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Sunday, 21 May 2006 02:18

Willie McGinest

Written by Edgard Zuniga

willie mcginestThe New England Patriots are an interesting team. They’re a white-collar team with a blue-collar mentality. They’re the champs—the best team in the NFL. However, they don’t rest on their laurels. Not the Patriots—winners of three of the last four Super Bowls. Where others talk the talk, the Patriots quietly walk the walk. Where individuals draw attention to themselves, the Patriots share the spotlight with a collective cool.

There’s no better way to describe Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest. He’s cool. Over the years, becoming one of the many pillars of the Patriots defense, McGinest has accumulated 11.5 career postseason sacks, ranking third on the NFL’s career postseason sacks list, behind only the venerable Bruce Smith (14.5) and the late, great Reggie White (12.0).

Still, you won’t hear McGinest talk much about his accomplishments. Eventually, the conversation leads to his family or his teammates.

“We have a team full of superstars that just keep it in control. They are manageable,” McGinest said with unwavering calm. “It takes a team full of superstars to make a real good team, not just a couple of loud mouths who make it about them. I think the individual player talents get lost in that.”

In his case, McGinest sums it up to a good upbringing and a constant reminder to stay in school and take care of business. And, if you take care of your business, one day, your business will provide for you.

willie mcginest

“I like cars like I like tennis shoes,” he said. “I love different types of sneakers and I love different types of trucks. I have more trucks than anything cause of how big I am.”

So, what’s the ride of choice of a three-time Super Bowl champion? Measuring 22.5 inches longer than the regular Escalade, McGinest’s 2005 Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum Edition is big enough to fit the Patriots’ D-line. It comes loaded with so many amenities that you’d need four typewritten pages to fit everything.

The Escalade deserves no less—maybe more. It’s an amazing vehicle. First of all, there is no shortage of power here. A six-liter, 345 horsepower V-8 with 380 lb. per ft. of torque is enough to power the three-ton mammoth over any O-line. Like the NFL’s finest, the ESV Platinum is always dressed to kill. The interior of the Platinum is lavish; there is plenty of chrome and burl walnut, a nicely designed center console, and heated and cooled seats in the first two rows, among many, many goodies.

willie mcginest

One of the best features is the air suspension, which raises and lowers the body to maintain adequate height, even when towing a loaded trailer. Stabilitrak, an electronic system that enhances stability, is also very nice.

Like its owner, this Escalade looks like a champ. The Pirelli Scorpion Zero tires, size 305/35R24, look even better when wrapped around OZ Racing Comanche III ST chrome wheels. Peeking out from behind the wheels, one can see that McGinest added a Brembo brake package. Smoked taillights are a distinctive touch that completes the look.

Many moons ago, McGinest’s driving experience began in the passenger seat of his dad’s Toyota. “It was one of them old Toyota’s,” he said, trying to remember what model. “I used to sit in the passenger side and shift for him. That’s how I learned to drive stick.”

willie mcginest