INDIANAPOLIS — If it wasn't crystal clear by now, Adam Vinatieri officially stands alone as the Greatest of All-Time.
Vinatieri today became the National Football League's all-time leading scorer, passing Pro Football Hall of Famer Morten Andersen's record of 2,544 points he set during his illustrious career from 1982 through 2007.
Andersen — himself a local product of Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis — took a little time away from enjoying the golf course to congratulate Vinatieri on breaking his scoring record — as well as his all-time made field goals record, which Vinatieri broke Week 4 against the Houston Texans.
But Andersen wasn't the only notable person who wanted to take the opportunity to congratulate Vinny on the points record. A large collection of Vinatieri's former teammates, coaches and team executives also shared their congrats and memories of playing with No. 4 through the years in New England and in Indianapolis (and, as one would expect, some of them took the opportunity to throw a couple playful jabs his way).
We'll lead off with Andersen's comments, and follow that up with what amounts to not only a who's who of NFL legends from Vinatieri's era, but also the talented core special teamers who played a huge role in helping him rack up the points over the years:
Morten Andersen, Hall of Fame kicker (1982-2007):
"Hey, Adam, Morten Andersen here saying hello from the golf course — which is pretty much every day. I want to congratulate you on breaking my all-time scoring record, and also my all-time field goal record. You've had an outstanding career, and I really appreciate the way you've gone about doing it. You've done it outside, in the snow, you've done it inside, you've done it away and you've done it at home. So, great job — very proud of you. And, hey, one day I'll see you right here, in Canton, Ohio. Good job, buddy."
Bruce Arians, former Colts offensive coordinator and interim head coach:
"Vinny — B.A. Congratulations on the scoring record. So happy for you. Go get all the rest."
Tom Brady, current New England Patriots quarterback:
"Hey Adam, congratulations on the NFL's scoring record. What an incredible accomplishment. You deserve it. You made the biggest kicks in the biggest games, and I loved playing with you, and I'm always cheering for you — except when you're playing against the Patriots. But I love you, man. Congrats."
Tony Dungy, former Colts head coach:
"Adam, you've now scored more points than anybody in the history of the NFL. And I know individual accolades don't mean anything to you — you're more concerned about the team goals. But this is a milestone, and it's well-deserved. Your hard work and dedication have put you at the top. Congrats, Vinny."
Dwight Freeney, former Colts defensive end:
"Congratulations to my man A.V., man. I see you out there ballin', breaking NFL records. Obviously that's a testament to you and your hard work on and off the field, man, and you just being a straight-up baller, dawg. Congratulations."
Peyton Manning, former Colts quarterback:
"Adam, congratulations on this unbelievable accomplishment. It's a great credit to all of the hard work and your true professionalism that you've displayed throughout your career. I'm proud to have been your teammate, I'm proud to be your friend — and really proud of you. Once again, congratulations on this incredible accomplishment."
Robert Mathis, former Colts defensive end:
"To a friend of mine, that can no longer deny his greatness; he can no longer brush off those 'G.O.A.T.' compliments — Adam Vinatieri. It's proven, solidified — you are the greatest of all-time. And we all know it. Congratulations, man, and keep it going."
Pat McAfee, former Colts punter/holder:
"Congratulations, Mr. Adam Vinatieri. The South Dakota boy is now the points king in the NFL. So many great players have played this game, so many great players have scored in the NFL, but ain't nobody, in a game that revolves around scoring, (has) scored more points than you. It was an absolute honor of mine to hold your balls and help you get to this record. All of your former teammates, all of your current teammates are absolutely lucky to say they have played with you. You're the absolute greatest, pizon. You're the man. You're old. But you're the man. Can't wait to watch how your career ends up, and can't wait to see you in Canton. You're the absolute greatest, No. 4. Shoutout to the 'G.O.A.T.,' now on top of the mountain in scoring of points."
