If you’ve been following this page for any amount of time, you know I’m not exactly a soccer fan. And if you’re new here, well — I’m not a soccer fan. But you know what I am a fan of? Corporate social responsibility and my family having a great time.
My family was invited to Gillette Stadium to watch the New England Revolution play the Columbus Crew, to promote Santander Bank’s Soccer Scholars program. And my family was able to enjoy a game from the Santander luxury box as well as being on the field prior to the start of the game.
But despite the unbelievable views, field access, and delicious pizza while beings sheltered from the rain during the game, the best part was joining up with such a great program.
Soccer Scholars is for kids age 6-17, who strive to excel both on the field and in the classroom. Parents, friend, and family members can nominate students now through October 13 by clicking here, and possibly winning great prizes like:
$500 to be put toward future education
Four free tickets to a Revolution home game
A chance to meet Revs star forward Charlie Davies
Field access prior to the game as the Revolution takes the field
A chance at the grand prize – having Charlie Davies visit the student’s school
Trust me, you should enter. If my kids are evidence of anything, it’s that they had a great time watching the game in a suite, seeing the players up close, and even meeting Slyde, the Revs mascot.
Before the game, it was amazing to come out of the tunnel and have the Gillette Stadium field open up in front of you. Naturally, my kids get access to professional athletes and the opportunity to marvel at their skills from feet away, and neither of them had much interest.
Sam was impressed with the rubber pellets that make up the turf.
Will, on the other hand, just wanted to dance.
It was a really great time, the Revolution won 3-1, and a whole bunch of area bloggers got to support a great local company actively improving the community. And that’s the real goal.
That and getting on the Gillette Stadium JumboTron.
Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post and received free game tickets courtesy of Santander Bank
If I’m going to pay hundreds of dollars to attend a sporting event and spend an entire day tailgating, I want it to be worthwhile.
Which is why I ONLY attend professional sporting events.
I know, I know. I hear everyone from the south grabbing their guns and coming after me to talk about the SEC and Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Ole Miss blah blah blah. Because COLLEGE FOOTBALL DAMMIT!!!!! But you know what? I’ll pass. All set. No thanks, pal.
Maybe it’s because I live in the Northeast, where college sports (especially college football) just matter less. Rooting for the BC Eagles and Umass just doesn’t do it for me, mainly because I have a pulse.
But it’s more than that.
Simply put, I enjoy seeing sports played by the most elite athletes at the highest levels. And in my experience, the fans who love the pros also seem to be the most professional tailgaters as well. Because a great tailgate can be just as delectable as a big win when the game is finished.
I’ve partnered with Lee Jeans and Mike & Mike from ESPN to talk about a whole host of issues related to sports and tailgating. Greeny and Golic have taken opposite sides of issues (naturally), and a bunch of us dad bloggers have been split up into teams (I’m Team Greeny) to talk about specific issues. Mine is Pro vs College.
Why would I pay any attention to college sports when I have seats 11 rows from the field to see the best in the business play week in and week out at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro? I get to see the best football mind in existence in Bill Belichick coach Tom Brady, the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time). I’ve seen my team win four Super Bowls in 14 years and become the gold standard organization in the NFL (despite those haters who would try to tear the Pats down with false allegations).
Although we don’t tailgate much anymore, every week we pass through the parking lot and are welcomed by the various Patriots tailgaters along the way.
The guys who bring homemade New England Clam CHOWDAH to every game. The group that can be seen making their own burgers from scratch (it’s all about using egg in the meat). And even the crazy bastards who hitch a homemade brick oven to the back of their truck and cook up fresh pizza for every home game.
The unwashed miscreants from the Golic camp will call everyone who doesn’t bow at the altar of college sports a communist while shouting ‘MURICA at them, but anyone with half a brain (those guys clearly excluded) will tell you watching elite professionals is always better than amateur hour.
Besides, I don’t like it when so much money and greed ruins sports — which is why I avoid college athletics.
And who better to get behind the concept of being a pro than the professionals at Lee Jeans, who have been outfitting fans for 125 years? Now that fall is here and the temperature is dropping, there is nothing better than heading to Gillette to watch the Patriots destroy another opponent while I’m wearing active comfort denim that keeps me as comfortable as Tom Brady in the pocket.
If you want to see how Team Greeny and Team Golic fared, head to the #LeeTailgate Twitter chat and figure out whose side you’re on (it better be mine).
And check out this awesome infographic with info on what Americans really think about all things tailgating.
Loving my Boston sports teams isn’t enough. I need a rival to hate.
Look, I know it’s crazy. I know I’M crazy. When it comes to sports, I have issues because essentially I’m just rooting for laundry. But I don’t care. I don’t care that I place an unnatural significance on the outcome of professional sporting events played by millionaires who don’t care about me personally. Want to know why? Because it’s fun.
It’s fun to love a team you’ve inherited from your father who inherited it from his father. It’s fun to bond over that love, go to games, and dissect play calls like it actually matters what we think. It’s fun to have common ground and to celebrate victories while knowing you’re in good company after defeats.
But most of all, it’s fun to share a mutual hatred of hated rivals.
Being a Boston fan, I’m lucky to have no shortage of hated opponents in that department. As Boston Bruins fans we have no patience for those sniveling turds from Montreal. Growing up a Celtics fan, it was all about my favorite player, Larry Bird, and loathing Magic Johnson and the reviled slickness of the LA Lakers. As a lifelong Red Sox fan, it goes without saying my hatred for the pinstriped Yankees from New York knows no bounds, and 2004 was the ultimate purging of demons as the Red Sox completed the greatest comeback in sports history while the Yankees choked away a sure thing.
