|Fans decry parade hijinks
Call mayor’s plan for rally a bad idea
By Jessica Fargen | Wednesday, January 30, 2008 | http://www.bostonherald.com
Superstitious fans slammed the Menino administration yesterday for blabbing
about preliminary plans for a Super Bowl victory rolling rally Tuesday,
warning it could jinx the perfect-season Pats.
New York isn’t jumping the gun, pigskin prognosticators point out, so why
“It leaves a bad taste in my mouth,” said 2003 Patriots [team stats] Fan of
the Year Karen Cardoza, 43, of Rhode Island. “Realistically people make
plans ahead of time, but they just shouldn’t say anything.”
Mayor Thomas M. Menino has said the city is making contingency plans for a
Patriots Super Bowl victory bash Tuesday, but the news has drawn pushback
over worries that celebration chaos would blunt voter turnout on Super
Meanwhile, New York city officials are tight-lipped about plans for a Giants
victory march through the streets of Gotham.
“We in New York always find a way to honor our teams, but we’re not going to
jinx them by discussing any plans beforehand,” Stu Loeser, spokesman for
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said in response to a Herald inquiry.
Some Patriots fans are worried.
“No good can come of it,” bemoaned fan Mike Schuster, 45, of Foxboro. “I
know they have to plan it, but they gotta keep things quiet and not talk
about it even if they have a plan.”
Season-ticket holder Mike Alves, 33, of Rhode Island worries that this is
the fire the Giants need.
“It’s kind of arrogant. It’s definitely a bad vibe,” said Alves. “They know
they are underdogs. You don’t need to rub it in their faces.”
That’s exactly what happened in 2005.
The night before Super Bowl XXXIX against the Philadelphia Eagles, Patriots
coach Bill Belichick showed the team the street-by-street Eagles victory
parade route. The Patriots won 24-21.
“You don’t want to (anger) the other team,” Alves warned.
The Super Bowl celebration would fall on Super Tuesday because the team
won’t be back from Arizona by Monday morning and fan favorites, including
Tom Brady [stats], leave Wednesday for the Feb. 10 Pro Bowl in Hawaii.
Menino is cognizant of jinxing the team, but the city has to start planning
now, said his spokeswoman, Dot Joyce.
“We don’t like to talk about any victory before it happens,” she said.
“However, the timing of this causes some concern and for the sake of public
safety we had to make some initial plans contingent on whether or not they
Patriots spokesman Stacey James said the team is focused on Sunday. He
refused to say a word about parade planning.
“It’s a waste of time and energy to spend any time working on things that
would happen after the game,” James told the Herald. “The focus of the team
has to be on preparing.”
Fans decry parade hijinks - BostonHerald.com
|Football's female fanatics
BY SUSAN LaHOUD SUN CHRONICLE STAFF
Sunday, October 22, 2006 7:42 AM CDT
FOXBORO - Lisa Harvey figures she was about 7-years-old, watching football
with her father, when she first became a fan of the New England Patriots.
Her loyalty to the home team swelled over the years, even while attending
college in Virginia where she would constantly be assaulted by the fight
song of the Washington Redskins. At her dorm, she frequently managed to
commandeer the common television every Sunday to watch her team, and even
had the rest of the dorm rooting on the Patriots by the end of the 1985
Upon her return, she would scramble every week during the season for tickets
to the home games. Harvey said she secured season tickets in 1998, just as
she moved to Baltimore for a job. She flew back for every game.
Now, at 42, the Franklin resident is a full-blown fan. Her law office in
Newton is a shrine to the team that has won three Super Bowl titles this
decade. She attends every home game, rain, sleet or snow, and every away
game that she can.
Harvey challenges the popular notion that baseball is America's number one
sport. Compared to football, baseball is "is like watching paint dry," she
Karen Cardoza of Cumberland, R.I. can relate. Nicknamed "Mrs. B" because
she's always decked out in a Tedy Bruschi jersey, Cardoza was declared "Fan
of the Year" by the Patriots organization in 2003.
She's at the team's training camp every summer, compiling information and
delivering reports on her Web site, Patriotworld.com, and on her weekly
Internet radio broadcasts during the season.
If someone's planning a baby or wedding shower during the season, "I tell
them don't invite me on a Sunday. I'll send a gift, but I won't be there,"
said Cardoza, a teacher of special needs children who along with her husband
organizes the tailgating crew "Bruschi Bakers."
"I would never miss a game, no matter what," Cardoza vowed.
While Harvey and Cardoza not too long ago might have stuck out in the crowd
because of their gender, that is no longer the case. Males still make up the
lion's share of the team's fans, Patriots spokesman Stacey James said, but
the team's female fan base is growing. It's increased significantly since
the days when the Patriots played at Foxboro Stadium, he said.
"At Foxboro Stadium, you didn't really see women at the games," James said.
"Today, the demographics have changed dramatically in gender and in age."
He believes the opening of Gillette Stadium in 2002 helped initiate that
"It was new, clean, with wide-open concourses, and it embraced a family
atmosphere," James said. "It was something we tried to do with Foxboro
Stadium, but it was difficult to change some old and bad habits by fans."
He estimated that in the late 1980s and early 1990s, females made up about 5
percent of fan attendance at the games.
Females now comprise between 30 and 40 percent of the crowd during the
pre-season and early regular season, James said, but it drops to about 20
percent during night games and later in the season.
And the fact that more females are becoming fans hasn't escaped the Patriots
A section of the team's pro shop is now devoted to women's wear, from
underwear to women's-sized football jerseys to pink Pats caps. And sales of
women's Pats wear has quadrupled from 2001, the last season of Foxboro
"Before, we saw females shopping for fathers, brothers or significant
others," James said. "Now they're shopping more for themselves. Before, the
inventory for women in our pro shop was extremely limited. It has gradually
Cardoza readily admits she has been a steady customer.
"They know me on a first name basis at the pro shop," she said. "I have the
whole line of women's clothes.
"I could go without washing a (Patriots) outfit for a whole month and not run
"The pink is nice, but it's the cut, too," Cardoza said of the customized
women's gear. "Face it, a man's jersey is not very attractive" to the female
Harvey knows. "I have more Pats stuff than any human should have," she
admitted. But the "pink stuff" she reserves for her niece.
"I go more with the authentic colors - I believe in wearing the colors of
the team," she said, adding that she has Patriots gear for all kinds of
weather, from turtle necks to a fleece jacket to a parka. She also wears to
each game her Patriots earrings with the old logo, which always draws
Wearing their team loyalty on their sleeves, literally, is just a small part
of why these women are Patriots fans, though. They are more attracted by the
sport itself and the community spirit that comes with being a fan of the
And they like seeing more of their sisters getting into football.
