A new year, a new name, and a new home.
After daily training camp jaunts, Mrs. B was ready to join forces with her best bud, The Zipster, and descend upon Foxboro for the first tailgate of the 2004 season. It was to be our first foray into a new home as our former digs were no longer open to the general public and the first tailgate under our new name of THE RAZOR'S EDGE. We met up at the Dunkin Donuts rendezvous and attempted to enter P2 from the north only to find that we were too early and they hadn't moved the cones yet. After a quick U-turn we were on our way. We scored a nice spot along the grassy perimeter close to the Amtrak line which allowed us plenty of room. (Not sure what will happen in future weeks but we'll deal with that as it comes up.)
Within minutes Zip's guests and my crew of Al, Jacob, and Ryan began setting up the tents and unloading the gear in anticipation of the forecasted rain. Mark from the list and his family also joined in. Once the FULL TILT FULL TIME banner and flags were flying the grills began to sizzle and the beverages began to flow. (Preseason= Corona Hour and Sangria, perfect for the tropical weather of an August evening!) Theresa arrived with her friend Kevin and took part in her very first tailgate and Pats game. Tim (CookieInCollege) dropped in as did JoePhoto from Patriots Planet who managed some creative motorcycle parking ;-) if I do say so myself!
As we were feasting and enjoying each other's company, a crew from Mohegan Sun's NE Tailgate Show came by and asked to film us. Zip and I also did a couple spots for them which they may or may not use..... We'll have to wait and see! Westy popped over, glad to see that we had become acclimated to our new home... then Pires and his buddy came by as well.
Of course, there was too much food... but what else is new? I had more than one request for Mrs. B's Chili, but alas... that baby doesn't emerge until the regular season and I opted instead for chicken breasts, burgers, veges and dip, and fruit salad. Philly Cheese Steaks were the main draw on the other grill and I saw some tuna consumption as well. Having perfectly satisfied our appetites, we secured the site and with ponchos in hand, headed in to the stadium.
The rain, that managed to hold off during the tailgate, came in earnest during the game. It poured buckets for most of the night with the exception of pre-game and halftime. Due to the absence of Zip's neighbors, we enjoyed front row "Zip Seats" and Al wasn't complaining...his girls were front and center! Being pre-season, the starters saw little action but the Pats still came out victorious in a 24-6 rout of the Eagles. Tedy waved to the Backers on his way to the locker room but didn't stop for a handshake this week, probably because Bruschi Backer Numero Uno wasn't in his usual seats.... :-(
Miraculously, the rain stopped just in time for the post-game tailgate session. Jessica joined in, and Mary found her way over as well. Three different versions of steak tips made the rounds for sampling and although soggy and chilly, we hung around until they threw us out. We got home around 1:30, left all but perishables in the van, then headed to bed in anticipation of making the NH trek in the morning to brew the infamous Bruschi Brew 9 with the crew!
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Enjoying the final days of summer and the final PS tailgate...
Thanks to a 6:45 kickoff and the fact that I'm back to work, this was actually the first game that we weren't already in line when the lots opened. We attempted a 3:30 rendezvous at the DD south of the stadium but Zip ran into some unexpected traffic and told us to go ahead. Mark and Ernie were ready to go, but Dave was also waiting for a late arrival so he stayed behind too. Luckily, when we got to P2, we were able to secure a spot along the perimeter and were able to save 3 spaces for Zip, Dave, and their friends. Mark and his family, Ernie, and my crew began setting up the tents in earnest while Zip and I exchanged numerous phone calls in order for me to "talk them" into the lot. Unfortunately, the troopers on Rt. 1 directed Joel and Zip into Lot P5.... but lucky for us, a parking lot attendant in a golf cart escorted them around the stadium property and delivered them (finally!) right to our spot.
Kelsea and Sarah got into the tailgate mode early on and hooked up with Justin who attended the game with his mom and brother. Ernie made an impression.... as he always does :-)... and enjoyed his trip to The Razor while visiting from San Diego. True to form, his phone never stopped as he conversed with his peeps from across the globe! I headed over to see the Planet Crew and presented Peg with a freshly brewed Bruschi Brew 9 for her 40th birthday. Joephoto handed her a cake adorned with football candles which she proceeded to drop, but caught mid-air, displaying very Troy Brown-esque hands.... albeit covered in frosting!
