INDIANAPOLIS — Even though this represents the first Super Bowl trip for Matthew Slater, the Patriots special teams captain is familiar with the experience – sort of.
Slater's father, Hall of Fame tackle Jackie Slater, took part in Super Bowl XIV as a member of the Los Angeles Rams, and the two have shared many discussions on the topic. The elder Slater's team dropped a 31-19 decision to the Pittsburgh Steelers despite holding a lead into the fourth quarter.
"To this day he talks about the game and he can almost call off every play to you and remember the ebb and flow of the game," Slater said. "It meant a lot to him and unfortunately it didn't work out for him. But it's definitely a memory he has and will have as long as he lives.
"They were leading with 11 minutes to go in the fourth quarter – he's told me that about 20 times. It was tough for them to lose that game but he really enjoyed the experience. We've sat down and watched it … I've gotten the play-by-play synopsis ever since I was little. It meant a lot to him and this opportunity means a lot to me and him as well."
Even though Slater was about five years from being born when his father got his chance to win it all, he understands the significance of what a Super Bowl title would mean for the family.
"One of the things he missed on his career was he never won a championship and I know how much that meant to him being such a team guy," Slater added. "He's shared a lot of lessons with me over the last couple of weeks. He told me to take advantage of the opportunity to the best of my ability so I wouldn't have any regrets."