February 2 2018,  Saugus

 A Super Bowl Donut War

Kane’s co-owner takes some “Boston Cream” and Go Pats!” Donuts to NYC for producers of NBC’s Today show

By Mark E. Vogler

NBC’s “Today” show called Kane’s Donuts this week, requesting the Lincoln Avenue shop in Saugus to ship out some of its best Boston Cream Donuts to the television network’s New York City studio. But Paul Delios, president and co-owner of Kane’s, decided the best way for NBC to sample the donuts that are half of a celebrated Super Bowl wager for Sunday’s Patriots-Eagles championship game would be to bring the donuts fresh. So Delios left early yesterday (Thursday) morning so he could arrive in time for the Today show’s morning broadcast with the famous Boston Cream donuts that made headlines recently when Dottie’s Donuts in Philadelphia announced it was banning Boston Cream donuts and all New England-themed donuts “until the Eagles win the Super Bowl.”

But Kane’s – which has a 5-3 record against donut shops outside of New England in previous Super Bowl wagers – expects that Dottie’s will have to ship the Cookies & Cream donuts that it bet against the Boston Creams. So, it’s Kane’s of Saugus vs. Dottie’s of Philly in this year’s great Super Bowl Donuts War: the outcome to be determined by Sunday night’s (6:30 p.m.) showdown in Minneapolis between the AFC Champion Patriots and the NFC Champion Eagles.

“They called us because they know we have a bet going on with Dottie’s Donuts,” Kane’s co-owner Peter Delios, Jr. said in an interview this week, referring to the phone call his brother Paul received on Tuesday from Today.

“If the Pats win, they’ll [Dottie’s] send us a dozen of their donuts. If they win, then we’ll send them a dozen of our Boston Cream donuts. That’s the main part of the bet,” Peter, Jr. told The Advocate.

“Also part of the wager: If the Pats win, the people in Philadelphia have to wear Patriots jerseys. And if the Eagles win, we’ll have to wear Philadelphia jerseys – which I won’t be doing because it’s just not happening,” he said.

Although NBC didn’t specifically request it, there’s another part of the Kane’s Donuts package that Paul Delios is escorting down to New York City. “We’ll be dropping off some Go Pats! donuts, too,” Peter, Jr. said in an interview this week. “We make them every year during the football season – and keep making them in the playoffs as long as they win. They’re pretty popular among our customers,” he said.


A Go Pats! tradition

So, what is a Go Pats! donut? It’s a yeast-raised donut with vanilla frosting with red, white and blue jimmies to represent the Patriots. A tray consists of 24. It takes up to 90 minutes to bake the donuts and then another 5 to 10 minutes to frost them, according to Peter, Jr.

Making the Go Pats! donuts has become a tradition that overlaps the 17 consecutive winning seasons that began with the 2001 season when a young Tom Brady led the Patriots to their first Super Bowl Championship over the two-touchdown favorite-St. Louis Rams (20-17, Feb. 3, 2002). “Every year since 2001 – when the Patriots went on to win their first Super Bowl, we have been making the Go Pats! donuts,” Peter, Jr. said.

“The players have eaten these donuts – the trainers, the coaches, even Bob Kraft. It’s been a good run over the last 17 years, and these donuts have been a part of it, along with Tom Brady,” Peter, Jr. said, as he stood in front of a giant cardboard cutout of the Pat’s great quarterback, who is now 40 but still performing like the NFL’s Most Valuable Player.

“People will be able to buy these for Sunday. And we’ll keep making them as long as they keep winning and come back to Boston with another [Vince] Lombardi Trophy,” he said.

This is the sixth Super Bowl for Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, who have already won the most regular season games, playoff games and Super Bowls of any quarterback-head coach tandem in NFL history.

As for Kane’s, Super Bowl wagers began with franchise’s second appearance in the NFL title game back in January 1997. “I had a bet with a local customer who comes in and has allegiance to the Green Bay Packers,” Peter, Jr. recalled.

