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Why the Patriots’ Matthew Slater always call heads in the coin toss

The Patriots’ Matthew Slater (18) made the call during the coin flip to begin overtime Sunday.
The Patriots’ Matthew Slater (18) made the call during the coin flip to begin overtime Sunday.(jamie squire/Getty Images)

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FOXBOROUGH — Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater owes his father a big thank you.

To start the overtime Sunday, Slater called heads, as he always does, in the coin toss. Sure enough, the Patriots won and elected to receive — a situation reminiscent of the team’s Super Bowl LI victory two years ago.

Why does Slater always call heads?

“Well, I remember as a child watching my father play in LA and him going out and doing the coin toss for the Rams,” Slater said. “He always called heads, so I asked him one time, ‘Hey, why do you do that? What’s the story behind that?’ I think anyone who knows my family knows faith is important to us, and for him, he was always like, ‘You know, God’s the head of my life, so I call heads.’ That was something he came up with, and I’ve kind of just embraced it.”

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Though Slater doesn’t know his official coin toss record, he’s just thankful the “two biggest ones [he’s] been involved in” have worked in the Patriots’ favor. In the three postseason overtime games Brady has played in, New England’s opponents have never touched the ball.

“I’m glad it’s worked out for us here the last couple times when we needed it,” Slater said.

As for Slater’s dad, Jackie, who spent his entire 20-year career as an offensive tackle with the Rams organization, will he have any struggles with his allegiances in the Super Bowl?

“We had a good conversation [Sunday] night,” Slater said. “He’s going to support his son, so we cleared the air on that last night, and we’re all squared away.”