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Family Memories Courtesy of the New England Patriots
My kids are so spoiled.
his chair, jumping up and down and screaming. I hadn’t seen that man move that fast in more than 10 years, but I guess anything is possible with Tom Brady at the helm. But as fun as it is to see this team win six championships in less than 20 years, football has never been about the game, the team, or the number of championship parades we have. Football has always been about family for the Monteforte clan, and I owe some of my greatest memories to football.
Wait, let me rephrase that.
My kids are so spoiled by the New England Patriots .
When I was growing up, we could only dream of a Patriots appearance in the Super Bowl. The one time they did make it to the big game, they were stomped and thoroughly beaten. It was just dismal. Now, each year, my kids are asking us where the Super Bowl party will be the next year, as if it’s just a given that the Patriots will be in the big game! I can’t say I blame them. From the time they were little, they have watched the Patriots win multiple championships, and all they know is Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. In fact, Gabby had a Pats cheerleader outfit before she could walk, and Mikey came home from the hospital, at 2 days old, wearing Patriots gear. It’s a far cry from the dreary Super Bowl Sunday in February 2001, when the Patriots won their first championship. I can still remember watching the game with my wife —we were newlyweds and kid-free at this point — and my family at my grandparents’ house. When the Patriots were finally declared the winner of the game, my grandfather (to me, Papa) flew out of
wearing thin already. Finally, back on the bus with a new tire, we headed toward Buffalo again — only to be stalled about a mile down the road with another tire issue. This time, we would have to wait more than three hours for a new bus to pick us up. Once again ushered into the cold, Papa was not thrilled. I remember him saying, “What did you guys get me into!?” We eventually made it to the game, and it proceeded to rain the entire time. Luckily, the Patriots won, because we would have heard a lot more grumbling from Papa if they didn’t. Both Papa and my uncle have passed on, but I’ll always be grateful for the memories I have of them. These memories of my family have inspired me to start my own traditions with my kids. I took my son to his first game when he was about 10 years old, purchasing some tickets from friends who have season tickets, and it has become a yearly tradition. Just this last year, I took my daughter to her first game, too, and I’m hoping that this season, my wife and I can go to a game by ourselves. Of course, this means that I will gladly get to attend three Patriots games, but I’m just thrilled to continue these great traditions with my own kids. Besides, after sticking it out with the Patriots during those abysmal years, don’t I deserve to be a little spoiled, too? -Michael Monteforte Jr.
As a kid, I spent a lot of quality time watching games with my dad. When I got older, my dad, my uncle, Ray, my cousin, Chris, and I made it a yearly tradition to see a game at Gillette Stadium or to travel to a different stadium to see the Patriots play. One year, we planned this big bus trip up to Buffalo, New York, to see the Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills. It was a beautiful day, the stadium was a blast, and the Patriots won. We just had to do it again the next year. When the next year did roll around, my Papa joined us for the pilgrimage, but somewhere along the way to Buffalo, we got a flat tire. As we waited for the tow truck to fix the issue, we were all ushered onto the freezing side of the road for safety. I could see Papa’s patience
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