Thursday, September 08, 2005

Are You Ready for Some FOOTBALL?

Tonight my New England Patriots begin another defense of their Super Bowl Championship. I got to reminiscing about the Pats' 2004 Title run, the second of their 3 Super Bowl victories in the past four years, where I was lucky enough to attend a game with my dad for what was, I think, only the second time ever. Our first trip was way back in the 80's, back before Gillette stadium was even Foxboro Stadium - locals called it Sullivan Stadium at the time. All I can remember were the seats: long, cold, metal benches, like you'd see at a high school track.

A few years ago I got a Steve Grogan throwback jersey to proudly wear every Sunday as I lounged in my apartment in NYC and hoped that the Jets or Giants were off, so I'd get to see the Pats in action. Steve Grogan was the Patriot's QB back in the 80's when they still had the kickass "Pat the Patriot" logo on their helmets. Grogan was tough - tough as nails. Imagine if Drew Bledsoe had a little mobility, a lot of toughness, a little less distance on his arm, threw just as hard, and did NOT make you want to throw up every time he dropped back to pass, and you'd have Steve Grogan. I'll never forget sitting around after soccer pre-season double sessions before my freshman year of high school (we're talking 1990 here now!), and the team captain, Kenny Cacciatorre picked up a soccer ball for emphasis and said: "This is the size of Steve Grogan's sack." And he was right. Back to the story.

So the Patriots were playing the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs. Somehow, Ticketmaster had tickets for this game on sale for about 75 seconds one day, and I managed to get through and land two of them: 40 yard line. Top Level. Third row from the top. Did I care about the shitty seats? Fuck no - I was going to watch the Patriots in the playoffs for the first time in my life, and bring my dad, who, since he still lives in Boston, is even more caught up in the mania than I am. My dad eagerly hunkers down with Doctor Jay each week to act like real men, each nachos, and watch the Pats play. I managed to semi-boondoggle the trip to Boston by going to see some clients on Friday - and holy fuck - it was fucking freezing. As Sean and I walked around downtown, we were shocked at how cold it was - and this was during daylight - the game was Saturday night. The city of Boston actually discussed moving the game time, because it was going to be one of the coldest games ever played, and they were worried about people getting hurt at the game!

On Saturday I got dressed: Two pairs of long underwear. Two pairs of sweatpants. A pair of jeans. A pair of Snowpants. 2 pairs of socks, with footwarmers in them. A skintight underarmor full sleeve shirt. Two more long underwear shirts. Two sweatshirts (both hooded!). My best winter jacket (also hooded). Gator mask, wool hat, and of course, to top it all off, the Grogan jersey on top. I looked like some kind of psychotic Pillsbury Patriots Doughboy. We tried to take some pictures, but it was so cold that my FUCKING DIGITAL CAMERA WOULD NOT WORK! We managed to get one shot (and what better a picture to break my Blog's photo-cherry)... Note Dad's sweet Russian Bear hat with the flip-down ear flaps. Why do we look so bombed? Well, it was so cold - it hurt to open your eyes. Seriously. My other problem was this: I lacked quality boots and gloves, and my fingers and toes quickly froze, even with the handwarmers I had layered in. I have never seen a beer in a 16 ounce plastic bottle freeze before I could drink it - every sip I took layered another little slush ring around the mouth of the bottle, and along the inside too. It got to the point where the vendors were advertising that their beer was NOT cold, so that it wouldn't freeze so fast. Anyway, the Pats won the game, Gillette was pandemonium, and I don't think anyone died from the cold.

And I'm dying to do it again this year. So tonight, I'll throw on my Grogan Jersey, make myself a stiff drink, and enjoy the game in stunning HDTV - all the while envying the manic fans up in Foxboro - relishing the start of another NFL season.

Here are my weekly picks, booked by the Big Show, who, through the laws of mean reversion, figures to take a handfull of money from me this year:

JAX -3 vs SEA: I hope SEA is as over-rated as I think they are.
NYG - 3 vs ARI : I'm betting on the Giants? Am I on drugs? I clearly have been in NYC too long.
IND - 3 @ BAL: Two units. Peyton figures to whoop BAL, after all, they are not New England
SDC - 4.5 vs DAL: Dallas - two words: Drew Bledsoe.
CLE + 3.5 vs CIN: CLE sucks, but they have some rabid fans, and I hope emotion will carry 'em
HOU + 5.5 @ BUF: 5.5 point line is a crapshoot - bet against the rookie BUF QB JP Losman
NYJ+ 3 @ KC: I'm betting the JETS too? ON THE ROAD? oh man.. this is GIVING $$$ away
NEP vs OAK: UNDER 50: Pat D stifles OAKtown.

also, I predict Randy Moss will be arrested on a misdemeanor, or suspended by the end of the season - I hope I can get 8-1 on that bet.




Anonymous said...

You guys talk bout grogan like that, he is everyone in our neck of the woods hero too. palmer mass to represent man, in high school around the same time, have a pic of me and grogan arm wreslting, with him winning of course, and no it is not a fake. so here is how our drinkink game worked, similar to asshole, but you deal one grogan football card out and of course that beats everything. if you want pick of me and grogan arm wrestling, also have one of me and gino cap. arm wrestling email me @

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