Former Patriots star Matt Light talks to locals about vodka, charity and football

By Andrew Cyr

Matt Light, former New England Patriot, was at the Hanger Bar and Grill promoting a new vodka brand. (Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)
Matt Light, former New England Patriot, was at the Hanger Bar and Grill promoting a new vodka brand. (Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)

Former New England Patriots left tackle Matt Light spoke at the Hanger Pub & Grill to locals and college students on Wednesday to promote his new drink, KEEL Vodka.

KEEL Vodka is a new, low calorie vodka that is spreading rapidly throughout both Rhode Island and Massachusetts, with the goal of spreading the drink to western Massachusetts.

Light spent the majority of his time answering question from the audience about KEEL, his life outside of football and his charity, the Light Foundation.

“They say do what you love, and I love vodka,” he said. “So once I was done with football I got started with this and that was that.”

He later went on to say that because KEEL doesn’t have the funding that some of the other high name vodka companies do, so they are focusing primarily on sales in the New England area.

“One of the main strategies I use is that I tell people drink our vodka or I’ll punch you in the face,” he said with a chuckle. “As of right now that seems to be working out pretty well.”

The founders of KEEL – Bill Dessel and Tom McGowan – grew up on the water in Rhode Island with the mindset of creating a vodka drink.

Light Foundation

Throughout the question and answer session, Light briefly mentioned his charity, the Light Foundation.

The Light Foundation was formed in 2001 when he was drafted by the Patriots. The foundation was created with the goal of helping at risk children and teenagers make the right decisions in life and to pursue an education.

Light and his team travel around the country talking to various organizations that extend from the New England region all the way out to the Midwest. Every summer, the Light Foundation hosts a summer camp in Ohio to teach children on how to make right decisions.

New England Patriots

Light spoke briefly about his time with the New England Patriots and life as an NFL player.

When asked about what it was like dealing with contract negotiations in the organization, he said he fully supported the Kraft family and understands that in the end they are trying to run a business.

He also spoke highly of Patriots coach Bill Belichick and how down to earth he was outside of football.

“Bill is 100 percent goal oriented and when you look at it at the end of the day his accomplishments speak for themselves,” he said. “But one-on-one, Bill’s actually a really funny guy.”

Matt Light spent all 11 seasons in the NFL with the Patriots and won three Super Bowls during that time.

Andrew Cyr can be reached at [email protected], and can be followed on Twitter @Andrew_Cyr.