In the upper deck of the Super Dome was his family, leaning on the railing hardly able to watch as Adam Vinatieri lined up the field goal that could break the 17-17 tie with the Rams and give the Patriots their first Super Bowl title.

While most of the Vinatieri family could hardly look, Beau Vinatieri stood on the railing, hands raised over his head, screaming as loud as he could.

The 22-year-old younger brother of Adam Vinatieri knew what was going to happen, and he was already celebrating.

"I was so confident he would make it. I knew he was ready, and kicking in a dome he never misses," Beau Vinatieri related. "We sat in the family section. My family was confident but they didn't want to watch. I just watched my brother the whole time and when he kicked it he knew it was good."

Following the kick, the Vinatieri family celebrated, and they were joined in the celebration by Patriots fans.

"We were all wearing Patriots jerseys and everyone knew who we were. Before he kicked it people were telling us that whether he made it or not, they still loved him. After he made it, everyone came running over to us, jumping on us and congratulating us. We were there for 45 minutes after the game. People were taking pictures with us and asking for autographs," Beau Vinatieri said.

Beau Vinatieri is no stranger to kicking. He served as the Black Hills State Yellow Jackets kicker for four seasons, as his college career ended just this past football season.

The night before the Super Bowl, Adam got to spend some time with his family, but curfew limited him. Beau said Adam knew the Patriots had a good chance of beating the Rams.

"He said they were ready to play. He was ready to do whatever he had to do to help the team win. He was really relaxed. The Patriots really had nothing to lose because everyone thought the Rams were going to win," Beau Vinatieri said.

After the game, he and his family went to the post-game party and rubbed shoulders with the famous folks who get to attend such events. Beau said he kept a low profile, and instead of asking for autographs and pictures he just sat back and enjoyed the parade of celebrities.

"All the players, coaches and celebrities were getting swarmed by fans, so I just didn't want to bother them. It was a great time. It was an unbelievable experience," Beau Vinatieri said.

Beau had gone to New Orleans before, when the Patriots played the Packers a few years back. But he was just a junior in high school at the time. This year, he got to enjoy New Orleans and famed Bourbon Street a little bit more.

Asked whether he gets tired of answering questions about his brother, Beau said not at all.

"It doesn't really bother me at all. People at school say my brother made a nice kick, but they're more impressed that I met Snoop Dog while I was there," he said, referring to the Rap artist.

Beau said with all the fame his brother hasn't changed at all. Beau said Adam can't believe he was asked to be on David Letterman and Conan O'Brien. Despite all the accolades, he's remained humble.

"What I love about him is that he's a kicker in the NFL and making some good money. He still buys stuff on sale though. He doesn't toss his money around. He's my brother. He acts the same as always," Beau said.

Beau and Adam kick together whenever Adam returns to Rapid City, where the family has its roots. They often get into kicking competitions which Beau readily admits he usually loses.

"I figure if I can stay close, that's pretty good," Beau said.

Adam is currently a free agent, and though it's likely he'll stay with the Patriots Beau said he may have to move on.

"He wants to stay, but if they don't sign him by a certain point he'll do what he has to I guess," Beau said.

Beau has plans of his own.

After kicking for BHSU the past four years he's signed a contract with the Rapid City Red Dogs of the Arena Football League. He won't get lot of money, but until he finishes school Beau said it's a good way to stay in the sport and pay the bills.

"I'm really excited about it. Camp starts in March and even though it's not the World League or the NFL, it's kicking. I can't wait," Beau said.

Beau started out kicking much like his brother. He shared kicking duties his senior year at Rapid City Central High School before going to BHSU. He had offers from other colleges, but the fact that he would start as a freshman made playing for the Yellow Jackets too good to pass up on.

"I had a pretty good career there. While I was there we didn't score a lot, but I was happy playing there. I didn't have a great senior year. I had a couple of different holders and snappers so that made it difficult, but you do the best you can," Beau said.

Beau said the best game he ever had came against Mayville State his sophomore year, when he tallied 14 points.

He said kicking for the Red Dogs should prove challenging. Instead of a 100-yard field the arena field is but 50 yards long. Kickoffs have to stay in the field of play, or the other team gets the ball at midfield. The goal posts are only 8 feet wide, so greater accuracy is required.

"There are things you have to adjust to. But I figure if I'm accurate kicking it between goal posts that are 8 feet wide that's pretty good. My style won't change much but you have to be a lot more accurate with your kicks," Beau said. "Since you're inside, you don't have to deal with all the weather. Kicking at BHSU you had to deal with all types of weather, so this should be a little different."

He's most excited for the fact that the Rapid City community is getting behind the team.

"A lot of people have come up to me and asked about the Red Dogs, so it should be a lot of fun. They get good attendance so it'll be nice kicking in that type of atmosphere," Beau said.

Beau said he and his brother talk about kicking a lot, and the one bit of advice Adam Vinatieri has passed on to his brother Beau stays with Beau whenever he lines up a kick.

"Everybody can love you one day, hate you the next and love you again. Adam always told me just kick the way you want. If you miss, you just make up for it next week," Beau said.


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