“If the Patriots had won, I was going to make him wear a Minuteman hat. If they won, I had to wear a ‘cheesehead’ while I was waiting on customers,” he said.

“It was rough. It certainly was,” he said of the Packers’ 35-21 victory over the Patriots. So were the two Super Bowl losses that followed to the New York Giants – 17-14 in February 2008 and 21-17 in February 2002 – both wins come-from-behind thrillers that the underdog Giants pulled out in the closing minutes of the games.

The 2008 Super Bowl loss, spoiling what would have been a perfect 19-0 season by the Pats, was particularly painful, according to Peter, Jr. “I had to wear a Giants hat that Monday when I came in. All of the Patriots fans were depressed,” he said.

Confidence is running high these days with the Pats, who were winners of two classic comebacks in the last three Super Bowls:

  • A shocking 28-24 win over Seattle in February 2015 when unknown cornerback Malcolm Butler saved the game for the Pats with an interception at the goal line when the Seahawks elected to pass instead of run the ball with one of the league’s best running backs.
  • An unbelievable 34-28 overtime win over Atlanta, after trailing 28-3 with barely more than two minutes left in the third period.


“Kane’s all the way”

Like the Patriots and their fans, employees at Kane’s Donuts are full of confidence as Sunday’s showdown with the Eagles approaches. “Last Sunday there was a gentleman who came in wearing a Philadelphia sweater and a hat,” said Peter, Jr., a Saugus resident and 1987 graduate of Saugus High School. “I told him he was a brave man for coming in here like that. He’s from the North Shore,” he said.

While Kane’s has won most of the Super Bowl bets [five of eight], he said they really haven’t been impressed with donuts they’ve received as part of the bets for Super Bowl and playoff wins – “Typical classic donuts, nothing special. We got them beat on that, too.” This is the ninth Super Bowl wager that Kane’s has been involved in since the Delios family bought the business in 1988.

When the Patriots win a wager, Peter, Jr. quipped, “It’s like a lopsided Patriots win.” “We outshine the competition. Just like the Patriots, ‘we do our job’,” he said, referring the slogan “Do Your Job,” the motto of the 2014 Patriots that went on to beat Seattle in the 2015 Super Bowl.

The Boston Cream donut is “a big seller” for Kane’s. But the Honey-Dipped donut is “Number One,” he said.

Kane’s been in business at its Lincoln Avenue location since 1955. “All of our national recognition came when my mom and dad – Peter, Sr. and Kay Delios – took over,” Peter, Jr. said.

“And the years since my dad died, we’ve brought more recognition to the store. I ship donuts from here in Saugus all over the United States. We don’t forget where we came from … It’s been an amazing ride to be along for with the Patriots. We’ve been looking forward to this every year since they won their first Super Bowl. It’s been a heck of a run,” he said.

The younger generation of Kane’s employees are almost cocky, their confidence fueled by their trust in Brady. “I’m looking forward to next week, because we’re going to be trying Philadelphia donuts. It’s going to be awesome! We got Tom Brady,” said Alyssa Forgione, 20, a 2015 Saugus High School graduate.

Forgione, who is studying at Salem State University, frosted some of the Go Pats! donuts on Wednesday. “The Patriots are so good, I’m looking forward to trying all of these other donuts. Now I’m looking forward to trying those donuts from Philadelphia. That’s all I got to say,” Forgione said.

Peter Delios, 38, of Peabody – Peter Jr.’s nephew – went to work at Kane’s when he was 17 in 1997. “I remember my uncle walking around with the “cheesehead,” Peter recalled. “But, thankfully, we’ve won more than we’ve lost, because Tom Brady has done such a great job … “I’ve tried them [donuts from outside New England] all, every time the Patriots won it. It’s all in good fun,” he said.

“I’m really excited to have the Patriots to root for in another Super Bowl. Of course, we’re going to win the bet – Kane’s all the way! Tom Brady is going to do fantastic as usual,” he said.

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