Goad Glad NASCAR Called

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Tim Goad never made it to the Super Bowl as a player with the New England Patriots, the Cleveland Browns or the Baltimore Ravens.

The last two years, however, have seen his former teams make it to the big game. Last January, the Ravens beat the Giants to win their first-ever Super Bowl title. Sunday, the Patriots will try to beat the Rams and win their first Super Bowl in three tries.

Goad spent ten years in the NFL – seven with the Patriots, one with Cleveland two with Baltimore – before retiring in 1997. He now spends his Sundays in quite a different arena as the jackman for Ken Schrader and the M&Ms Pontiac team in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.

Last year’s Baltimore victory in the Super Bowl was a big thrill for the former defensive lineman, and he said he’s equally as thrilled for the Patriots to have a chance to knock off the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI Sunday evening in New Orleans.

“I was so excited about Baltimore winning it all last year,” said Goad, who spent the final two years of his career as a Raven in 1996 and 1997. “And the Patriots now, they’ve been surprising me quite a bit. With (quarterback) Tom Brady leading them down the stretch, they’ve been playing very, very well.

“I figured Drew (Bledsoe) would be the man (at quarterback) for New England when he got healthy, but I’ve got to give the coach, Bill Belichick, a lot of credit because he kept Tom in there so as not to disrupt the team chemistry. Making Tom the starting quarterback in the Super Bowl was a tough call because he was injured last week (against Pittsburgh), but it’s probably best for the team and I think it’s going to be a great game.”

Goad retired from NFL competition after 1997. The only time his teams ever made it to the playoffs was in 1994, when the Patriots lost in the first round.

The Virginia native has been a NASCAR fan since he was a kid growing up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, just miles away from the Stuart, Va., home of the Wood Brothers Racing team.

One of his good friends, Butch, worked with the Wood Brothers team, and while he was still playing football for New England in the early 1990s, he and his dad were given pit passes to come to Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600. The excitement of being around the sport made Goad like a kid in a candy store, and he casually mentioned to Butch about wanting to possibly come to work for the team.

Goad didn’t give it a second thought until 1997, when he said goodbye to football. Butch then called him up and asked him if he was still interested in being a jackman for the team, and the answer was a resounding “yes.”

The team’s jackman at the time had gotten hurt, and Goad was given a tryout.

“I think I really surprised them on how quickly I learned about doing pit stops and such,” Goad said. “It was September and we went to the track on Friday at Richmond and raced on Saturday night, and it was a tremendous experience. It was unbelievable.”

Goad spent the remainder of the 1998 season with the Wood Brothers as well as the 1999 and 2000 campaigns before moving over to MB2 Motorsports and the No. 36 M&Ms team.

At the age of 35, he couldn’t be happier about his professional life and often makes comparisons between football and racing.

“There’s a lot of downtime in racing during a race, and in football, it’s just bam, bam, bam, get up and go on with the next play,” Goad said. “But sacking a quarterback and getting ready for a pit stop and reeling off a pit stop in 14 seconds, it’s about the same adrenaline rush. When the ball is snapped, it’s about the same feeling as Kenny coming in for a stop.”

Goad said he’ll watch Sunday’s game, but he’ll have mixed feelings about it. Another good friend of his, Charlie Army, is the director of player personnel with the Rams. But his real allegiances lie with the Patriots, for whom he toiled for many seasons.

“They’re (the Patriots) going in as the underdogs, and everybody in America loves the underdogs,” he said. “Naturally, I’m pulling for them to win. I’ve got friends playing on both teams, so I’m sorta torn. But I’d love to see the New England fans get one. They’re a bit fickle, but they’re very good fans and they deserve to win a Super Bowl.”

Goad’s prediction: New England 17, St. Louis 14. If he couldn’t win it, then at least Goad can say he played for two teams that eventually won the “big one.”

But, he hopes he can be part of a team that won a few (races) in Winston Cup racing.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2002, Ken Schrader

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