We feasted on variety of goodies and naturally, there was too much fare. Joel's perfectly grilled Tuna steaks looked and smelled heavenly (and according to Zip were the best he had ever eaten.) A huge batch of Grape Leaves even made the rounds. I strategically placed myself next to the salsa and feasted on my favorite snack food. Coronas and Bruschi Brew were my beverages of choice.
We had a visit from two young boys who recognized Zip and came over to chat with the celebrity! He presented them with a BB9 Root Beer much to their delight. However, the highlight of the tailgate was Joel's Splat the Cats water balloon game (complete with prizes...) which even attracted the attention of many of our neighbors! Zip took charge and provided the first Jello Shots of the season.
Dressed in shorts, my Bruschi jersey and FTFT hat, we headed into the stadium under sunny skies. The guys were on the field warming up when we got there and Al took a few nice shots. That was the extent of the action that the starters saw that evening... which was ok by me. Better to be safely standing on the sidelines while the bubble guys played than risk injury in an a meaningless game. I must admit that I was anxious for it to end as I was FREEZING and there was little to jump up and cheer about which always serves to help keep me warm! The backup squad lost 31-0 and some of the players took to the locker room for the final time as Patriots. I gave Tedy a salute as he passed by which he returned with a wave... We headed over to meet Zip then headed back to the tailgate.
Jessica came by with friends and Robin stopped over as well. Thank goodness for Joel's fleece hoodie which he graciously allowed me to wear. Zip's coffee and Baileys were welcome as well! Kelsea and Sarah took refuge in the van and once the post game Steak Tips went round, we packed up and (thought) we were headed home. The traffic folks on Rt. 1 only allowed us to go North and closed off all of the turnarounds so we were forced to head all the way up to 95 to make our way South. (As we were leaving I could have sworn I saw the Planeteers DANCING in the lot...LOL!) When we got home, I donned sweatpants and a sweatshirt and crawled into bed still shivering in anticipation of my 5:00AM alarm and 5:15 gym date.
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A SWEET Opening to the 2004 Season!
Tailgate prep began in earnest on Wednesday afternoon with a full scale BJ's run. While shopping, my phone rang and it was Karyn Paxton calling about final details for the opening night pre-game tilt. By 2:30AM my chili was chilling, steak tips were marinating, and Jello shots were gelling. I hit the hay for a couple of hours before beginning my day at the gym and heading to work. Big Al had the van all packed and ready to roll as soon as I got home; I literally changed from work attire to game attire and headed out the door. Zip and the rest of the Regular Crew were waiting for us at the DD at 3:30 to queue up for the 4:00 scheduled opening.
We arrived at P2 to find that they had opened early and although the perimeter was taken, we secured a nice spot close by to set up the three tents which even allowed those entering through P1 or from the train a nice view of the 54FTFT Banner. After unpacking and securing the tents to avoid post-Frances related mishaps, a cold Bruschi Brew was in order! Al went for the Vino and throughout the night we ALL sampled a variety of Jello Shots. Between Mrs. B.'s Grey Goose version, Miguel's 54 containers of Cinnamon Schnapps version, and JoePhoto's HUGE, strong, God-Only-Knows-What version, there were plenty to go around (and round, and round, and round!)
It was great to hook up with our regular list crew of Monty, Darren & Kendra, Dana & Lisa, Laureen & Larry, Robin & Lew, Wayne & Donna, and their respective guests as well as occasional visitors Miguel, Pires, and the Paxton Clan. Naturally, no game would be complete without multiple phone calls to and from Ernie on the west coast. Bama even made a call to double check the ticket situation for Arizona and to say hello. Of course, Lonie's Bling Bling made the rounds and were a big hit as always. It was great to catch up with Karyn, Judy, and Hunter again too, and Big Lonie even insisted that I sign his hat...LOL!
Bruschi's Biggest Backers and Best Buds...
Karen & Randy
Big Al set the Little Necks, Sausage, Peppers & Onions on the stove and started his famous homemade fries while I headed to the Proshop to pick up the special game jerseys for the Top Two Bruschi Backers to wear to the game. (Thanx Deb!) While I was gone, the film crew from NE Tailgate came by again and took some footage of our #18 Colt hanging on a noose! It wasn't long before the cries of "Where's the Chili?" began to surface... even Judy said she came all the way from California and had to wait a year to have it again...lol! Never one to let a good wager pass him by, Zip challenged the lone Colts fan at our tailgate to a friendly bet.
