Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Patriots Day to Forget

Well, I went down to Foxboro on Sunday to see the Patriots play the NY Jets. It was my birthday, and I was looking forward to celebrating it in the stands at Gillette Stadium.

A certain victory, I was sure.

Sunday morning came and I met up with my three buds - Dave, John, and Chuck - for the long drive out. We had to go in Dave's car because the rest of us all had SUVs (John had a pickup) with no passenger room.

If only Dave knew what was coming.

I was seated in the back passenger seat, John was seated in the rear driver-side seat, Chuck was in the front passenger seat, and Dave of course was driving. So we're heading to Foxboro and we're about a half mile away from I-495 South when suddenly the right-lane traffic comes to a stand-still. It seemed that everyone was going to the same place (the game) and we all needed the same exit. And that was too bad for Dave, because just a couple of seconds after we stopped, Cruel Fate arrived at the scene.

Two young guys were driving in a car waaay back behind us, and apparently they hadn't noticed that the traffic had stopped up ahead of them. John was the first to turn his head and look behind us: "Loook out!" he called out.


Fortunately for everyone involved, we were all wearing our seatbelts and no one got hurt. Honestly, the very first thought I had immediately after the violent jolt was, "Great, now we're going to miss the Patriots game."

After recovering our senses, we all got out and went to see if the guys in the car behind us were okay. They were fine - their airbags had deployed as advertised.

Surprisingly, our car sustained survivable damage: A bent rear frame, a bent trunk lid, and a few other bruises. It was drivable, and we could continue on with it. The young guys' car was much worse off, however, and they would be hitching a ride with the wrecker.

As we waited for the State Police to show up, it started to rain. So I retired to the car to read the newspaper and stay dry.

A state cop showed up and filed a report. Dave was really shaken up about his car getting hit - but what the hey, the other guy got the ticket and Dave's getting his car fixed for free. So we all loaded back into the car and once again we were on our way...

We managed to find a parking spot fairly close to the stadium in a huge dirt lot about a half-mile away. We were still an hour early, so we popped open the trunk and took to drinking some beers.

Then the rain really started to come down. Chuck - who is a season ticket holder - later remarked that that downpour was the hardest and longest drenching he had ever endured at a game (Chuck: "this is unbelievable!"). I had brought a rain suit, myself, and John and Chuck had each brought rain gear, so we stood out there drinking suds as it poured like hell. Unfortunately for Dave, he had neglected to bring any rain gear at all, so he stood out there and got soaked as he chatted with us. Finally, after he had got soaked entirely through, I insisted that he retreat to the car, which he grudgingly did.

After Dave got back in the car, I remarked to John; 'You know, it's almost like God is looking down at Dave and saying, "Fuck you..."'

The rain let up just after the game started. Unfortunately, the Patriots played like crap and the Jets decided to play very well that day, so we watched in mild disbelief as our 10-and-a-half-point favored Pats got beat by Gang Green. As we all herded our way down the ramps to leave the stadium, fans from both sides were talking smack. The Jets fans, predictably, were chanting, "J-E-T-S - Jets! Jets! Jets!" While one Pats fan - a rather attractive young lady - fired back, "J-E-T-S - Suck! Suck! Suck!" - and complimented her chant by flipping the Jets fans the bird.

Typical Sunday at the game, you know.

If you've never been to Gillette Stadium before, I strongly suggest you check it out if you ever get the chance. It's a great stadium. This was my second visit, and I was just as impressed as my first visit. The bathrooms do suck, though. And the beer was $7.50 a whack.

I would have kept my game ticket, too, but by the time I got home, it resembled some kind of white paste (it got soaked as I carried it through the gates on the way in).

We managed to get home without any further drama (as the driver, Dave did not drink the whole day). I remember, too, an astute observation that Chuck had made just prior to the game while we were drinking in the parking lot: It's funny how when someone cuts us off or drives slow in front of us, the middle finger flies up and all manner of foul insults flow from our lips. But when we're in a serious accident, our first instinct is to get out and check to see if the other guy is all right.

Well, at least it's that way for some of us out there.

* *


Post a Comment

<< Home