Nathan Hodel: The Patriots’ Ace In the Hole


Published: April 4, 2009


... capped off the impossible, by putting a 23-yard field goal through the uprights in a blizzard, an unknown player with tattoos up his entire arm runs into the end zone where the ball now lays. 

The crowd was raucous, and the players were going equally insane. One man took in the serenity of the moment, laid in the snow, and stared at the sky.

As if in an omen to the only thing that could have allowed him to win this game, he waved his arms and legs, leaving an imprint of an angel on the snow covered turf. With the iconic image burned into everyone's mind, the unknown became an NFL Films poster boy.

The man was Lonnie Paxton, Patriots long snapper from 2000-2008. For those eight years, Paxton was responsible for accurately placing the snap into the hands of Ken Walter in Super Bowl XXXVI. 

He had to do the same thing in Houston two years later, and every game in between and after.

Head Coach Bill Belichick constant...

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