FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Quick-hit thoughts and notes around the New England Patriots and NFL:
1. With news of the passing of Boston Patriots quarterback Vito “Babe” Parilli at the age of 87, I asked longtime former Patriots radio play-by-play man Gil Santos to share his recollections of the Patriots Hall of Famer for those who didn’t see him play for the franchise (1961-1967).
“He was a well-known name right away. People had heard of Babe Parilli, who they called the ‘Sweet Kentucky Babe’ — he played at Kentucky for Bear Bryant,” Santos said Saturday. “He had been a terrific quarterback, an All-America at Kentucky, then a backup in the NFL, and then he got a chance to shine in the AFL.”
Santos recalled one notable memory of seeing Parilli on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
“I believe it might have been the first time a member of the Patriots was on the cover; it was a big picture of him smiling and he had a cigar in his mouth,” he relayed, before reflecting on Parilli’s style of play:
“He would be described now as the old-time, classic, dropback passer. He was not much of a runner in those days with the Patriots, although I guess he had run pretty well at Kentucky. He could read the field, throw the ball, and he knew what he was doing and how to play. And he was a pleasure to be around, a nice guy who had a great sense of humor and could be very funny.”
Santos’ longtime broadcast partner, Patriots Hall of Famer Gino Cappelletti, was close with Parilli from their time as teammates. The three later shared many great memories on road trips to Denver, when Santos and Cappelletti would catch up with Parilli, who was coaching the…
click here to read the rest of this story