After sharing our requisite pre-game shots of Hpnotiq for Big Willie and taking our group photo (minus the Paxton's who cut out early to visit another TG) we lowered the tents a few notches and headed into the stadium to enjoy the festivities. Although there were numerous musical acts (Elton John, Destiny's Child, Toby Keith, Lenny Kravitz, and Mary J. Blige,) the highlight was MOST definitely the unveiling of the 2003 Championship Banner!!
Al and I sat next to Fred in Zip's Seats and enjoyed front row action. (Yes, Mrs. B has to make the Jello once again due to 4 appearances on the Jumbotron....) Tedy B's 1st Q Red Zone INT certainly set the tone.... right through Willie's Huge 4th Q sack.... Must be the ritualistic tailgate toasts!!! Of course, true to form, the Boys know how to stress me out, but always manage to pull it off! WHEW! After doing a few on field interviews, Tedy came to the banner for a Victory Handshake :-) then we headed up to wait (forever) for the elevator so we could head back to the tailgate.
The newest Bruschi Backer?!
We hung around for a couple of hours, Colts fan Mike paid his debt and looked mighty fine sporting a Throwback 54. We broke camp, dropped Jessica at her car, then headed home, getting there around 3:30. Operating on just 2 hours sleep for the second night in a row, I must say, making it through work on Friday was no easy feat, but..... it was worth it and I wouldn't want it any other way!
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Oh Yes, They Called it the Streak!
It seemed like ages since the Razor's Edge Tailgaters had joined forces and descended upon the lots at Gillette and we were eager for the tailgating to get underway! Having gone a month between home games, we were anxious to meet up with friends and watch our boys create history on our home turf.
My prep began in earnest with far too many trips to various stores on Saturday, followed by an evening of dicing, slicing, cooking, and Jello shot making. Big Al, Dad, and I headed out at 8:00AM to pick up Little Lucy and meet the Crew at Dunkin Donuts for our 8:30 rendezvous. Although we weren't allowed to park along the grass, we did secure a spot in the 3rd row in the shadow Gillette Stadium. It took a bit of creative car shifting but we were finally able to get enough space together to set up our 3 tents and tailgate haven.
We enjoyed a mellow, yet enjoyable morning complete with a variety of rations and libations. Big Al's swordfish (couldn't find any Mahi-Mahi so we pretended it was Dolphin-fish) was absolutely delicious and the Little Necks and Chili were on the stove for any and all who wished to sample my cooking. We provided Sangria, Sam Adams, and the ever present Bruschi Brew. Laureen and Larry announced the news of their little Pats fan due to arrive sometime in April and the congrats and hugs went round.
The regular crew members were all in attendance... with the exception of Darren and Kendra.... who were tending to a matter that was just a bit more important than a Pats game... Welcome to the newest Patriots Fan, Courtney Patricia, who was born just prior to kickoff! (Note the significance of that middle name... especially since she was conceived in Houston on the SuperBowl Trip!)
I was glad to see that some visitors were able to find us and join us for a bit.. Steve made his way over with Ryan, Katie, and his Dad and sampled my cooking and Jose's artistic touch. My Fantasy Football rival, Remy, followed the 54 FTFT banner to locate us
among the sea of tailgaters and our good buddy from the north, "Vincent from Montreal" stopped in with his crew.
After the requisite Jello shot toasts, mojo making Bruschi Brew consumption, and Big Willie Hpnotiq Shots, we headed into the stadium prepared to watch our boys win One Game at a Time and smash the NFL consecutive winning game record. Zip made his way down to the "Zip Seats" with the assistance of Jose to witness history in the making. Tedy came by for his Post Game Victory Handshake and seemed as equally enthused about it as the Zipster, judging by the jump in his step and the smile on his face!
After the win, we all headed back to the tailgate (stopping to talk to the
McGinests along the way), enjoyed Champagne toasts, numerous steak tip recipes, marveled at the embedded message printed on the ticket and reveled in the win.... planning to reconvene again next week when we win another "One Game" bringing us to 20!
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Unofficial Listniks Home Trek!
Tailgate prep began early for Mrs. B. as she spent Saturday Night (chili cooking night...) at Fenway Park watching the Boston Massacre as the Sox dropped to 0-3 against the Yankees. Ever faithful, it was a great night with Dad anyway, and everything was good to go on Sunday morning thanks to an early Saturday morning shopping trip and an afternoon cooking bonanza.