"It's not just a man's sport anymore," Cardoza said, adding that the term
"football widow" is becoming less prevalent. She sees Patriots games as time
to spend with her husband, family and friends, as well as the Patriots
community as a whole.
Cardoza believes the Internet and the astounding success of the team in
recent years has helped draw more women to the sport. Women can research it
and turn to Web sites for explanations or understanding of the game, rather
than having to ask a man questions about it, she said.
Harvey said that while women may have been athletic growing up, many likely
didn't play football because it was considered a male's game. She believes a
lot of women are being exposed to the game while dating.
"I see a lot more men bringing wives and girlfriends, and dads bringing
their daughters, where in the past they just brought their sons," she said.
The opening of Gillette was a big plus for Harvey. "There are definitely
more women there than ever were before," she said, explaining that the
stadium is far more comfortable than before, particularly the restrooms.
Cardoza believes women see the game differently than men, but it doesn't
make women lesser fans.
"I think a woman's perspective is that they see the physical activity on the
field," Cardoza opined. "A man's perspective is strategic. The guys pick it
apart after the game; they're in the coaches' heads."
While women may be attracted to certain players' looks, that's not the
bottom line for Harvey and Cardoza.
"I think that for women who are real sports fans, looks are not the real
motivator - not to say we don't have our own 'hot players,' our 'hotties,'
Harvey said. "The real attraction is that the game is really fun to watch.
It takes a lot of skill; there's never a dull moment."
"There's so much going on, you have to decide whether you're going to follow
the ball or where the receivers are running...The joy of all of it is
watching your team win, or hoping they win."
Cardoza said that while she finds Bruschi "very attractive," she is more
attracted by his effort and determination.
"He's a hard-worker, somebody who gives it 110 percent and a very nice man,"
Bruschi visited the children in her classroom following the team's first
Super Bowl victory.
"It's just an exciting, exciting sport," she said, summing up her feelings
for football. Nothing beats it "once you've been to a live game and see the
crowd on its feet cheering, especially if your team wins."
And the game is just part of it.
"The day is an event for us," Cardoza said, specifically mentioning the joy
of tailgating with a crowd of about 50, being part of Patriot Nation.
Harvey has her tailgating crew too, and it has a dress code - wearing the
SUSAN LaHOUD can be reached at 508-236-0398 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ever-faithful, Harvey said there used to be the days when her weeks were
ruled by how the Patriots performed Sundays. That changed, she said, after
the first Super Bowl victory. "I thought, now I can die happy."
"So the second and third were like gravy."
The Sun Chronicle Online - Features
Patriots fan Karen Cardoza in a class all her own
The Cumberland schoolteacher, who was the Patriots' 2003 Fan of the Year, will
be watching every pass, hit and kick when training camp begins Friday at
Gillette Stadium. She will also share her thoughts on her Web site.
01:00 AM EDT on Sunday, July 24, 2005
BY CAROLYN THORNTON
Journal Sports Writer
FOXBORO -- Karen Cardoza has July 29 marked on her calendar almost as if it were
Friday is the start of Patriots training camp at Gillette Stadium, and for the
schoolteacher from Cumberland, reuniting with her football team each summer
gives her the same feeling as a child discovering a mountain of presents under
the Christmas tree.
You see, there are casual Patriots fans. There are passionate Patriots fans. And
then there's Karen Cardoza.
Consider this: She has scheduled all of her appointments for this week because
she wants to make sure there are absolutely no interruptions once training camp
Just as many people look forward to going to the beach in the summer, Cardoza
can't wait to spend the next couple of weeks parked at the Pats' training
facility watching coach Bill Belichick set his plan in motion.
Cardoza will be there at every practice session -- every one -- sitting on her
Patriots beach towel on the grassy hillside in the north end zone, armed with
her digital camera and tiny notepad.
She wouldn't miss it for the world.
"Every day, I do. I attend every day," said Cardoza, a special education teacher
at Calcutt Middle School in Central Falls and the mother of two teenagers. "One
of the perks of my job is I have the summer off, so I get to go to camp every
"I can't get enough football. To get in on the ground floor and see the rookies
coming in and getting to see what they're about and see what they have to offer
and see the little battles going on at camp, just the whole football atmosphere,
I just can't get enough of it."
Over the past several years, Cardoza has gotten her training camp routine down
to a science. Taking the back roads from her home in Cumberland to Route 1, she
stops for an iced coffee and arrives at the stadium about a half-hour before the
gates to the practice facility are opened to the public.
If her husband, Al, joins her, he likes to stand along the ropes by the end
zone, which is a good place to take photographs. Cardoza prefers to sit higher
up on the grassy embankment, where she gets a better overall view.
Although she is a season-ticket holder, Cardoza -- who was named the Patriots'
2003 Fan of the Year -- says nothing beats training camp, where fans can get a
sneak peek at the inner workings of the team and have a rare opportunity to get
up close and personal with the players.
"Game day, that's not going to happen," she said. "Even if you happen to be down
in the stadium prior to the game when the guys are warming up, they've got their
game face on. They've got a job to do. That's what they're worried about.
Training camp is much more relaxed. They're working, but it's a fun atmosphere,
and they're a lot more free to just be relaxed and have a few words with fans."
Cardoza particularly looks forward to seeing Tedy Bruschi. He caught her eye
back in 1997 when he primarily played on special teams, and she's been his No. 1
fan ever since. Even though he has decided not to play this season, he is
expected to be around. Getting her picture taken with him has become a yearly
"He just never quit and put 110 percent in and was just a spark plug out there,
so that's what initially caught my eye," said Cardoza, who has adopted the
nickname "Mrs. B" because of her affinity for No. 54. "He's just always been my
favorite player. At camp, I always get a hello or a wave. It's nice. The players
get to see you there and he's not the only one that's like that either."
Cardoza is so taken by Bruschi that she created a Web site as a tribute to him.
Patriotworld.com includes just about everything one would ever want to know
about the linebacker, including statistics and media coverage dating back to his
college days at the University of Arizona.
While the site is still mostly a shrine to Bruschi, Cardoza has expanded it over
the years to include information about other Patriots players, a message board,
chronicles of her tailgating adventures and thoughts and photos of her family.
She also keeps a training-camp blog, which she updates frequently. For example,
if the Patriots hold a double session, she will go home after the first practice
to file a report and post pictures she took with her digital camera. Cardoza
will then head back to Gillette for the second workout and update the Web site
in the evening. She says she is glad to provide the free service to fans who
aren't able to make it to training camp the way she can.
