Gostkowski not concerned with missed opportunities

Gostkowski not concerned with missed opportunities

By Mary Paoletti

FOXBORO -- With four seconds remaining in regulation, the Patriots and Ravens were deadlocked at 20 points apiece. New England had the ball at the Baltimore 44. It was fourth-and-1 and Stephen Gostkowski had been limbering up on the sideline for several minutes.

But instead of trotting New England's kicker out for what would have been a 61-yard attempt -- albeit with a strong breeze at his back -- Brady got down in shotgun. It was a surprising move to many.

Gostkowski didn't argue.

"You take what you get, that's not my call," he said. "I am not going to be the guy tapping Coach Bill Belichick on the shoulder saying, 'Send me out there.' I just get ready to go and when my name is called I do it.

"Ive made kicks that long before in practice and I've never gotten the opportunity to kick one of those in a game, but I would have gone out there and tried my best. The only bad thing that can happen there is that you get the kick blocked. I don't think the coaches are going to be out there yelling at me the next day if I miss, so it's kind of like a freebee."

Isn't it a point of pride? Wouldn't a kicker take it personally if his coach didn't give him the chance? Gostkowski looked at the situation pretty rationally. He knows that it's just business to Belichick.

"I knew whether I tried it or not we were still going to have overtime,'' he said in the postgame. "If I let my emotions get the best of me and get mad they coaches didnt send me out there . . . it's no disrespect.

"The percentages of a 65-yard field goal are probably pretty low and if I let that affect me and end up missing the next kick then I am not a very good professional at what I do. It would have been cool to try it, but oh well."

His ambivalence is understandable in light of the final score: 23-20, Patriots. Game-winner: Gostkowski.

"I went three-for-three with a game winner. I cant be mad about anything,'' he shrugged.

Sunday's performance was his best of the season. In a Week 1 match up against Cincinnati Gostkowski went an uncharacteristic 1-for-3 on field goals. He went 0-for-1 in his next performance against the Jets, which was actually a missed re-boot of a kick he originally made.

Gostkowski is now 7-for-10 on the regular season for field goals. Considering that his career worst was 76.9 in his rookie season, Sunday's pressure points were important.

"We ended up winning so I could care less they didnt send me out there,'' he said. "I am just glad I got the opportunity to go out there at the end."

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Four killed in crash involving Dallas Cowboys' bus


Four killed in crash involving Dallas Cowboys' bus

PHOENIX (AP) -- A bus carrying Dallas Cowboys staffers but no players and a van collided Sunday on an Arizona highway, killing four people in the van, authorities said.

The bus occupants emerged uninjured from the crash, Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Quentin Mehr said.

"All on the bus came through OK with some bumps and bruises," Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple said in an email.

Dalrymple said the bus was only carrying members of the franchise's staff but would not say how many. There were no players on board.

Mickey Spagnola, a columnist for the team's website, has been writing for the past week about traveling on a Cowboys bus with a driver, the team mascot and videographer. On his Twitter page, Spagnola tweeted before 2 p.m. that the bus was 80 miles outside of Vegas.

The two vehicles collided in the afternoon on U.S. 93, about 30 miles north of the city of Kingman or 180 miles northeast of Phoenix, according to DPS.

The crash shut down at least one lane of the highway that serves as the main route between Las Vegas and Phoenix.

The bus was on its way to a Dallas Cowboys fan event in Las Vegas. Charles Cooper, manager of GameWorks entertainment center in Vegas, said the session with 50 to 75 fans was scheduled for 3 p.m. PDT. People were already waiting when the president of a Las Vegas Cowboys fan club called to relay news of the accident. The event was subsequently canceled. Cooper says the team mascot was supposed to appear.

After the Las Vegas stop, the bus was scheduled to go on to Oxnard, California for the team's training camp. Members of the organization typically take a bus two weeks before the camp starts and make stops along the way.