Being in the queue when the gate opened, we were able to secure our favorite grassy spot and began setting up the tailgate in earnest. It was quite chilly and windy, and we were thankful for the cinderblocks but could have used a couple walls as a windbreak, however none of us packed any. We had quite a large contingent of Patriot faithful including a host of regulars, listniks, occasional, and first time visitors. Quite a few 54 FTFT sweatshirts could be seen signaling the arrival of fall and true football weather.
Coco made an appearance, attempting to usurp "The Golden Child" as the tailgate's favorite canine! Flick was in town from Virginia and enjoyed his first trip to the Razor with his buddies. Zip had a host of folks including his brother Rick, sister-in-law Monique (she of the awesome stuffed pumpkin) and Chris (Wolfie) who was his guest of the week. Jose was a last minute addition, scoring an extra ticket and taking in two in a row. Skylar and Jeremy brought their Bruschi Brew and loved their first tailgate experience.
Regulars Laureen & Larry and new daddy Darren (with Madelyn), were also on hand. Bama flew up as Monty's guest and he wasted no time in collecting hugs from Pats babes everywhere! List folk Steve (in from California) along with Joanne (from Florida), Phil and Sharon (who reportedly loved everything they sampled) and Bill (long time no see) made an appearance. Cookie from Patriotsplanet is fast becoming a regular as well. Sue from Zip's email list found us and spent quite a bit of time chatting and soaking up the tailgate atmosphere.
Naturally, my Chili was on the stove as well Zip's Jambalaya, our Little Necks, Linguica, Sausage, Peppers, and Onions as well some awesome Swordfish... Monty offered his plethora of marinated meat, meat, and more meat (and some catfish as well)! Various snack foods were aplenty, and I actually did more picking than normal... thank goodness for my usual vege platter and dip to take the edge off! Harpoon's Winter Ale and Sangria were my drinks of choice along with the ever present Bruschi Brew, Hpnotiq, and Jello Shots (all for mojo don'tcha know!)
Well... that mojo just keeps on working... Pats win their 20th straight and Big Willie got an INT. Monique certainly enjoyed her first game experience, starting right at the top with Zip Seats, a win AND a Bruschi Handshake.... not a bad first outing that's for sure. Jessica came by post game and joined us for the conversation, steak tips, champagne toast, and camaraderie around the fire until the lots closed for another week by the Razor's Edge.
Full Tilt, Full Time!
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Red, White, & Blue... and... Green?!
Right smack in the throws of a (*gasp*) Red Sox World Series (!!!), I found myself shopping, cooking and prepping like crazy for the 3rd consecutive home game. Short on sleep and emotionally spent due to the unbelievable come back of the Sox in defeating the Yankees, my focus turned to football as I partook of the usual rituals in getting ready for our Sunday tilt.
The Razor's Edge Crew hooked up early at NAPA in order to pull out of the lot at 11:30 anticipating an early opening of P2. We were able to secure our favorite grassy perimeter spot and the visiting Jets crew (and Garbanza) were even able to set up there as well. We expected a big group and were thankful that we didn't have any lot issues to deal with that day!
I was surprised at seeing Jacob there, although I vaguely remember a long ago list post mentioning such. He thoroughly enjoyed his first trip to the Razor and I'm sure it won't be his last... Vincent came by to say hello with his Montreal group and fellow listniks Phil, Miguel, and Mark joined in, as well as regulars Darren, Monty, Lisa, Dana, Zip and the Cardozas. The Zipster's contingent included Gene and Michelle as well as tailgate veteran, Coach (although the weather didn't seem extreme enough to warrant his attendance... Coach hates the cold and ended up attending THE COLDEST game in history last year!) Dad made his trip over, Ed stopped in and my merry band of Planeteers set up close by as well.
I certainly didn't expect rain and was quite surprised by the drizzle that fell all afternoon. Chili was called for and certainly hit the spot! Big Al served up more Little Necks and Swordfish... not that they had any significance this week but were just downright good! We expected the Paxton crew, but they were running late and never made it by.... Big Lonie wasn't around to get everyone up and out early...so they missed out on the New England fare.
Full Tilt sweatshirts and jerseys were seen in and around the tents but a fair number of green and white clad folks were welcome as well. We look forward to the annual get together with Sean (Soothsayer) and his crew and Zip provided the Jello Shots in Patriot Red and Blue as well as Jet Green. I don't think they appreciated the accompanying toast, however!