"There are so many Patriot fans that are all over the country, all over the
world, not just in New England," said Cardoza, adding that she has "a secret
surprise in the works" for sometime next week. "And I was getting a lot of
feedback from people saying, 'Thank you so much. We look forward to your reports
because we have no news where we are.' And it just grew from there. (Training
camp) is just a great experience for anybody who loves sports and loves to be
around it. You can hear the hitting and the cracking out there. It's a great
Digital Extra: Patriots' 2003 Fan of the Year Karen Cardoza explains all you
need to know about how to go to the team's training camp, in a multimedia
interview with Providence Journal sports writer Carolyn Thornton, at:
Worried fans focus on hero's
By Jennifer Rosinski
Friday, February 18, 2005
Hours before a home
game against the 49ers and the day before his third son's birth,
Tedy Bruschi [news]
stopped his car to greet die-hard supporters tailgating in Foxboro.
31-year-old wished the gathering of fans a happy New Year and asked Randy
``Zip'' Pierce of Nashua, N.H., about his guide dog. It was one month before the
team went on to win its third Super Bowl.
``He was just so
oddly down to earth,'' said Pierce, a season-ticket holder and 2001 Fan of the
Year who started Bruschi's unofficial fan club: Bruschi Backers.
``The guy had a
lot on his mind, but he took a moment that no one at that tailgate will ever
forget. He's a top-notch classy guy. He just epitomizes class.''
In return for
his good will, worried but hopeful fans are rallying for the recovery of their
favorite Patriot. Bruschi was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital from his
North Attleboro home Wednesday complaining of stroke-like symptoms. He will
remain overnight after a day of tests.
praying for him and his family that he'll be OK,'' said Patriotworld.com host
Karen Cardoza of Cumberland, R.I. ``As much as he's an icon for Patriot Nation,
the most important thing is can he be healthy for his family. He needs to be
there for his wife and kids.''
It wasn't until
after she met Bruschi at a stadium blood drive more than a year ago that Beth
Rayner-Zyskowski of Milford understood all the hoopla.
``He's one of
those people that when he's talking to you he is completely focused on you. He's
a person first,'' the teary-eyed Milford paralegal said.
( O'Ryan Johnson contributed to this report. )
BostonHerald.com - Patriots: Worried fans focus on hero's recovery
have a special Patriots bond
Editor’s note: The
following represents the fourth part of a five-part series leading up to Super
SEEKONK -- Even in
New England, it might be difficult to find a group of students as excited
about the Super Bowl as the children at Seekonk’s Northern Elementary School.
Mullen said she’s even surprised at how much the students have fallen in love
with the New England Patriots.
"We have such spirit, we really do," she said of the school. "All the kids are
really excited about the game."
Part of that obsession might be explained by the fact that Patriots star
quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Bethel Johnson made a special visit to
Northern back in November.
Jacob Taylor, a second-grader at Northern, had entered and won this region’s
"Bring a Football Player to School," contest, a nationwide effort by the NFL
and JC Penney to promote the after-school program’s fund-raising activities.
By winning the contest, Taylor got the opportunity to take New England
Patriots player Dave Patten to school and show him off.
But twice he was disappointed, when the NFL cancelled Patten’s appearance,
citing a "scheduling glitch."
To make up for any hurt feelings, Brady and Johnson made the trip to the
school themselves and threw footballs with the kids -- who weren’t even born
yet when Patriots veterans like Troy Brown entered the league.
"They really did develop a special bond with the Patriots after they made
their visit here," Mullen said.
At Calcutt Middle School in Central Falls, Karen Cardoza’s students are just
as excited. Cardoza, a teacher there, was named Patriots Fan of the Year in
2003 and has brought various players into her classroom over the years to meet
"My new (sixth-grade) students this year, from the first day of the school
year, were asking me if we are going to be having a Super Bowl party," she
said. "They follow all the games. It’s amazing how much they followed the
Patriots all season."
Every Monday, Cardoza told her students to write about what they did the
preceding weekend. She said many of her students would check the newspapers
for stories about the Patriots that inspired them.
"The players are now subjects of their little stories," she said. "I think it
teaches them about teamwork, working together and perseverance, and how to get
along with other people."
Cardoza attended last year’s Super Bowl in Houston and plans to travel down to
Jacksonville, Fla., this weekend, even though she doesn’t yet have a ticket.
She is also planning to throw a small Super Bowl party for her students next
week after the game.
"We actually turn it into a learning experience for the kids," Cardoza said.
"It’s a perfect opportunity to teach them life skills like how to behave in a
The Pawtucket Times - News - 02/03/2005 - Northern students have a special
Thousands fan out for a place to stay
brisk at hotels in Volusia County, where Speedweeks will be getting under
By Todd Pack | Sentinel Staff
Posted February 2, 2005
Sunday's Super Bowl could pull as many as 120,000
people to Jacksonville, but there aren't enough places to put them all.
With only 35,000 rooms scattered across the region, ticket holders and
ticket hunters are snapping up rooms from south Georgia to Central
Orlando, which saw a bump in business the last time Florida hosted a Super
Bowl, isn't likely to see much of one this time around.
Officials say the difference is distance. Four years ago, Super Bowl XXXV
was in Tampa, about 90 minutes away. Getting to Jacksonville takes about
So while some football fans are staying by the attractions or even hiring
cars to drive them to the game -- one Orlando company, Happy Limousine, is
sending five of its seven limos to Jacksonville Sunday -- most are looking
for rooms an hour or two from Alltel Stadium.
Karen Cardoza, a New England Patriots fan from Cumberland, R.I., booked
round-trip tickets to Jacksonville in December and a room at the Oceanside
Inn in Daytona Beach Shores a week ago. The room, priced at $69 a night
last weekend, is listed at $209 a night Super Bowl weekend.
Voted by the Patriots as a fan of the year, Cardoza had hoped to buy Super
Bowl tickets directly from the team for their face value of $500, the
cheapest price. But she found out a week ago none was available.
Brokers are asking $2,500 apiece. "I love my team, but that's well beyond
my means," said Cardoza, a special education teacher.
"I'll probably watch the game in a hotel lounge or something," she said
While tickets to the matchup between the Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles
may be hard to come by, hotels all along the Volusia County coast are
getting calls from fans looking for affordable rooms within an easy drive
Last week, several hotels on the strip had vacancies but expected sellouts
because of the game and this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona, the start of
Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway.
"We're getting a lot of feelers," people calling to check rates, said
Peggy Elliott, a desk clerk at the Coral Beach Motel in Ormond Beach.
