A Special Night with Patriots’ Legend Gino Cappelletti

It was a special night with a special person.

When Jon Goode told me about his latest event with Patriots Legend, Gino Cappelletti, it was a no brainer.

I told my former co-worker and huge Pats fan, Mark about it and he was in. I was also lucky enough to meet John Blanco at the event as well.He maintains “Patriots Place” on Facebook which is your one stop source for everything New England Patriots.

I only have to pay $20 to meet one of the forefathers of the New England Patriots? Where do I sign up?

The best part is that all the proceeds go to Jon Goode’s C2 Mission, which is a charitable foundation to benefit children and families affected by Cerebral Palsy. This was a great event at the Lowell Beer Works for a great cause.

There was a silent auction with some great memorabilia which included a signed Wes Welker framed picture and an autographed Rajon Rondo portrait. It was a sports fans dream(even though I got outbid on the Welker piece)!

I have attended Jon Goode’s event with Steve Grogan a few years ago and it was great, but participating in a Q&A with a living legend is on a whole different level. Gino Cappelletti is one of the most knowledgeable football minds around. As you know, he is part of the Patriots broadcast tandem with Gil Santos.

It was great to have Gino to sign an 8X10 and a Patriots football for me, but to ask the AFL’s first true superstar a question, was a true thrill. One of the first pieces I ever wrote for Boston Sports Then and Now, was about Mr. Cappelletti. I learned so much about his incredible list of accomplishments for the American Football League. I was thrilled when he thanked me for writing it after I have him a copy.

Thank me? The honor was all mine!

Gino holding court at the Lowell Beer Works.

My question was, “Gino, who was your favorite teammate?” He responded that he had many favorite teammates, but he had a “connection” with his quarterback, “Babe” Parilli. Gino said that he was the quiet one in the huddle as the rest of the receivers hounded the signal caller for the ball. Sometimes Gino would just yell something to Vito(Babe’s real name) in Italian and the ball would come his way. The duo was known as the “Grand Opera” and connected for 42 TD’s.

The Nor’Easter on Wednesday caused the event to be postponed by one day which affected the turnout, but those 30 lucky people in attendance learned so much about the Pioneer of the Boston Patriots.

One young fan asked Gino what his favorite moment was. Gino broke it down into three separate parts as a player, a coach, and an announcer. He mentioned that his first winning kick against the Houston Oilers stood out for him during his playing days.

He also mentioned a tidbit that I was not aware of. Gino actually coached special teams for the Patriots between ’78-’80. He spoke highly about coaching the recently departed, Mosi Tatupu. I had no idea that Gino was also a coach.

What did this man NOT do in football?!

His favorite moment in the broadcast booth was when the Patriots defeated the St. Rams for their first championship. Gino told the crowd how he got very emotional when the Patriots won. He associated the numbers on the current players jerseys to his former teammates. He took a moment to remember his friends that had passed and didn’t have the opportunity to be a champion.

It was a special moment on a special night with a special man.

Thank you Gino and Jon Goode for a night that I will always remember and cherish!

2 comments

  • I am so fortunate to know Gino Cappelletti and identify him as my friend. To have him write the foreword to my Defintive Encyclopedia on the Patriots is so incredibly special is beyond my wildest dreams. What a class guy and super human being.

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