense had tightly held all night. It was left to Tom Brady, the game MVP and at 24 the youngest winning quarterback in Super Bowl history, to move the Patriots 52 yards in the last 81 seconds, hitting five of seven passes in a reasonable rendition of Joe Montana to get them into position to retrieve an unforgettable Super Bowl.