While I love all sports, football is my favorite to watch. And the Patriots are our beloved hometown team to which we swear fealty and pledge to defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
My father is entering his 44th year as a Patriots season ticket holder. I’ve been going to games since the age of 6 with my dad and brother, and soon my sons will join the club. With the arrival of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady 15 years ago came an unexpected string of good fortune, which transformed the Patriots from a laughingstock to a model organization and paragon of success, which means one thing — lots of haters came out of the woodwork. Thankfully, I give as good as I get.
Let’s start with the division rival New York Jets, who haven’t won squat since before men were able to walk on the moon. Yet these wretched souls are filled with hope every single year and they actually believe they have a chance, until Tom Brady and Bill Belichick put them in their rightful place. Also, this:
Then you have the Pittsburgh Steelers. Long the kings of the NFL decades ago, they were bested by the upstart 2001 Patriots and Hines Ward and company have been whining ever since. I had the pleasure of being at Heinz Field for the 2001 AFC Championship game, where smug Steelers fans taunted us mercilessly before the game. So when Brady, Bledsoe, Bruschi, Brown and the Patriots slapped them into stunned silence to advance to the Super Bowl, we danced on their lawn and sent the double freedom rockets into orbit.
And then you have the Indianapolis Colts. Sweet mother of crap do I hate the Indianapolis Colts.
It started in the early 2000s when Peyton Manning got all the credit and accolades, despite Tom Brady being the better quarterback. While Manning was racking up stats, Tom Brady did nothing but win with FAR less talent at his disposal. In the 2003 AFC Championship game, the Patriots intercepted Manning four times to advance to the Super Bowl. The following year in the playoffs, the Patriots held Manning to 3 measly points en route to another Super Bowl win.
And then, in 2013 when Manning was playing for the Broncos, Brady led the Patriots to overcome a 24-point deficit to beat “I don’t like the cold” Manning in overtime, prompting this celebration from my dad.
And now the Colts are led by Andrew Luck and a team of crybaby maggots who whined about deflated footballs that didn’t even factor into a 45-7 butt-whooping. I was wondering how I’d manage to hate Luck, who by all accounts is a nice guy and fantastic football player. But now I have my answer. They, along with the NFL, tried to catch the Patriots in a sting in an attempt to besmirch the greatest QB ever to grace a football field. Even though it didn’t work and a $5 million report came up with no hard evidence against our Lord and Savior Tom Brady, his name is still being dragged through the mud. And that will never be forgotten. Not today, not tomorrow, and certainly not on October 18, 2015, when Tom Brady travels to Indianapolis and once again crushes the spirits of Indy players and fans who dare oppose him.
In the end, I’m thankful for the rivalries. Rooting for the Patriots is awesome, but rooting against hated rivals and reveling in their defeat while dancing on their withered bones, is what makes it all worthwhile.
Smack Apparel, the official home of all collegiate and professional sports rivalries, realizes this and caters specifically to fans like me who enjoy irritating fans of other teams to no end. Their Smack Zone blog makes its inaugural debut today, focusing exclusively on sports passion and rivalries, because Smack has been assisting smack-talkers give as good as they get for nearly 20 years.
That’s why I’ve teamed up with Smack Apparel to offer a free t-shirt to a lucky recipient. You have to leave a comment here describing which teams/opposing fans you love to hate, and follow Smack Apparel on Twitter to win. You’ll receive a virtual gift card to buy a shirt of your choosing, just in time for the start of the season on Sept. 10 (when the defending champion Patriots kick off against the hated Pittsburgh Steelers).
Also, be sure to check out the #SmackZone Twitter party on Sept. 8 from 8-9 pm EST for more great prizes. So leave a comment here and that will automatically enter you in the drawing, which will be finalized later this week.
Now LET’S GO PATRIOTS!!!
*I have partnered with Smack Apparel on this campaign and while I received compensation, all opinions expressed here are my own.
“Dad, I don’t think I like baseball and I don’t want to play anymore.”
Except for Will saying he doesn’t love me or that he’s become a New York sports fan, nothing uttered from my 6-year-old’s lips stings as much as my boy — my oldest son — telling me he doesn’t want to partake in America’s pastime. My father’s pastime. My pastime.
And the first thing that ran through my head was “How can I raise a kid who doesn’t like baseball?”
That’s what a dad said to his daughter in front of my 5-year-old son recently. My son who, just a few days earlier, excitedly danced in his seat while watching Frozen in a movie theater accompanied by — gasp! — me. His dad. Yup, that’s right. A father and son trip to see an animated Disney musical about sisters, relationships, love, and sacrifice.
You know, total chick stuff.
Since this is someone we encounter on a fairly regular basis, I suppressed the dad blogger rage and accompanying vehement diatribe on gender equality that was desperately attempting to escape from my mouth. But I saw the confused (and slightly ashamed) look on my son’s face and it broke my heart, so I knew I had to say something.
“Actually, Will and I saw Frozen and we absolutely loved it. That movie is great and it’s for boys just as much as girls,” I said, choking down my anger. “Right buddy?”
But after hearing it labeled a “girl movie” and therefore unacceptable, all Will would offer at that point was a tepid “Well, it was OK.” Just OK. Three days ago it had been deemed “AWESOME!!!!!!”