By Taylor Brown
INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb presented beloved Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri with the state’s highest civilian award Monday at the Statehouse.
Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri received the highest civilian award, The Sagamore of the Wabash, on Monday. Vinatieri said that even when football is over, he will continue to raise his family in Indiana. Photo by Tayor Brown, TheStatehouseFile.com
While Holcomb has awarded several Hoosiers the Sagamore of the Wabash, he said he knows that he will never award it to a more “clutch” teammate. During his presentation on the House floor, Holcomb said it’s not what Vinatieri does on the field that makes him so special, but what he does off the field.
“Yes, he’s broken recently a world record for the most field goals kicked in a matter of seconds, literally seconds,” Holcomb said. “But what some of you don’t realize is that he donated all the cash and winnings to military veterans.”
Many legislators thanked him for not only being a great football player, but also a great role model.
The Sagamore of the Wabash has been awarded to celebrities, presidents and ordinary citizens who have contributed to the state. The term “sagamore” was used by tribes to describe a lesser chief or a great man among the tribe to whom the true chief would look for wisdom and advice.
Vinatieri said Indiana and Hoosier hospitality is family to him. Even coming from “the evil emperor of the New England Patriots,” he joked, Indiana made the transition in 2006 easy. Vinatieri, who has four Super Bowl rings including one with Indianapolis, emphasized how supportive the state is.
“It’s not that way everywhere,” Vinatieri said. “I just see the friendly people and the friendly atmosphere in Indiana and there’s nowhere else I’d rather raise my children. Long after football is done I’ll still be raising my children here.”
Taylor Brown is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.