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QBREES9 02-21-2010 02:47 PM

Gastonia native earned his Saints Super Bowl ring on the sidelines
Scottie Patton might not have thrown a touchdown pass, recovered an onsides kick or intercepted Peyton Manning in Super Bowl XLIV, but he still feels very much a part of the New Orleans Saints first world championship.

And deservedly so.

Patton, a Gastonia native, has been with the Saints for the past 10 seasons coordinating all medical care and injury rehabilitation as the club’s head athletic trainer. When Drew Brees tweaks a hamstring or injures his knee he relies on Patton, an 18-year NFL veteran considered one of the best in his field, to help him get back between the white lines as soon as possible.

“It gives you a sense of pride,” Patton said. “You sit back and watch things take place and you can see where you are a little piece of the puzzle. You can see the contributions you made and how you may have helped, in your own little way, to win a championship. You can see every time the players get out and perform and have success. It’s rewarding.”

Like trainers across the league, Patton’s work often goes unnoticed by those outside the organization. The most face time he gets is when television cameras show him working on an injured player on the field.

And being in the background suits Patton’s personality just fine.

As the Saints players celebrated their 31-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Miami, Patton simply leaned against a rail on the side of the field taking in the festivities with a broad smile across his face, all the while wondering what the celebration must be like back on Bourbon Street. Two days later Patton was there, riding on a float through the streets of downtown New Orleans flanked by thousands of wild, cheering championship-starved fans.

But Patton is well appreciated inside the organization and when the Saints hand out their Super Bowl rings in the next month or so, he’ll receive one.

Or should we say, another one.

He won his first Super Bowl ring as an assistant trainer with the San Francisco 49ers in 1994 in what seems like a lifetime ago. He doesn’t wear it much, but admits to taking it out of its box and wearing it on a chain around his neck in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.

Every now and again, during a private moment with Saint players, he’d slip it out from under his shirt and remind them, “This is what you’re playing for guys. This is what it’s all about.”

Patton said he sensed the Saints were a special team early on in the 2009 season.

“This was a grounded, focused team,” Patton said. “Everyone was really pulling for each other and it’s just amazing how when we’d fall behind there was no real sense of panic. We would keep doing the things we needed to do. That was a unique part of the experience.”

He described it as a special season, especially given the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina four-and-a-half years earlier.

“The resiliency of so many people… It was just so good to see good things happen to a city, a state and a team that has endured so much,” Patton said. “I’m so happy for the people of this region. It meant so much to them.”

As for himself?

“The ring means something,” Patton said. “It represents a memory that nobody can ever take away from you.”

However, Patton said there’s been little time to celebrate the Saints first Super Bowl championship in their 42 years of existence.

The day after the parade he was back at team headquarters helping players recover from injuries they sustained in the game. Next week he’s headed to Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine where he’ll conduct medical tests on many of the top incoming collegiate players in the country in preparation for the NFL draft in April.

It’s that work ethic that has made Patton so successful.

The Saints’ athletic training department has earned a number of awards under Patton’s direction. In 2007 he and his staff were honored as the Athletic Training Staff of the Year by the Southeastern Athletic Trainers Association. In 2006, they were honored as the Athletic Training Staff of the Year by both the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society and the National Football League Physician’s Society.

Patton earned a bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine/Exercise Science from Appalachian State in 1990. After enrolling in graduate school at South Carolina, Patton completed his master’s in Sports Medicine at San Jose State in 1996. A certified athletic trainer, he is a member of the National Athletic Trainers Association and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society.

Patton began his career as a graduate assistant athletic trainer at South Carolina (1990-91), as a student athletic trainer at Appalachian State (1986-90) and a summer training camp and assistant athletic trainer with the 49ers in 1988-89.

Patton and his wife, Yvette, have three children: Cameron, Alexis and Roman Scott, and they still visit Gastonia twice a year. A big NASCAR fan, Patton said he plans to return later this year for the Coca-Cola 600.

Gastonia native earned his Saints Super Bowl ring on the sidelines | saints, native, patton - Top Story - Gaston Gazette

homerj07 02-21-2010 02:55 PM

Re: Gastonia native earned his Saints Super Bowl ring on the sidelines
I am glad to see so many people behind the scences are also getting some due!!

JoanieNTX 02-22-2010 09:40 AM

Re: Gastonia native earned his Saints Super Bowl ring on the sidelines
Great article!

Srgt. Hulka 02-22-2010 10:22 AM

Re: Gastonia native earned his Saints Super Bowl ring on the sidelines
Do they induct sports trainers into the Football HOF? If so, with two superbowl rings, I belive this guy qualifies.

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