For Philomath High alumni, Warriors fans and local community members, watching Giants tight end Kevin Boss catch a pass over the middle and pick up 45 yards in Super Bowl XLII against the Patriots represented a moment of pride.
Boss came from little Philomath, Oregon, and had just been involved in what turned out to be the longest play in the biggest sporting event in America. The Giants went on to score a touchdown for a 10-7 lead and went on to defeat the Patriots, 17-14.
On Friday night at Clemens Field, Boss faced many of those same alumni, fans and other locals during a uniform retirement ceremony at halftime of the football game. His former coach, C.A. Rath, opened the ceremony with a short talk and introduction.
“My football career started back in the seventh grade spanning all the way to my last year in the NFL,” Boss said. “I was fortunate enough to play this game of football for 17 years. Without a question, my fondest memories of playing this game were right here on this field without a doubt — playing for this coach and the other coaches that are here and to play alongside childhood friends that were also teammates and to represent my community with the Warriors on my chest.”
Boss, who wore No. 11 with the Warriors and graduated in 2002, didn’t perceive the honor as an individual accomplishment but representative of what the program accomplished as a team.
Boss, 35, attended the event surrounded by his family, including his parents, Bob and Teresa Boss, his wife Bree and their four children. His brother, Terry, who is the head men’s soccer coach at Oregon State, couldn’t be there.
“As I get older, it’s easier for me to recognize the two things in my life that fill me with the most pride,” Boss said. “The first one is my family, my wife and our beautiful four children and secondly, it is the opportunity to be able to call this town and this community my home. This community has always been very special to me and has always held a very special place in my heart and a place that I will always cherish.”
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Boss has lived in Bend for around six years now and operates his own sports performance business.
“There’s so many people to thank ... that have played a significant role in my development as a young man and as a young football player and helped me along the way on that path,” Boss said.
Boss admitted that there were too many to mention during his brief halftime appearance, but he did mention his parents, brother and wife, along with a list of coaches that included Mark Dorr, Terry Stephenson, Mark Knutson, Chris Sexton, Troy Muir, Rex Lowther, Shane Stueve and Rath.
Now, we must revisit that play from the Super Bowl one more time. When I interviewed Boss in January 2018 on the 10th anniversary of that game, he said coaches realized they could take advantage of what the Patriots were doing on defense.
"We drew it up on the sideline right there and we did what we called yo-yo motion," Boss said. "You give yourself plenty of room to get off the line of scrimmage ... get in the slot a little bit. It gave me a cleaner release into the secondary and yeah, just like we saw, Rodney Harrison was up there trying to stop the run.”
During an interview that appears on Giants.com, Boss said, “That happened to be a big catch in a critical point of the game and I feel fortunate that I was in the right place at the right time and to be able to help our team.”