On Tuesday, 20 of the beachfront motel's 97 rooms were vacant for Super
Bowl weekend, but Elliott expects more to fill up before game day given
the rate. Ocean-view rooms priced at $79 a night last week will be $119
Saturday and Sunday, according to the inn's Web site.
What's making it harder for some people to find rooms is that some hotels
are still cleaning up from last summer's hurricanes.
Nearly 20 percent of Volusia's 13,000 beachside rooms are closed for
renovations or because of storm damage, said Lori Campbell-Baker of the
Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
But some businesses on the beach say it's hard to guess what impact the
football game may have because of the race crowds.
"I don't know how it's going to affect us. We're hoping some people will
stay this far south, but I just don't know," said Joe Bates, operating
partner of Stonewood Tavern & Grill in Ormond Beach.
Fans who want to come to Florida regardless of the cost are turning to
tour operators such as USA Sports Tours of Atlanta, which offers
three-night packages for $3,995.
Reservations manager Kim King said the package includes game tickets and
daily shuttles to Jacksonville from hotels in Gainesville and Jekyll
Island, Ga.-- both about 75 miles from Jacksonville.
In St. Augustine, Country Inn & Suites near the outlet malls and
Interstate 95 is sold out this weekend despite charging higher rates.
Ordinarily, a standard room goes for $160 a night this time of year, but
this weekend, it's $409. That's because the inn is about 35 miles from
General manager Amy Laub said no one has protested the higher cost. When
it comes to attending an event as big as the Super Bowl, "people know what
they're getting," she said.
Patriots Send-Off 01/30/05
Karen Cardoza, a.k.a. Mrs. B., made an appearance to see Tedy Bruschi
and the boys speak to the fans before boarding the bus. She's going to
Jacksonville, but still needs a ticket to the game.
(Boston.com Staff Photo / Steve Silva)
KNOCKED OUT OF BOUNDS
ROOM SHORTAGE IN HOST CITY JACKSONVILLE COULD LEAVE SOME ATTENDEES OF SUPER BOWL
By Robert Johnson Globe Correspondent
Diehard New England Patriots fan Randy Pierce is worried about
becoming homeless. Not in his hometown of Nashua but in Jacksonville, Fla., at
Super Bowl XXXIX.
"I have been researching this, and most rooms within an hour's
drive or so are booked," says Pierce, 38. He's considering an offer to stay with
friends in Tampa, a three-hour drive south from Alltel Stadium, site of the Feb.
6 game. Another possibility: There are plenty of hotel rooms in Atlanta, four
hours by car to the north.
Finding quarters closer to the kickoff will be tougher than the traditional
tussle for pillow space during the Super Bowl. That's because Jacksonville,
located in northeast Florida near the Georgia border, is the smallest city ever
to host the Super Bowl. Even though the city is in tourist-friendly Florida, it
isn't among the Sunshine State's traditional tourism destinations and has only
15,000 hotel rooms
Sleeping space is so scarce that five cruise ships are
being docked in the St. Johns River, which runs through downtown, to add another
3,600 rooms. But don't even try booking them: All are already reserved for the
National Football League officials and their corporate guests, largely
executives from such major advertisers as Frito-Lay, Pepsi, Motorola, and Visa.
Initially, Jacksonville fell 3,000 hotel rooms short of the
NFL's requirement to offer a minimum of 17,500, but the league awarded the big
game to the small market after it agreed to bring in cruise ships to make up the
difference. For Jacksonville, the Super Bowl is expected to have an overall
economic impact of $300 million.
Even with the cruise-ship innovation, the number of
expected visitors 150,000 is daunting. The attendee total is predicted to be so
big in part because of what may seem to be a logistical contradiction:
Jacksonville's Alltel Stadium, which can hold 83,000 fans, has a larger seating
capacity than the arenas in most of the 11 cities that have previously hosted a
Super Bowl games
So on land and sea alike, all of the rooms in Jacksonville are
booked, and there's a rush for the rest of the rooms in the region, according to
officials of the Jacksonville Super Bowl Host Committee.
Yesterday, Patrick Duncan, director of lodging and
accommodations for the host committee, disclosed that his group has 2,500 hotel
rooms that it had been saving for fans from the two cities whose teams will be
"This is the last of the last," said Duncan.
If, and it's a big if, hotels receive some cancellations and
resell the rooms now, Duncan said, he expects prices in the downtown area to be
as high as $600 a night. That's two to three times the going rate for hotel
rooms in Houston and New Orleans during the last two Super Bowls attended by the
Thus Jacksonville appears to be a landlord's dream market,
"There is about to be a magic moment when thousands of football fans are
desperately seeking a room here," said Randy Cooper, president of
one of several companies that are busily signing up the owners of houses and
condominiums who are willing to vacate them for a few days if the rent is right.
Cooper has more than 100 home-owning clients signed up and expects to more than
triple that number this week as word of the room shortage spreads and the fans'
frenzy to find a place builds. The expectations of would-be landlords are high.
Angela and Steve Hawley are among those who have paid $400
to advertise their four-bedroom Jacksonville house on Cooper's website. They're
asking $4,000 a day with a four-night minimum stay. Best case, they're hoping,
would be $20,000 for one week, while they vacation in Aruba.
But all prices are negotiable, and it's very much a
renter-beware market, said Walter L. Williams Jr., president of the local
Coldwell Banker real estate office and the host committee's official apartment
"Some of the asking prices may seem unreasonable. Everybody
got hyped up for a while, but some of our clients have reduced their rates," he
Williams' clients have 1,400 houses and condo units for rent.
As of last week, only about 50 places had been rented. By yesterday afternoon,
Williams said he had rented about 150 homes.
But the best strategy is to wait until the last few days,
says Pierce, the Patriots fan in Nashua.
"I have seen room shortages and high prices at other Super
Bowls in Houston last year and New Orleans in 2002," said Pierce. "A lot of
people who have deposits on hotel rooms will back out, even though they'll lose
the money, because they made reservations long before they knew who would be
Maybe, but some travel agents say such cancellations may be
offset by a last-minute surge of reservations from fans who found out Sunday
that their team is playing. Consider that a week ago Boston travel agent Eddie
Marsden of Netc Fawke Travel had only one confirmed Super Bowl customer: "And he
was from Philadelphia."
Fans can always hope the rental market in Jacksonville crashes
the way it did in San Diego in 2003 for Super Bowl XXXVII. In the months before
that game, asking prices for two-bedroom condo rentals reached $65,000 a week.
But reality set in after the two teams turned out to be the
Oakland Raiders, whose fans were able to find much cheaper housing along the
highways between the two California cities, and the Buccaneers of Tampa Bay, a
relatively small market that had experienced its own Super Bowl thrill by
hosting the game in 2001.