We raise a toast to our Patriots team
Whom are victors of twenty straight
Make it twenty-one over Gang Green
A team we love to hate!
To Bruschi Brew and Jello Shots
And a Brady Touchdown Toss
To the Razor's Edge, our Patriots
To a year without a Loss!
Between Michelle's crashing Jet cake, Sean's Pats/Jets drinking game, Zip's numerous photo-ops with girls in green and white, and food and drink aplenty, a great time was had by all and the tailgate time flew by. After securing the site, gearing up, and partaking of the "blue mojo" we headed into the stadium to witness history in the making...yet again!
Fans were pumped up and loud! Some claim it was the still shots of the Red Sox players on the Jumbotrons... and according to Tedy, the fans decided to "Ankle Up!" (Inside reference to last year's mantra of Cowboy Up and the state of Curt Schilling's bloody ankle...) I know that my hoarse voice had nothing to do with Big Papi rather shouting DE-FENSE all afternoon! Pats pulled it off and defeated the Jets 13-7. Our game culminated with a Tedy handshake as well as one from Ty as he passed by after the game.
Never one to hedge on a bet, Sooth looked quite handsome wearing red! Of course the 54 jersey always looks great, no matter who you are! The tailgate crew feasted once again, hung by the fire and the generators were humming while others watched the start of the Sox game. We packed up and headed home as I was anxious to get out of my wet clothes and settle in to watch the Sox take on the Cardinals in Game 2.
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Night of Champions!!
Since the Bills game was an ESPN 8:30 prime time tilt, I got to do my cooking on Sunday rather than the usual Saturday night. Big Al and I even hit South Street in the afternoon to pick up some of their famous Buffalo Wings in honor of devouring our opponent. We hooked up with the rest of the Edge crew at 3:15 for the "supposed" 4:30 lot opening. When we got to the lots at 3:20 they were already open and we took some of the last spots along the grass. Zip had a huge crew including Charts and Kathy who partook of her very first game and tailgate.... (Methinks it won't be the last, either!)
Mother nature unloaded about 6 inches of white stuff on the region the day before but it didn't impede our tailgating and game experience in any way (although it was quite chilly!!) Zip's Jambalaya, Mrs. B's Chili and deCharts' Buffalo Kabobs were welcome fare, as was Monty's usual assortment of meat and Big Al's grilled swordfish. Schylar and Jeremy were decked out to the hilt and attracted the attention of a Herald reporter (and the Jumbotron cameraman as well!)
I hit the proshop early to pick up a pink winter Pats hat that I had been waiting for (much to the delight of my husband who couldn't stand looking at my Red Sox one any longer!) The tailgate was moderately mellow and LONG due to the extra early opening and the cold temps. Dad came by with Debbie B after making the long trek from Lot 11 and my girl, Angie hiked it ALL the way over from The Endzone with her friend Annie. Gone is the little girl of the face paint, Bledsoe gear, and taunting of Jason Taylor! She has instead been replaced by a beautiful young college woman! (Now I'm really feeling old!)
After the pre-game toasts, endless applications of face paint, group photo and Big Willie Shot, we headed in to the stadium with Zip and watched the game by his side. Much to my delight, the Red Sox were honored during the pregame ceremonies and the Championship Trophy made its way around the field courtesy of Johnny Damon, Curt Schilling, Terry Francona and the rest of the Red Sox Brass. More importantly, the Patriots handily beat the Bills 29-6 and allowed me to finally enjoy a stress-free game.... until the final 4 minutes when Tedy went down with what appeared to be a serious leg injury. The entire stadium went quiet and the crowd held its breath until he got up.... WHEW! Of course, more than one person had to ask me if I passed out when it happened...LOL! Seeing him smiling and running over to the banner post-game was a welcome sight indeed.... the perfect ending to a perfect albeit, chilly day.
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2004 Monsoon Game!
Right on the heels of the Thanksgiving holiday, turkey was one item definitely NOT on the menu this week! Mrs. B. opted instead to attempt her first ever pot of clam chowder. (Don't ask how I made it... just threw things together like always...lol!) Feedback on the maiden batch was certainly favorable.... and the ever present pot-o-chili was welcome as well. Foods to warm the bones were certainly called for as Gary predicted a soggy and windy stay at Gillette...
