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by Michele Christopher
This is the time of year that I usually have the best chance of attending a Patriots game. See, I’m not connected, at all. And I don’t have a lot of ‘real-life’ friends. And the real life friends that I do have, don’t have tickets. Or connections.
When I try to get regular season tickets to Pats games at the beginning of the year, all I ever get is a busy signal on the phone or a ‘request timed out’ screen on the computer. So you see, as much as I love The Pats, I don’t get to a lot of actual games. I’m lucky if I get to go to a game every other year or so.
Unless it’s snowing out. Or raining. Or it’s a family type holiday. Those are the days that for some reason, people that have season tickets or some other connection that enables them to somehow get their hands on these magical Patriots tickets, decide they don’t really want to go to the game. And they know who to call. ME. Because I’ll fucking take them mutherfucker. Damn fucking straight. The only day that I will turn down a Pats game ticket is Christmas Day or if there is a hurricane headed to the area.
I have never seen a Patriots game in person during the months of September, October or November. It’s December and January football for this cat my friends. And I don’t have a problem with that. Not one bit. Because I’ve seen the games in the snow, just after blizzards have hit. I’ve sat in the rain. I’ve sat on the old Foxboro Stadium aluminum bleachers on New Years Day (cue U2) and I’ve had a blast every time. Because Football Rules. In case you forgot.
So seeing as how I don’t get to a lot of games, I kind of take my time at the stadium pretty seriously. Because this is football. And tailgating, like football, is not a matter to be taken lightly.
Here are my tailgating essentials:
Sausages. Must have both sweet and hot, FRESH green and red peppers, and onions. My Dad cooked the peppers and onions the night before a game once. Huge mistake. They were totally ruined. You can slice them up the night before, but you’ve got to cook them the day of the game in the pan with the sausages. Don’t fuck it up.
Chips: Yeah. Whatever. I can give or take the chips. I prefer pretzels or some kind of nacho chip. My sister-in-law made some homemade guacamole for a game once and that was fantastic.
Last but not least, booze. I don’t like to get too liquored up at a game because I like to actually be able to watch, enjoy and remember the game. But seeing as how beers inside the stadium are up around 8 bucks a pop these days, I do like to get a good buzz going while tailgating. It helps me to be more obnoxious too. I usually have to restrain my obnoxious tendencies but when surrounded by my fellow Patriots fans, who embody the word obnoxious, I feel free to be my truly obnoxious self. Generally I bring some kind of cheap watery beer like Miller Lite to the game and some kind of hard liquor to go along with it. I like to make a Swedish concoction called ‘glug’ or ‘gloog’ and that is the best stuff to have because you warm it up in a pan before you drink it, then it warms you up. Just don’t drink too much of it. Because you could go blind. And keep it away from the flames because it’s highly flammable and you could explode. AWESOME.
Other essentials I like to bring to the game, depending on the weather, are ski-pants, goggles (if it might snow), a stadium blanket or a sleeping bag. Why a sleeping bag you may ask? Well you see, if it’s really cold or shitty outside, it can get kind of miserable sitting in your seat up in the nosebleed seats, which is where I always sit, if you’re cold or wet. Unless you have a sleeping bag with you. Then you are set. Just roll it out, get inside, sit, be warm, dry and enjoy. Warm, toasty and comfortable. My Dad taught me that trick.
Ok. If you’re going to any games this week, hope you have fun. This week will be the last Pats home game and my phone has not rung yet, so I’ll be watching at home. Oh well. There’s always the playoffs, I HOPE.
Onto the games, brought to you by ROOSTER SAUCE! That was kind of a long article so I’m going to try and whip through these. Lets go!!
San Francisco at Seattle – Seattle. 8-5, plays in one of the weakest divisions in the league. San Fran is out of it and has no chance of catching up to Seattle for the division.
Dallas at Atlanta – Atlanta is in the playoff hunt, trying to stay alive and get a wildcard spot. Dallas is leading the NFC East but the NY Giants are close on their heels. I’m taking Dallas. Don’t forget, this is a Saturday Night game my friends. This is when the NFL really starts going nuts and dicking us around with the schedules…
Cleveland at Baltimore – As much as I like Cleveland, due to the fact that Romeo Crennel is their coach and Willie McGinnist is on the team, they don’t stand a chance against Baltimore, who is looking to get into that #2 AFC seed.
Detroit at Green Bay – Ok. Don’t be mad at me, but, does anyone care? Green Bay.
Houston at New England – Holy shit did my team look bad last week. Horrid was the description I used. The Pats need to win this game against Houston, otherwise they could find themselves in a tight spot with only 2 games remaining after this one.
Jacksonville at Tennessee – Jacksonville is a playoff contender who knocked the ever-loving poo-poo out of Indy last week, which I loved. They should be able to handle Tennessee, but Tennessee has been playing extremely well the last few weeks, so a win for The Jags is not a given here.
Miami at Buffalo – There are no playoff implications in this game. It should still be a decent game based simply on the fact that it’s a divisional game, between a couple of heated rivals who are trying to make something out of their seasons.
N.Y. Jets at Minnesota – A must win game for The Jets who have zero margin for error at this point. They are playing a weaker NFC opponent so they have a good shot at this one, but one more loss and they are essentially out of the playoff race.
Pittsburgh at Carolina – Amazingly Carolina is still in it at 6-7 while Pittsburgh is totally out of the playoff race with the same record. That’s the AFC vs The NFC for you. Carolina will need to win against 6-7 Pittsburg to keep themselves in the Wildcard hunt. The Steelers are done and are playing for pride and the fact that they are still the Superbowl Champs until a new one is crowned in Feb. Taking a team out of playoff contention would suit The Steelers just fine.
Tampa Bay at Chicago – Chicago should be able to take care of Tampa Bay at home. They have clinched their division and are basically just trying to keep that top spot in the NFC for the playoffs at this point.
Washington at New Orleans – New Orleans is looking to keep the #2 seed but there are quite a few teams right behind them hoping they will stumble here. I’m taking Washington in my crazy pick of the week.
Denver at Arizona – Denver. I don’t think much explanation is necessary. Arizona is just bad all around.
Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants – Philly and NY are both 7-6 and are holding the one and two Wildcard spots at the moment. Whoever wins will put themselves in a good spot. Atlanta fans will be watching this game closely because if their team wins, they can sneak a little closer to one of the wildcard spots.
St. Louis at Oakland – Two non-playoff teams. Yawn. This will probably be the one I get on my local affiliate on Sunday after The Pats game ends.
Kansas City at San Diego – Big divisional game between these two teams. San Diego is looking like an unstoppable juggernaught right now. K.C. is just outside of the playoffs but a win would be a big boost towards getting them in as a wildcard. It’s a divisional game too. All that being said, I think San Diego asserts itself here.
Cincinnati at Indianapolis – If you read this on a regular basis, you know the rule: always pick against Indy, who is looking mighty fallible right now after getting their butts whipped last weekend by Jacksonville. With some injuries on their ‘small but quick’ defense, teams are running all over Indianapolis. Cincy will not be that easy for Indy, as they look to maintain their Wildcard spot in the AFC.
Ok gang. Enjoy the games and have a great weekend. And if you have an extra Pats ticket, let me know!
Ernie is still not on Rooster Sauces payroll either. We swear.