Memories Of A Patriots Fan This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   I can remember going to my first Patriots game. It was during the 1986 season, less than a year after the Patriots made their way into the Superbowl. My best friend's father suggested that my father and I buy tickets for three or four games. So with a few other friends, we bought season tickets and divided them between us.

I've been going to Patriots games for six seasons now and the same thing that first interested me in this team keeps me going to their games - excitement. Yes, I know that for the last three seasons the Patriots have failed to win half of their games, and that QB Doug Flutie is (groan) playing football somewhere in Canada, but all of these things fail to take away from the sheer excitement of their games. Even if the Patriots are doing terribly, there will always be some loyal fan who will do something to lift your spirits. The following is perhaps one of the greatest examples of this I have ever seen out of all the 30 or more Pats game I've been to.

September 27th was a nice, sunny day. I remember our beat-up white station wagon containing me, my father, my best friend, and his father, pulling into the parking lot of Foxboro Stadium. We were playing the Buffalo Bills that day and were expected to lose, big time. I had just heard for the fourth or fifth time the radio sports announcer explaining how the Patriots were such an inferior team compared to the Bills. Stepping out of the car, I prepared myself for a great game of catch, some great burgers cooked on our great portable gas grill, and a bad, bad game of football.

Never in my life have I ever been so pessimistic about a football game. It was almost as if we were just showing up to see the Patriots lose.

Forty-five minutes before game time, the hamburgers were on the grill, and my friend and I started playing catch. The tenth or eleventh throw was short of where I was standing, and bounced about five or six cars away from me. As I scooped up the ball, I remember noticing a huge porch umbrella with the Bills' emblem on it. Two men were sitting under it in lawn chairs, enjoying their lunch. One of them noticed me and smiled saying, "Oh, don't worry, we are definitely not Bills' fans!" I smiled back, not really curious at the time as to why a Patriots' fan would have such a thing.

About half and hour later, when we were in the middle of our lunch of hamburgers, something about the Bills' umbrella caught my eyes. There were shiny drops of liquid all over it; it couldn't have been rain! A crowd quickly formed, and I could see the man whom I'd talked to grinning wildly as we went to check out what was happening.

My friend and I swiftly made our way to the front of the crowd, which was ten feet from the umbrella itself. I noticed two things that the man was holding: lighter fluid and a book of matches. Then he let out a yell, saying, "This is for the New England Patriots, who are gonna kick some major butt!" (Only he didn't say butt!) Suddenly, the Bills' insignia burst into flames, and the now huge group of Patriots fans roared their approval.

Standing there watching all of this inspired me, as well as made me laugh. As I cheered with fellow fans watching that fire burn, I can honestly say that from that moment on I believed the Patriots would win. Then the crowd dispersed, excited about the game like a football team psyched after having a great pep talk.

We fans proceeded to cheer our heads off for the Patriots when we took our seats. At halftime we were down just 6-0, and were going wild about the thought of winning! It would be great to say that the Patriots won, but they ended up getting blown out 41-7. However, the thing I'll always remember about that game isn't the score, but rather the inspirational and hilarious event that occurred on that fateful day. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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