Since Jacob's Colts' season was over, he gladly joined us for the game along with Palin, who jumped at the chance. We had plans to meet up with Doug and Paige of Murphy's Patriots at our rendezvous spot to insure coordinating the caravan to our favorite locale along the grass. Things went off without a hitch and we were quickly set up and enjoying fine food and beverages aplenty.
About halfway through the tailgate, the sky opened up and it began to pour. We packed into the three tents like sardines and needed to choose a spot to stand because there was no way to make it to the other side! Much like last year, the Murphy crew ended up in our end and Paige and I spent lots of time talking and determined that the joining of our two groups insures inclement weather.... (Note: Downpours in Houston, FROZEN Titans playoff game in 03, and this one!) The wind was whipping wildly and even with cinderblocks, the tents were swaying and lifting.
Laureen made it up for the game while Larry (HTHT ;-) was supporting his Rhody Rams down at URI... Wayne and Donna made an appearance this week. Cousins Dolores and Elaine found their way and joined us for a bit before hitting the Proshop to try to score some Patriots ponchos. Listniks Phil and Miguel popped in but honestly... I think they were somewhere in the throng! Murphy's had a crew, Zip had a mega-crew and Monty did as well. The Big Willie Hpnotiq shot was done, as was the Rumplemintz toast for Lisa... (Miss ya, Girl!)
Come game time, we lowered the tents (but obviously not enough.... more about that later!), sloshed our way across the lots and headed in. Al and I enjoyed Zip seats and spoke a lot to his neighbor Fred but opted to leave the camera behind due to the torrential downpour. (Wise choice!) The Pats spanked the Ravens handily, 24-3 thanks in part to a sweet strip-sack by Tedy leading to a Jarvis Green TD! Al did manage to snap a quick shot of Tedy on my phone when he came over for the victory handshake.
Despite the ponchos, we were quite soaked when we got back to the tailgate... unfortunately, it was not at all the way we had left it. The wind toppled the three tents with Monty's and Zip's snapping in multiple places. Our new one was bent but appears still serviceable. Within minutes the drainage ditches over flowed and we literally had a foot of water in the tailgate. Everyone scrambled to move the tents, paraphernalia, and vehicles back out of the rising water.
Once we set back up we sparked the grills and had our celebratory champagne toast and Mrs. B's and Monty's steak tips went round. Before we could finish, the patrol came by and told everyone to break it down. As soon as we removed the outer walls, it was like we were in the middle of a hurricane! Between the driving rain and the strong winds, it literally took a half dozen people to lower a single tent. Picture Zip in his chair grabbing on to a pole to anchor it down while debris was rolling like tumbleweed across the lot! At one point I was holding down one of our poles and one for a neighbor and was still being pushed by the wind. We successfully secured our tent but Monty's and Zip's were damaged beyond repair and were left behind to join the skeletons of the many that fell that day....
The four of us made it home safely but completely soaked to the skin... (FTFT sweatshirts hold a LOT of water!!) Our crew is down two EZ UP tents.... During a phone conversation, Zip asked about some bowls that he couldn't find and told him I remember seeing a bag of bowls floating away.... My boots are still soaked 4 days later.... BUT.... I wouldn't trade it for the world... GO PATS!!!!
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Not many pix due to the rain...
The Lone December home tilt....
Having recouped the losses from the prior game, the Razor's Edge crew was set and ready to go...with two new tents, gear, and optimism, we headed out early for our single December, Sunday @ 1:00 tilt of the season. Big Al, Jacob, Pa-lay and I arrived early and met the crew at NAPA then waited in line for the 9:00 opening.
Zip had a full crew this week (Melissa, Bill, Jeremy, Bill, Bob, etc.) as did Monty... but we missed our girls Lisa and Dana and new mommy-to-be Laureen and URI-loving-husband Larry. Listniks Chris Woods, Mark and Steve were on hand, in addition to regulars Monty and Darren (with cutie Madelyn who entertained herself with DVDs in the warmth of the SUV... good thinking Dad!) Robin made an appearance with Madison and Ed popped in just in time for the photo, as usual! We had some Internet drop-ins as well. Welcome to all!
Dad made the trek from lot 11 with Ken to say hello and sample some of my Chili and Chowder. Big Al manned the grill and cooked up some delicious Lamb Chops, Swordfish and Burgers then turned his attention to the Little Necks and Linguica on the stove. Zip provided his usual vat of Jambalaya and Mark brought along his famous Calzones. Monty, of course, grilled meat, fish, and more meat.