Patriots fan Karen Cardoza is counting on people from
other cities canceling their trips and creating hotel availability.
"All those sad Steelers fans will be staying home now,"
said the special education teacher, who lives in Providence. But one way or
another, she insisted, "I'm going. Even if I have to sleep in my car."
Check out this Ad in
how many games Patriots win, Red Sox intercept most of the attention
October 15, 2004
The New England Patriots win
their third Super Bowl in four seasons in early February 2005. They cement an
implausible dynasty in an era of relentless parity. Coach Bill Belichick appears
behind a lectern and begins postgame remarks.
Suddenly, Boston TV stations switch away from Belichick. They have breaking
local sports news.
They have learned that in 10 days, drivers will start the ignition on the Red
Sox's moving vans! They'll leave for Fort Myers, Fla.! For spring training!
The joke, paraphrased here, wafted through air outside Gillette Stadium just
before the Patriots stretched their NFL winning streak to a stupefying 19 last
Sunday. Randy Pierce heard it. Randy Pierce laughed.
The Patriots' 2001 Fan of the Year knew the joke carried a dose of one of the
weirdest truths in American sports: New England, home to one of the best teams
in the history of the runaway most popular sport in the nation, remains obsessed
with a baseball franchise winless in the last 85 World Series.
It's tempting to marvel in a mocking, sneering tone that New Englanders, given
the choice, would rather focus upon the distinct masochistic pleasure of
It's actually much more appealing than that, according to Pierce.
It's grating at times, of course. Famously on Oct. 5, 2003, Gillette Stadium
cheered just after a penalty nullified Troy Brown's punt return for a touchdown
against Tennessee. "Not just cheering," Pierce said. "It was the loudest cheer
of the day."
The Red Sox had just scored in Game 4 of the American League Division Series
against the Oakland Athletics.
As winter approached and the Patriots' winning streak built toward the playoffs,
Patriots fans often had occasion to chafe at their sports pages. The Red Sox put
Manny on waivers! The Red Sox got Curt Schilling! And Keith Foulke! The Red Sox
almost got A-Rod!
"It wasn't even a story! It wasn't! It was, like, the A-Rod rumor!" Karen
Cardoza, Patriots Fan of the Year 2003, said excitedly. "The story that wasn't
even a story was the top news story!"
With a region insatiable for details.
One time on a recent Patriots Sunday, Pierce cheered and got shushed. A nearby
spectator needed silence for his Red Sox radio update. "And I respect that,"
Pierce said. "I respect you wanting it. But why are you in the stadium?"
"And the quarterback's getting sacked," Cardoza said. "And we've failed to
convert on a third down. And they're cheering."
Thing is, most who revere the Patriots above all others also envision feeling
thrilled should the Red Sox ever win a World Series.
It's just that ... "It's gotten so out of hand," Cardoza said.
Members of the Patriots have griped, but not often. Members of the Red Sox have
marveled at the imbalance of attention. Ron Borges of The Boston Globe wrote,
"Here are the Patriots, winners of 19 straight, playing second fiddle to the Red
Sox, losers for 85 straight seasons. This could happen only in Boston."
Online, many in - dare we say - Patriots Nation, weary of Red Sox-related
intrusions upon the Patriots' ink and postgame shows, carry umbrage to its
They rebuke Red Sox fans IN CAPITAL LETTERS.
"It's actually at the point where the Red Sox are almost a dirty word on the
Internet list we all belong to," Cardoza said.
True, sports fans revel in complaint, and as she points out, "What are you going
to complain about with the Patriots right now?"
But All Red Sox All The Time does not necessarily plummet to the level of a
Pierce explains. In 1976, when he was 10, he became a Patriots fan. In 1990, he
endured a 1-15 season he cherishes today for its perspective qualities.
In September 2000, he lost his remaining eyesight from a degenerative
neurological condition. In 2004, that condition has robbed him of his balance,
necessitating a wheelchair. He still reaches the stadium "ludicrously early" for
"Every moment of anticipation for that one big win, every moment is an
investment, an investment into the measure of the reward you're going to get,"
he said of fans in general. "That's what [Red Sox fans] actively look for.
That's what they'll receive."
On a snowy Foxboro night in January 2002, the Patriots trailing Oakland 13-10
late, Adam Vinatieri tried a most problematical 45-yard field goal. The snow,
wet and heavy that night, had deadened Pierce's radio.
Pierce heard only a nearby man say, "Low!" and another man say, "No! Good!"
which Pierce interpreted as: No good. He then heard 68,000 people roar. Two
puzzling seconds later, neighboring fans assured him the kick had tied the
Two weeks later in the Louisiana Superdome at Super Bowl XXXVI, Vinatieri struck
again, and Pierce, in the building, cried "like a baby."
The 25-year journey complete, Pierce had more rewards still.
As the Patriots reached the Super Bowl last January in Foxboro, they received
the Lamar Hunt AFC champion's trophy as Pierce cheered alongside his 6-year-old
guide dog, Ostend.
Soon, nearby fans said, "Here comes Tedy!"
Linebacker Tedy Bruschi ran over, trophy in hand, addressing Pierce by his
"Grab it, Zip!" Bruschi said. "Grab it!"
They seek reward on their
investment, these Red Sox people
Newsday.com - Baseball
Patriots rally in Providence set for spring
Mayor David N. Cicilline and team owner Robert Kraft
decided it would be better to wait until many of the star players were available
to visit the city.
01:00 AM EST on Friday, February 6, 2004
Residents might not have to pull out their parkas to participate in a Providence
rally to honor the Super Bowl champions.
rally for the New England Patriots will be held in early spring.
Southern, press secretary for Mayor David N. Cicilline, said the decision to
hold the rally then was made by Cicilline and Patriots owner Bob Kraft.
of the players have other commitments, like family commitments," Southern said
Cicilline and Kraft decided that it would be better to hold the rally when many
of the star players would be available.
really excited that Bob Kraft and the management of the Patriots have agreed to
bring the Lombardi trophy to our city," the mayor said in a statement.
"Providence is New England's second largest city and has some of its strongest,
most devoted fans. We are all thrilled to show our support for our team."
Kraft dubbed Rhode Island "home to some of our most loyal and dedicated fans,"
including the Patriots Fan of the Year, Karen Cardoza of Cumberland. "We look
forward to bringing another Lombardi trophy to Providence this spring to share
with the many wonderful [fans] in the Ocean State," he said.
five thousand of those fans, still caught in the victory glow, were expected to
show up at the Warwick Mall last night for an appearance by Patriots players,
including Adam Vinatieri, who kicked the game-winning field goal. Vinatieri also
paid a visit to the State House. A parade and rally in Boston on Tuesday drew an
estimated 1.5 million fans.
