Getting a chance to root for the home team never gets old
One thing that a person should try to do at least once in their lives is go to an NFL game. I was recently able to have this experience by attending my first New England Patriots game.
Even if you may not care all too much about the game, it is a great opportunity to socialize and share food and drinks with people from all over the area.
The day started bright and early for me and my brother at 6:00 a.m. when our dad got us up and ready for the long day ahead. After eating some eggs, I got dressed in plenty of layers with my Tom Brady jersey on top.
I was hoping that by the end of the game I’d be able to go by the pro shop to buy a new Mac Jones jersey, but my luck ran dry and there weren’t any. With the car all packed up with jackets, a grill and food, we were out the door around 7:25 a.m.
The drive down to Foxborough featured two stops at my older brother’s house and my cousin’s house who were going to the game too. Leaving early paid off big time, since there was practically no traffic at all, even around the O’Neill Tunnel going into Boston. When we got near Gillette Stadium, the feeling of going to the game really started to kick in and I was so excited.
It was 9:00 a.m. when we had the car parked and got all our things ready. The portable grill was brought out along with some potatoes, kielbasa, mushrooms and steak tips my dad had been marinating for a couple of days. While we waited to walk down, I tossed a football around with my dad and some other kids for a while. Soon came 12:30 p.m. and the march to Gillette commenced.
Waiting in line to scan our tickets was so crazy; I’d never thought I’d see so many people crowded around a couple of gateways to get into an even bigger building. When I asked how high up we’d be and my dad showed us, I was in awe, but then we got up to the seats so I really understood how high up we were.
I could see for miles in the distance and the players looked like ants. The large screens on the left and right sides of the stadium helped to get a closer and more magnified view of the field. It felt so surreal that I was finally at the game, sitting in my seat, watching my favorite football team take on a division rival.
The game was nothing like how I could have imagined. Those beside me were just as invested in the action like me. Every time we picked up a first down you would hear the roar from the crowd of everyone cheering “First Down!”
Damien Harris would have a good showing by picking up 103 rushing yards on 18 attempts and getting all three of the team’s touchdowns. However, the Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen was carving up the Patriots’ defense like a turkey on Thanksgiving by throwing for 314 yards and three touchdowns on 30 completions off 47 attempts.
One key play the Pats missed was on the Bills’ final scoring drive in the fourth quarter when Patriots Pro Bowl cornerback J.C. Jackson dropped an interception that could have been returned for a touchdown and easily sealed the game for New England. The final score was 33-21 Buffalo, but it was still so exciting to watch.
While walking back to the car, I felt so content and happy that I watched my first in-person NFL game. We wouldn’t leave immediately in order to avoid traffic, so my dad fired up the grill again and cooked up some more steak. Around 7:30 p.m. is when we’d step back into my house which wasn’t too bad.
Now I can finally say that I’ve been to a Patriots game and one thing is for certain, I can’t wait to go back!
Daniel O’Toole is a Malden High School senior and a journalist for the award-winning school newspaper, The Blue and Gold.