After our 11:00 Rumplemintz-HOPE toast for Lisa, 54 jello shots provided by Monty, Hpnotiq-Big Willie mojo and group photo, we geared up and headed into the game. Big Al and I sat down below but due to a dead camera battery failed to capture the events for posterity. I sat in the front row with Fred thanks to an empty seat. After beating the Bengals 35-28, Tedy came by for a quick handshake then headed to the locker room to collect his AFC East T-shirt and hat having clinched the division and improved the record to 12-1. We, of course headed back to the lot to pop the champagne and feast on tips.
Camera phone :-)
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After spending a nice New Years Day with the Cardoza clan, I headed home to to begin my cooking marathon. Amidst the slicing, dicing and boiling and stirring, I worked the phones like a bookie hooking up friends with last minute tickets that had come available due to the various illnesses and conflicting plans of the seat owners. All set and scheduled to meet up with reporters from boston.com at the tailgate to do a fan feature, we picked up cousin Suzanne, then Big Al, Jacob and I set out with food, winter gear, and high hopes for another FTFT day.
Joining the regular crew (Zip, Monty, Darren) this week were none other than Ed (Erdoboy) "Kabuki" Fackler (more about that later) all the way from Japan, (thanks for my beautiful gift!) fellow listniks Mark (with his son, Patrick and trusty camera phone... more about THAT later!), Chris, Miguel, Ed (Just in time for the photo) Bryant, Cookie and Don with their respective guests. Zip's crew consisted of Kathy, Brian, Drew and Web and more. Krista was in the house and we had drop in visits from Vincent, Joe Photo, Shmessy (patsfans.com poster from Maryland) and a few SPECIAL GUESTS!!
Shortly after setting up the three tents and erecting the 54FTFT banner, we began in earnest to get the grills fired up and the beverages flowing... (DD Box of Joe was most welcoming on a January morning!) Suddenly, I looked up, my Patriots Radar kicked into gear and I yelled out "TEDY B!" Heads turned and how shocked were we to see The Man come running into the tailgate tent?! He was holding up his finger to "Shhh" me in order to surprise Zip and deter the entire P2 lot from swarming the tailgate, I'm sure! He stayed just a couple of minutes... long enough to share a few words with Zip, receive a good luck hug and smooch on the cheek from me and slap a few hands on his way out the door. He bolted from the tent, bounded over the snow bank, jumped back into the car that he had just pulled over near the entrance, and was on his way.... leaving us all in a state of shock and awe.... Just Another Reason Why We Backers Love Him So!! (Thanks to Mark's son for being so quick on that camera phone!!!)
Within no time, the boston.com crew showed up to do their fan feature on the Royal Media Couple... King Randy and Queen Karen. :-) Ed suddenly began his transformation from Erdoboy to Media Prince and then went through metamorphoses into our very own American-born-Japanese-Kabuki!! Pictures say a thousand words so I'll let the lens do the talking:
No Rob Webber tailgate would be complete without the requisite tailgate song. This one certainly didn't disappoint... sung to the tune of Boston's Smokin.... with Ed Bryant on lead vocals!
Smokin' the 49ers
We're gonna play a big game, the fans will rock n' roll
Bill's gonna let the boys go, Brady's gonna take control-yeah
A first down's on its way
We'll get a win by the end of the day-ay-ay
Big win today
The 49ers will be doin the chokin'
I feel a win baby, I'm not jokin'
Get your hands in the air, everybody rock and roll
Got a first round Bye, the Niners will cry that's all, yeah
Start a run today
We'll get the win by the end of the day-ay-ay
First place alright
We're goin' the right way
We'll get the win by the end of the day-ay-ay
First place tonight, well alright!
Just as we were packing up a bit, Lonie and Karyn stopped in to surprise us...it's always great to see our road trip friends! Karyn sampled a bowl of chili while Lonie did his usual... allowing all who desired so, to try on the SuperBowl 36 Ring. Vincent, Jacob and Ed were especially thrilled! The Razor's Edge certainly was a busy place this week, between the media, visitors, Erdo's transformation, and Ed and Zip's retelling of Tedy B's record setting 4 consecutive INT returns for TD's, (with fact verification and confirmation for the doubting Thomases provided by Mrs. B.) I mean... who could argue with these Bruschi-Aficionados?!