Pair get set to head south
of local residents, including the Patriots Fan of the Year, will be
representing the area at Sunday's Super Bowl in Houston against the Carolina
despite each being diehard Pats fans, Cumberland's Karen Cardoza and
Lincoln's Doug Allen were going to the Super Bowl regardless, even if the
Patriots broke their hearts and lost to either Tennessee or Indianapolis.
Cardoza booked a flight and hotel room for two earlier this autumn, but
didn't have tickets. Of course, the Patriots wouldn't leave their Rhode
Island Fan of the Year without the opportunity to attend her first-ever
Super Bowl, so last week, a representative of Patriots owner Robert Kraft
phoned Cardoza and offered a pair of lower-level endzone seats at face
"It's unbelievable," said Cardoza, a teacher at Calcutt Middle School in
Central Falls. "I've been going crazy since the Indy win and since I got
these tickets, my feet haven't touched the ground.
"My husband and I were going anyway, but I had faith the Patriots would be
playing in the game."
After the Patriots won the AFC Championship against the Indianapolis Colts
on Jan. 18, Cardoza's favorite player, linebacker Tedy Bruschi brought the
championship trophy to the wall of the stands in front of Cardoza's section
and yelled for Karen to come touch the trophy with him.
Despite having injured his calf in the game's final minutes, he hobbled
through the throng of media and players to share the moment with Cardoza.
"Tedy was yelling for me and the other person I have season tickets with to
come down and touch it and I did. It was indescribable," Cardoza said.
Cardoza, who went to Houston earlier this year when the Patriots played the
Texans, is leaving Friday night and coming home Monday night.
"It's just awesome how the Patriots gave me this opportunity to see the
game," she said. "I wouldn't have cared if they were the last seats in the
last row," she said.
Doug Allen, of Lincoln, isn't sure where his seats are, and honestly doesn't
care. A high school friend, who got tickets from another friend, invited
Allen two weeks ago, before the Patriots defeated the Colts.
"I was going either way, but I was really crossing my fingers during that
game, hoping the Pats would be there," said Allen, who owns his own
business. "We've been going on-line looking for what we're going do down
there; it's going to be a huge party. I'm also meeting a college friend down
there I haven't seen in 15 years.
"Just the experience of going to the Super Bowl is once-in-a-lifetime, but
the Pats going is all the extra incentive. If they win, there's no better
place to be to celebrate and we're not flying back until Tuesday, so it
should be fun."
Allen said he was thinking of bringing an extra suitcase for the all the
people who wants Patriots Super Bowl championship T-shirts if New England,
seven point favorites, defeat the Panthers.
"I know a lot of people going who don't even have tickets yet, they just
want to be there," he said. "Obviously, I'm really looking forward to it.
You can't ask for much better, right?"
The Pawtucket Times
Pawtucket Times 2004
PFW Thank You letter.
Karen Cardoza pictured in her highly
decorated Patriot's den in the
basement of her Cumberland home.
She is the"2003 Fleet Patriots Fan
of the Year"
Page 10 of the
Official Superbowl 38
Fem fans huddle up over NFL
By Marie Szaniszlo
Sunday, January 18, 2004
She'll be at a
birthday party today, but come game time, Carol Augustine will politely make her
excuses and head home to Acushnet to watch the AFC Championship Game between the
New England Patriots and the
don't care,'' the 62-year-old grandmother said. ``I'm not missing it.''
can blame her? A former majorette, Augustine has been a football fan since high
school. Today, she is one of 25 million women who watch the National Football
League on an average weekend. And she belongs to a group that is only growing.
Harris Poll found that 42 percent of women said they followed the NFL in 2002,
up from 32 percent in 1993.
hasn't gone unnoticed by the league or its advertisers. The NFL now offers
Football 101 classes for women who want to learn the game's basics. And
Canton-based Reebok has started a line of football apparel exclusively for
``They're coming out with a lot of women's Patriots clothing these days. I
love it,'' said Karen Cardoza of Cumberland, R.I., who was chosen by the
Patriots as fan of the year. ``I'm waiting for the Patriots bikini.''
Cardoza attends every training-camp session each season and publishes reports
online. Her favorite player is Tedy Bruschi.
eat, sleep and drink it,'' she said of the games. ``I watch SportsCenter. I
listen to all the radio shows. Sometimes my husband gets a little annoyed - says
he can't wait for the season to end.''
Linh Hoang, a 23-year-old Boston information technology coordinator, has been
watching football for a while, but it wasn't until the Patriots won the Super
Bowl that she became a devotee of the team in general and of Tom Brady in
particular. Shortly afterward, she started www.absolutebrady.com.
Today, she receives up to three dozen e-mails a day from fans.
``Women send marriage proposals, rendezvous requests, you name it,'' she
Brady has been credited with single-handedly winning over a legion of new
female fans to the game.
work, Hoang's cubicle is a virtual shrine, replete with Brady posters and Brady
bobbleheads, and is a gathering place for Monday-morning discussions with her
colleagues about the finer points of the previous day's Pats game.
``Going to a game is such an adrenaline rush,'' Hoang said. ``I can't
imagine a Sunday now without football.'
Tailgaters gear up for Sunday’s big game
FOXBORO -- No matter what happens on Sunday, this weekend will be the last
chance for the Patriots faithful to practice one of their favorite pastimes
Patriots will play their final game at Gillette Stadium this weekend when
they face the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC championship game. Win or lose,
Patriots fans know they won’t be back in Foxboro until next year.
And just as the football games become more intense as the team moves deeper
into the playoffs, the fans take their tailgating talents to new heights
during the post-season.
The days of popping open the hatchback and toting a cooler of beer are long
gone -- today’s tailgates are elaborate affairs.
They involve a full week of planning and preparation. Food and drinks must
be squared away and the right equipment is always necessary.
Karen Cardoza should know: The Cumberland resident was named the Patriots
"Fan of the Year" last month. She has attended every home game for eight
years and regularly hits the road to tailgate at away games.
She said the cold spell that hit New England in recent weeks won’t deter the
true Patriots fans who just can’t stand to miss the season’s final tailgate.
"I’m sure there are some people who can’t handle the weather, but generally
people will come out no matter what," she said.
Tailgates can be elaborate affairs with hundreds of revelers or small,
informal gatherings of just a few die-hard Patriots fans.
Cardoza, who runs a fan Web site called www.patriotworld.com, has been
organizing elaborate tailgate parties all season.