Tom McMahon, former Colts special teams coordinator:
"Heck yes, Vinny. Congratulations, stud. Couldn't be happier for 'ya. Earned, deserved — you know, all of us that have had chance to coach (and) play with 'ya, we've all been able to take on your identity. It's a rare, rare gift that (is) one of straight production, one of accountability, one of trust, one of clutch. Every single one of us couldn't be happier for 'ya, and keep rolling. You know, we can't wait for that day that you put on that gold jacket, but now it's official. The whole world knows you're the greatest kicker of all-time, and every single one of us, the first time we saw you kick a football, we already knew it. Take care, babe. We love 'ya."
Matt Overton, former Colts long snapper:
"Vinny — congratulations on becoming the NFL's all-time leading scorer. You truly are the greatest of all-time. It was an honor and privilege to play with you for five years; I can't thank you enough for everything you've taught me along the way. I look forward to seeing you play for many more years, and I'll see you on the field soon, brother. I love 'ya."
Chuck Pagano, former Colts head coach:
"Hey Vinny — hey, just wanted to reach out, touch base, congratulate you on becoming the all-time leading scorer in the history of the National Football League. I think I got it right this time; I can remember back when I declared you all-time leading scorer, I think, after a Tennessee game a couple years ago. Screwed that one up. I think it was for consecutive field goals. But I hope I got this one right. Anyway, man, proud of ya. It was an honor and a privilege going to battle with you for six years. Can't thank 'ya enough — appreciate you for all that you did, all the support. You're the best of the best — the 'G.O.A.T.;' the original 'G.O.A.T.,' man. Congrats on that Hall of Fame career, Vinny. Congrats."
Bill Polian, former Colts general manager:
"Congratulations, Adam, on another milestone in your Hall of Fame career. What a thrill it's been to be your teammate, and what a pleasure it is to see you continue to set every record there is. Congratulations, and keep up the good work."
Frank Reich, current Colts head coach:
"Adam: when we think about the history of the NFL, all the great players and all the great records — and there's some incredible ones — it could easily be argued that the most important record of all-time is who scored the most points. And as of today, that's you. You did it, man. Congratulations to you and your family. You are the greatest of all-time."
Luke Rhodes, current Colts long snapper:
"Vinny, I just wanted to say congratulations. For me personally, I want to thank you for the opportunity, for trusting me to be your snapper for the last season and a half so far, and a couple more to come. You deserve it; nobody else works as hard as you for as long as you, and you've put in the work to earn this, and I just want you to enjoy it. So thanks, and congrats."
Rigoberto Sanchez, current Colts punter/holder:
"Adam — congratulations, man. You deserve it more than anyone. You and your family enjoy this moment. I'm really proud of you, man."
Jeff Saturday, former Colts center:
"Big Vinny — congrats on setting the NFL all-time scoring record. Man, what an accomplishment. It was an honor to play with 'ya. Brother, keep kicking, keep adding to it. Congrats, Vinny."
Hunter Smith, former Colts punter/holder:
"Vinny — hey man, it's Hunter Smith here. I wanted to congratulate you on breaking the record. When I first met you, I kind of thought you were a washed-up guy — you know, veteran, couple more years left, set out to pasture — in Indianapolis. I thought you couldn't have anymore grey hair. Well here today, and with your career you have proven a couple of things: first of all, you were not a washed-up guy set out to pasture; you had a lot left in you. And, secondly, you've proven that you could have more grey hair. So congrats today. I love you, man. It's a great day. Congrats, Vinny."
Justin Snow, former Colts long snapper:
"Adam — Justin Snow here. Congratulations; you did it. What an honor and a record to hold. It couldn't have had to a more deserving guy. I've always admired your hard work and leadership since the day you signed in 2006. I'm grateful to have played a small role and even more thankful we share a championship together. To the 'G.O.A.T.,' best of luck the rest of the way, and so proud you represent the Horseshoe. Congrats, Vinny."
Reggie Wayne, former Colts wide receiver:
"People like to use the the word 'G.O.A.T.' pretty loosely these days. But when I look up the word 'G.O.A.T.' in the dictionary, I don't see that four-legged animal. I see Adam Vinatieri. My teammate, my brother. Well-deserved. Congratulations to not only being No. 1 all-time leading scorer, but also congratulations to being the greatest of all-time."