After we partook of the Hpnotiq mojo, secured the tents, and I changed from Tailgate Pink to Game Red, Big Al and I headed into the game and went down to secure the banner. I was thrilled when Mr. Kraft recognized me and acknowledged a card that I had sent him earlier in the week... I spoke to PVN's B-Lowe then noticed this incredible sight heading down towards the field!!! Fred came by to say that he was sitting elsewhere and offered me his seat so I enjoyed a front row view of the game. Although the beginning was shaky, our boys did the trick. At halftime I got to watch our new FOTY, Noel Texeira receive this year's award... Congrats Noel!! Tedy came over for his final regular season handshake, closing out the second 14-2 season in a row and continuing the 2 year home game winning streak. He logged 15 tackles, earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors and went home to enjoy the birth of his 3rd son the following day... Ahhhhh...Life is Good!
FULL TILT FULL TIME!!
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Not in OUR house..
Not Today, Not Tomorrow... Not EVER!
The mojo began a few days early as Jose was shuttling from the Airport with a certain dark haired dude who proceeded to comment on his FTFT Hoodie. When he stated that he had one as well, the answer to Jose's inquiry of "So, then you must know Randy "Zip" Pierce?" was not met with a "Yes," rather with "No, but I am Tedy's brother!"
Saturday night meant that I would be making my final 2004 batches of chili and chowder thanks (but no thanks!) to the nail-biting finish of the Steelers/Jets game. Alas, another tailgate was not in the cards, but no worries... we had this momentous occasion to enjoy and were good to go. We had a large crew assembled at NAPA and although set out 45 minutes prior to the scheduled opening time, we got to the lot to see the entire perimeter full and the front row as well. But we had plenty of cars so we had ample space to set up the tents and promptly got to work a few rows back.
Zip's crew included the Bino, Charts, Jose, Drew, Melissa and Bill. Thankfully, he also provided an extra ticket to allow Jacob to join us in his first playoff tilt. Monty brought along Chris, Jay and his wife. It was nice to see Robin and Lew this week, as well as Laureen, Larry, Joyce (love that seafood bisque!) and Chris, after what seems like forever. Darren kept in touch with Kendra via cell phone, insuring that mom and babe were with us in spirit at least. Cookie, Jeremy, Rich and Jen rounded out the early arrivals... but our crew was not yet complete. Miguel called and found his way over as did my fellow Planeteers, Peg and Joephoto,. Waldo (from my site) and his buddy joined us for the day, and our neighbors from the north, Vincent with his crew from Montreal made their way over and were quite impressed with my greeting in French...lol! Ed Bryant joined us and came armed with an incredible epic poem encompassing every game (and most significant plays) of the entire season! There were many other assorted "friends of friends" who joined in as well but I didn't catch all the names...
Many special toasts were given (and consumed!) on this fine day... One for Kirk who was flying to Iraq while we were tailgating (God Speed... and come home safely), Lisa, whom we miss oh, so much.... (Keep the HOPE, girl!), to the fine friends and camaraderie which we all enjoy thanks to the common interest of our beloved Pats, and of course, round after round of GO PATS! toasts. As if the Gods were smiling down, it started to flurry just as the Paxtons called me from sunny California to check on the weather and to join us in a long distance "shooter" as they call it! No day would be complete without the Big Willie Hpnotiq mojo, and more than one tailgater has confessed to buying it on their own now. ;-)
With the temperature plummeting and the snow beginning to fall, you could not find a happier bunch of Pats fans in the lot! After taking photos, gearing up, and securing the site, we headed in, raring to go. A quick visit to the Andruzzi tailgate along the way took just a few minutes then Al and I settled in. Zip made his way down to his front row seat with the help of the guys and was ready to enjoy the final 2004 home game from "Zip Seats". The crowd did its job and created a loud atmosphere for the defense, although the boys played so brilliantly there was nothing but good to cheer about! Tedy had an absolutely monster game...as did the rest of the D, holding the Colts to just 3 points!! Chants of "Cor-ey, Cor-ey" rang out congratulating him on his first playoff appearance, and alternated with "Cut that Meat!" for Manning... LOL! Tedy came bounding over after the win and was Fired UP!! The Backers got our last handshake, then headed back to the tents to pop the champagne and revel in our win... loving our team FTFT!
LUV YA, Man!
Post Game... It's All Good!
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