From the Press Box
The Boston Patriots
By: Jim Lederman
The New England Patriots opened practice last week. The defending super bowl champions are seeking their sixth Super Bowl championship. Bill Belichick is the coach, and their home is Gillette Stadium.
Can you name the first coach of the Patriots? Where did they play their home games? The original Boston Patriots were coached by ex-Boston College coach Mike Holovak. They played in the original AFC – American Football Conference.
The “Patriots” did not have a home field or stadium. They played at Boston College, Harvard Stadium and Fenway Park. I watched my first Patriots game in 1963 at Fenway Park. A playoff game vs. the Buffalo Bills. The quarterback for the Patriots was Vito “Babe” Parilli. The “Babe” passed away last month at the age of 87.
The first Patriots quarterback was Butch Songin from Walpole The ‘Patriots’ roster was filled with local players. Joe Bellino, Winchester High, the Naval Academy, won the Heisman Trophy. Joe was a halfback and kick returner for the ‘Boston Patriots’ All-Pro players for the Patriots included, Artie Graham, Somerville and Boston College, set many receiving records for the Patriots. Artie played in the Winthrop Summer League in 1960 for the DeFelice Club, coached by Bob DeFelice. Larry Eisenhaur was an outstanding defensive end (in the Patriots Hall of Fame). Jim Nance was an All-Pro fullback. Gino Cappeletti was the high scoring place kicker and an outstanding receiver.
The first Patriots draft choice was halfback Ron Burton from Northwestern. His son Steve Burton is sports anchor at Channel 4 and a Northwestern grad.
Billy Sullivan was the original owner of the Boston Patriots. Billy built the original stadium in Foxboro. The original name Sullivan Stadium, than Foxboro Stadium. The 1983 Winthrop Vikings, undefeated Super Bowl champions in 1983 won the title in Foxborough, defeating the Xaverian Hawks (14-3).
Fifty-seven years ago, the Boston Patriots used to practice at East Boston Stadium. The Patriot players used to eat lunch at Al Sablone’s Veal and Vintage Restaurant – 100 yards away.
A long list of patriots quarterbacks from “Babe” Parilli include Steve Grogan, Tony Eason, Drew Bledsoe and the greatest quarterback in NFL history Tom Brady, entering his 18th season as quarterback for the World Champions – Your New England Patriots.
Let the Games Begin!
Welcome Home Jim
It is great news to report that popular former Winthrop high school athletic director Jimmy Evans, has returned home to Winthrop.
Last January Jimmy was traveling to his winter home in Naples, Fla., when he was involved in a serious automobile-accident in Virginia. Jimmy sustained injuries that kept him hospitalized and rehabilitation in Peabody.
Jimmy was a 1955 Winthrop High School graduate. A member of the WHS Athletic Hall of Fame, Jimmy established female sports during his long career as athletic director.
Jimmy played on the basketball team, coached by John P. Sheehan in the new Memorial Gym in 1955.
Jimmy presented Larry Keegan on his induction into the Hall of Fame in October of 2016. He spoke with pride of the growth and success of Vikings sports.
We all wish Jimmy a speedy return to good health and look forward to his return to the Winthrop Golf Club.
Apropos of Nothing
I have a belated birthday greeting to my most loyal Patriots and Everett Crimson Tide fan! Steve Kostegan – Happy Birthday! “Big Guy” – may the Pats go (19-0) and Everett beat Xaverian and Masconomet this season. Please join me for breakfast at our favorite restaurant – my treat!
Win Another Super Bowl!
I had a conversation at Manning Field with new Lynn Classical football coach Brian Vaughan – he was an assistant on Sean Driscoll’s staff a few years ago. Brian was a standout at Lynn English and held rushing records at Northeastern University – he will bring back a winning program at Classical.
The two famous “Babe’s” I can read about the “legendary” – Babe Ruth and a member of the Patriots – Hall of Fame – Vito “Babe” Parilli.
I watched my first Patriots game in 1963 in Fenway Park. A classic between two AFC rivals: the Boston Patriots vs. the Buffalo Bills.
The battle of two quarterbacks “Babe” Parilli vs. Jack Kemp – Jack changed careers and was elected to be a congressman in Washington.
Babe Parilli was born in Rochester, Pa., ands played for the Kentucky Wildcats, coached by Bear Bryant. In 1952 he was the fourth round draft choice of the Green Bay Packers – he was a “Packer” for two years.
In 1961, the Oakland Raiders and Boston Patriots had a six-player trade and the ‘Babe’ Vito Parilli was the new quarterback for the Patriots. Parilli had a highly successful career (1961-1967) for Boston.
Parilli passed for 25,000 yards and 200 touchdown passes. His record of 31 touchdown passes in one season was broken by Tom Brady in 2007. His leading receiver was Gino “The Duke” Cappelletti who held the patriots scoring records.
In Super Bowl III, the New York Jets defeated the Baltimore Colts (16-7) the back up quarterback to Joe Namath on the Jets was Babe Parilli. Babe won a Super Bowl ring.
Babe Parilli retired from pro football in 1970 at the age of 40. The Babe passed away last month at the age of 87.
We salute an original Patriot!
Let the Games Begin!
I will take a 10-yard penalty for typing error last week. The Vikings captured their first NEC title for coach Bob DeFelice in 1978 at the legendary Manning Bowl in Lynn. The Vikings defeated a highly favored Lynn Classical team. A 70-yard touchdown run by All-Scholastic Steve Rubin sealed the victory.
I had a chance to talk football with Mark Bavaro at a recent Night of “Champion’s event. The two-time Super Bowl champion with the New York Giants played for the Danvers Falcons. Mark and his brother David (Patriots) never won a NEC title. There is a new ‘cook’ in town. Brandin Cooks, a speedy wide receiver for the New England Patriots. Cooks is more than just a ‘burner,’ who streaks up the sidelines. He has over 1,100 receiving yards the last two seasons. With Gronk, Edelman and Cooks – how can they stop the Patriots?
There are five high schools playing football in Lynn this year, Kipp Academy (Charter School) will play their first year of football in 2017. They all call Manning Field their home!
I received a call last week regarding the Winthrop high school Athletic Hall of Fame. The next induction will be in October 2018. The committee decided to hold inductions every two years. Players and teams are eligible after 10 years of graduation from Winthrop high school.
Facts about the old “Manning Bowl” The legendary athlete Harry Agganis played at “The Bowl” in the 40s. The Annual Lynn Jamboree was a big pre-season attraction in the 50s. Lynn, Everett and Newburyport, were three of the stadiums North of Boston before the expansion of ‘Friday night lights.’
Let the Games Begin!
The Pennant Race
The first week of August and the “rivalry” is heating up. The Red Sox and New York Yankees are fighting for first place. The Yankees have improved their team and the Red Sox are hoping David Price and Rick Porcello can win some big games this month.
The Red Sox have a 20-year-old third-baseman and plenty of holes in the pitching staff. I watched a 10-year reunion and celebration of the 2007 World Championship team on Sunday.
The Patriots are in training camp and the anticipation of another championship season has captured the excitement of Boston sports fans. Would you rather watch a four-hour Red Sox Game this month or a Patriots exhibition game?
Let the Games Begin!