Five hours before last Saturday’s kickoff, she met up with other carloads of
fans. The key, Cardoza said, is for everyone to drive into the stadium
parking lot together.
Once everyone is in, they begin setting up tents and barbecue grills.
Cardoza said her group actually set up two large tent-covered rooms where
tailgaters could celebrate while staying warm.
Tailgating grub is taken seriously out on the frozen environs of an NFL
stadium. The key is to devise your own recipes -- particularly something
that reflects the local cuisine, like quahogs or clam chowder.
Terrence Donilon, a spokesman for Shaw’s Supermarkets, said the stores
market their products specifically to NFL tailgaters. He said Shaw’s stores
sell a higher-than-average number of party platters when the Patriots play
in the post-season.
Donilon said the most popular tailgating items are boneless chicken wings
and custom-made party platters.
"You had 65,000 people at the stadium last weekend," he said. "Having them
play at home, people are closer to the game and a lot of folks are coming
out and doing their shopping. I think it’s a great thing for this region."
Pawtucket Times 2004
PAWTUCKET -- For a football fan, skipping the big playoff game to stay home
on the couch is unthinkable.
if weather forecasters are predicting frigid January conditions and a wind
chill factor of 3 degrees below zero?
That’s what dedicated New England Patriots fans are likely to encounter for
Saturday night’s divisional playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at
Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.
Last month, Pats fans braved the nor’easter snowstorm and packed the stadium
for the game against the Miami Dolphins. They celebrated a key touchdown by
throwing fistfuls of snow into the air.
This weekend’s game will test their resistance to low temperatures.
Karen Cardoza, recently selected the Patriots Fan of the Year, said a little
cold weather won’t keep her away.
"No matter what, I’m there at the game in any kind of weather," the
Cumberland resident said. "If it’s 99 degrees and 100 percent humidity in
the summer, I’m there."
The cold weather that has enveloped the East Coast all week isn’t expected
to leave anytime soon. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m., long after
sundown. The overnight low is predicted at -3 degrees and winds as strong as
22 mph are being forecast.
The last time the Patriots played in comparably cold weather was in December
1993, when they beat the Indianapolis Colts in a game played during a -15
degree wind chill factor.
The Patriots are 13-3 since 1993 in games played in weather 35 degrees or
Cardoza said the key to staying warm during the game is to not stop
"If you cheer and jump up and down and scream, you won’t get cold," she
said. "As long as you stay motivated, you’ll be fine."
Attending the game is an all-day affair for Cardoza and hundreds of other
tailgaters who show up early for pregame festivities.
"We’re already meeting up at an off-site meeting place at 3:30," she said.
"We’re going to get in line together so we’re all in the same row of the
"Once we’re in the parking lot, we set up three tents. Then we put up walls
and make it into one big room."
Cardoza, who runs the Patriots fan Web site www.patriotworld.com, said she
doesn’t know anyone willing to forego playoff tickets to stay home.
"All of the people that I associate with are hardcore like me," she said.
"If they have tickets, they are there. I have friends in Florida who are
coming up just for the game."
Rick Roth, owner of Mirror Image, a Pawtucket-based printing company, plans
to begin printing commemorative Patriots shirts if the team wins the
conference title in two weeks.
He said Thursday that the cold weather is great for the Pats and the team’s
"Personally I hope it stays freezing cold, because we’re New Englanders," he
said. "We’re used to the cold and I think it gives us a better chance of
Pawtucket Times 2004
Patriots Football Weekly
790theScore Radio show on
12/29/03.... I attend every week as a spectator but sat behind the
table for a segment this week!
Boston Herald Inside Track
BostonHerald.com - Side Tracks:
NONPAREIL Prior to the Pats' thrashing of the Bills Saturday, team
owner Bob Kraft, FleetBoston Financial CEO Chad Gifford, and
linebacker Tedy Bruschi honored the team's No. 1 fan, Karen
Cardoza of Cumberland, R. I. On hand to present Cardoza with the Fan of
the Year trophy were Olivia, Conan, and Zach Mastrangelo,
grandchildren of the late Joseph R. Mastrangelo, one of the Patriots' first
season ticket holders whose devotion to the team inspired the award.
Boston.com / News / Boston Globe / Living / Arts /
Local ‘superfan’ honored by her favorite team
The Pawtucket Times
|A Slice of Life by Joel
CUMBERLAND -- Karen Cardoza doesn’t dress up for games in ghoulish face
paint. She doesn’t claim to cheer the loudest or act the craziest.
a Cumberland resident, was chosen to be the New England Patriots Fan of the
Year this season, not just because of her dedication to the football team
but also for her commitment to her community.
As winner of the annual contest, which is sponsored by Fleet Bank, Cardoza
was presented with a trophy on the field at Gillette Stadium before Sunday’s
game against the Buffalo Bills.
The award was created by the family of Joseph Mastrangelo, who wanted to
honor a Patriots fan who gave back to their community.
Cardoza, a special needs teacher at Calcutt Middle School in Central Falls,
said she was honored to receive the award.
"It is unbelievable, and after speaking to Joe Mastrangelo Jr. it means even
more to me," she said. "They had hundreds of nominations and they really
discussed each person in depth.
"A lot of people think it’s about who puts on the most face paint and acts
craziest," Cardoza added. "He told me that they believe that it should be
someone who takes their passion for the Patriots and does something positive
Cardoza has long been a hardcore team supporter, but she said an important
part of her Patriots passion is the opportunity it offers to brighten the
lives of her students.
After the Pats won the Super Bowl in 2002, she encouraged Tedy Bruschi to
come to the school to speak to her students.
"I have brought a couple of the players into my classroom and the impact
they had on my students was huge," Cardoza said. "These are city kids. It
felt good for them to meet him because they can’t afford tickets to the
Cardoza said the athletes encourage her students to persevere and work hard.
"As a team, the Patriots are underdogs who don’t give up and keep on
trying," she said. "There are a lot of everyday lessons that the kids can
Cardoza has been a self-described "Bruschi Backer" in recent years. Since
last year, she has become well-known among on-line Patriots fans for her Web
site, www.patriotworld.com, much of which is dedicated to celebrating the
Cardoza said many diehard Pats fans began noticing her site when she started
writing about the day-to-day developments at the team’s summer training
"During the summer I attend training camp every day and I post my comments
on my site," she said. "People really liked it and a couple of the players’
parents even contacted me to thank me for doing it."
Cardoza doesn’t just go to the games, she hosts tailgate parties with
hundreds of other fans. Her Web site has pictures of many of the pregame
"We go to all the games and even do a couple of away games every year," she
said. "We do the big tailgates with a big setup. Those are always a big
Cardoza said her interest in the team has introduced her to many players and
even more fellow Patriots fans. She doesn’t know who was the first to
nominate her for the fan of the year contest.
