Gino Cappelletti, who moved into the Patriots' radio broadcast booth after a New England career as a player and assistant coach that landed him in the team's Hall of Fame -- and many say should have landed him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- has decided to retire.
The news was reported by the Boston Globe's Chad Finn.
The gentlemanly and much beloved Cappelletti, 78, has spent 32 years as the analyst on the team's radio broadcasts, 28 of them with play-by-play partner Gil Santos. A wide receiverkicker during his playing time, he was the leading scorer in American Football League history in a career that spanned from 1960-70. He was a five-time All-Star and was elected a member of the all-time All-AFL team.
"Through five decades, my romance with football and my relationship with the Patriots organization have provided me with a lifetime of wonderful memories, said Cappelletti in a statement released by CBS Boston, whose station (98.5 The Sports Hub) broadcasts the Patriots' games on radio. "I have had the privilege of sharing the broadcast of six Super Bowls, and amazingly, five in the past decade. The memory of the first Super Bowl victory will always be fresh in my mind. For me, it serves as a special reminder of how far this franchise has come, the challenges that were met, and the adversity we faced in those early years. But as they say in the huddle after a long, successful days work, its time to take a knee and celebrate the win."
There is no immediate word on his replacement, though its widely expected that Scott Zolak -- the former Patriot quarterback who co-hosts a talk show on 98.5 The Sports Hub and served as the third analyst on the radio broadcasts last year after a long stint on the Pats' pre- and postgame shows -- will take over Cappelletti's spot.
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FOXBORO -- Antonio Brown's live stream of coach Mike Tomlin's postgame speech on Sunday had a ripple effect that traveled all the way to New England: Just in case Patriots players weren't familiar with the league's social-media policy, they were reminded of it this week.
"We were reminded of that," receiver Chris Hogan said. "I’m not sure what the timing is, but obviously, I don’t think we’ll see guys doing that in the locker room."
Players are prohibited from using social media in the locker room until media outlets have been given an opportunity to talk to players following games. Brown's Facebook Live video, which garnered national attention almost as soon as it went online, was shot well before the visitor's locker room at Arrowhead Stadium opened following Pittsburgh's win over Kansas City.
"We have a team policy on that," special teams captain Matthew Slater said. "Strictly enforced. We go from there."
Of course part of the reason the video became as widely disseminated as it did was because it caught Tomlin calling the Patriots "a--holes."
"I have a lot of respect for Coach Tomlin," Slater said when asked about Tomlin's speech. "I appreciate the way he prepares his team. I’ve had a good working relationship with him over the years, and it will continue to be that way."
Both Slater and Hogan insisted that their focus will be trained solely on preparing for what Tomlin and his players will do when they arrive to Gillette Stadium Sunday night -- not what they say leading up to kickoff.
"You come in here, you're automatically bought into what we preach here, what coach [Bill] Belichick preaches," Hogan said. "It's football. We're 100 percent football here. It's not about anything outside. Between the media or whatever it is outside of football, whatever we're doing. When we come here, it's 100 percent football. That's all we're focused on is the opponent we're playing that week."