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Gay Bowl participant in football Hall of Fame

16andrebostonz.jpgI was thrilled to hear Saturday that former New England Patriots linebacker Andre Tippett was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I had always been a fan of Tippett for his tremendous play for New England in the 1980s, but he cemented his reputation when he tossed the coin to open the 2003 Gay Bowl flag football championships in Boston.

Tippett, who attended the Gay Bowl opening ceremonies at the request of the Patriots, said he thought it was important to show solidarity with the gay community and try to help break down barriers in sports. He was very cordial and friendly and looked like he wanted to suit up and play. I had a nice chat with him about the underrated New England teams he played on, one of which made the Super Bowl in 1985. How cool to know we had a future Hall of Famer in our presence. The photo, by Brent Mullins, is from 2003 and shows Tippett with members of the Boston team. Also inducted were Fred Dean, Darrell Green, Art Monk, Emmitt Thomas, and Gary Zimmerman --Jim Buzinski