Pawtucket Times 2003
A/P Photo... Even Canada got
in on the action!!
Tedy celebrates with the
Backers after the Miami division clinching win on 12/07/03!
Fox Sports Net captured the
post game bliss... Also, see footage of Karen and Zip whooping it up after
the TD on
Patriots Video News.
Also for sale as an Official NFL Photo!
Pointing and clicking on the Pats
By Michelle Muise
Last year I wrote about a few Patriots related websites that I thought were the
cream of the crop (PFW Vol. 8, No. 15). I received a lot of emails after that
column ran telling me about other sites worth checking out. So, I checked them
out, and here is an updated list of cyber spaces I think are worth surfing to if
you have some free time ...
Patriots Fan Sites ...
Patriot Nation — A great online resource for historical game information on the
Patriots. Has lots of all-time leader stat info as well as season recaps.
New England Fan’s Page — The word “comprehensive” doesn’t even begin to describe
this Patriots fan site. Frequently updated and easy to navigate.
Totally Tedy — With a slogan like “Just can’t get enough Bruschi? You’ve come
to the right place!” you know this site is full tilt, full time and full of Tedy.
Online fan clubs ...
Murphy’s Patriots — The name comes from “Murphy’s Pub” in Alexandria, Va., which
is where this group of online Patriots fans hang out and watch their favorite
team on the weekends. If you live in or are visiting the Virginia area be sure
to check this site out.
Patriots Fan Club of Rochester, N.Y. — This group meets for every game at a
local pub called “What’s on Second.”http://www.patriotsny.com/
Patriots Fan Club of Arizona — When not putting together their newsletter called
“The Flying Head” these folks are watching Patriots games on a big screen at
“The VINE Sports Tavern and Restaurant,” in Phoenix. If you are on vacation this
winter in Arizona now you know where to go to catch the game.http://www.nepfca.com/Patriots/
Best official player site ...
Richard Seymour — The best site of the bunch! Not only is it updated frequently
with news and stats but it has lots of personal things like baby photos (see
above) and a chance to email Richard with your questions.
Still going strong a year later ...
Absolute Brady — Just like the title says — absolutely everything you could ever
want to know about Tom Brady.
All Things Bill Belichick — Still one of the best Patriots fan sites out there —
it is easy to navigate, looks great, is updated frequently and is a treasure
trove of info on the Patriots head coach.
GoPats.com — One of the oldest and most comprehensive Patriots fan sites on the
Article by Ian Logue
value of season tickets (Providence Journal)
Pats Mailbag (Providence Journal)
Pats Chat with Tom Curran 7/26/04
Patriots Football Weekly Letters:
Post Game Handshake (Cleveland Browns)
Boston Herald.. 2001
game (preseason) at Gillette Stadium 08/17/02
A/P Photo... Tedy bringing over the Lamar Hunt Trophy for me to touch!
A/P photo... After the Divisional Game win over the Colts. 01/16/05
Well, I finally did it! I succumbed to the pressure and
joined my first Fantasy Football League. It wasn’t something that I pursued but
with the draft fast approaching I came through and filled the last open spot in
the World Champion Patriots League. (With a name like that, how could I resist?)
Now, the pairing of "fantasy" and "football" in the same
sentence can certainly present an interesting connotation…. (Not that I deny
harboring a few football fantasies myself mind you, but we’ll save those goodies
for lunchtime conversations with coworkers….) The fantasy football that I’m
talking about involves endless hours planted on the couch beginning on Sunday
morning and ending with the final minutes of Monday Night Football. (That is,
unless the Pats are playing at home. In that case, The Tailgate’s the thing and
it’s all about football, food, and friends.)
Being green, I sought the advice of George, a fellow Pats fan
who recruited me. He explained that I would get to create a team of my own using
the best players that I could draft. Then I could manage my team by deciding
whom to play and whom to bench. So, armed with Fantasy Football magazines I
spent my August vacation soaking up the sun on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee
and checking out the players around the league. As a permanent fixture at
training camp, I already had the inside scoop on the hometown boys so I was
ready to draft and take on the 9 males who round out our league.
All I had to do was go down the ranking list and draft the
best available player in each position. No problem. Be sure to get quality depth
at key positions. No problem. Follow my head and not my heart. Easier said than
done. While I admit to using common sense and drafting some top ranked players,
my roster would not be complete without Bruschi, Patten and Brady. (Of course I
floored everyone in my league by NOT choosing Tedy as my very first pick!)
With my roster in place, I was ready to go. But the more I
thought about opening week, the more I was stressing. Should I follow advice of
those in the know? Should I leave personal feelings aside and choose players
based solely on statistics? How could I possibly wear my Flying Elvis tattoo
proudly if I was about to betray my boys? How could I allow one iota of my being
to root against the Pats? I decided to be true to myself and developed the "Mrs.
After the first week, I’m proud to report that the rookie is
sitting in first place. But more importantly, I can look myself in the mirror.
Key Points to the Follow-the-Heart-Strategy:
- Play ALL Pats players on your roster. (It gives you double reason to
root for them.)
- Bench ALL players playing against them. Sorry, Priest Holmes
and LaDanian Tomlinson but you’ll be riding my bench for a game. (You can’t
possibly hope that they do well and lousy at the same time, now can you?)
- Bench division rival players when play-off spots are crucial. (See
above, the same applies. How can you root for Curtis Martin to do well if it
puts the Jets ahead in the standings?)
- Leave the "the best players will play no matter what" mantra to the
Master of the Game, Coach Belichick. (See 2 & 3 above… and remember he
coaches "real" football where Mrs. B.’s strategy does NOT apply! Can
you say Superbowl Champs?)
- Sleep soundly at night, regardless of how well you do. (Because.....Who
cares? It’s just a silly game anyway!)
2/4/02 in the
What a day....what a win!! Haven't been able to sleep for weeks now and why
should tonight be any different? This season has been so absolutely
incredible..... I'm so emotional I can't even put it into words. All I can say
is that being a believer and Having FAITH in this team is something that I take
pride in. My loyalty is etched forever in ink on my hip...... (although I may
be adding some Superbowl XXXVI reference now!!!!) Nobody deserved this win more
than this team... They never gave up in the face of adversity and are the
epitome of a TEAM. It will be hard to see them break up next year, but I'm not
going to think about that now.....I'm just going to savor this win for a long
time to come. I shed tears last night as I knew I would.... I'm just so proud
of them and I can't wait to meet the boys at the Fox today....