2017 News Stories

Several hundred Foxboro residents and Patriots fans congregate on Foxboro Common Saturday for a day-before-Super Bowl LI rally. (Mark Stockwell / Sun Chronicle staff.)

Several hundred Foxboro residents and Patriots fans congregate on Foxboro Common Saturday for a day-before-Super Bowl LI rally. (Mark Stockwell / Sun Chronicle staff.)

In team’s hometown, Patriots fans rally on the Foxboro Common

BY JUDEE COSENTINO / FOR THE SUN CHRONICLE Feb 4, 2017 FOXBORO – With the clock ticking to Super Bowl, New England Patriots fans gathered for a rally on the Foxboro Common on Saturday, their spirits hot enough to melt the snow-covered ground under their feet.

The hour-long rally, presented by the Foxboro Jaycees, also held a surprise for the 300 or so fans, as Chris Mitchell, vice chairman of the board of selectman, read a proclamation that designated Feb. 5 as New England Patriots Day in Foxboro, in honor of their seventh trip to the Super Bowl.

“Finally!” one woman exclaimed as Mitchell read the proclamation.

Despite the temperature standing at only 34 degrees, those who attended the rally were more than happy to show their spirit as they created hand-lettered signs encouraging their favorite team and danced to the music from deejay Paul Feeney. Foxboro High School cheerleaders, as well as members of Elite Dance Center, were also on hand to pump up the crowd’s spirit. There were even a few family pets in Patriots gear.

“Decorate the flagpole, decorate everything in this town, because we’re getting ready for one more win!” Feeney encouraged the crowd. “Make as much noise as you can so they can hear us down in Houston…we are the real city of champions!”

Among the signs’ slogans were “Do Your Job,” “Drive For Five,” and “Go Pats #5.” Before the rally, Maureen Sergei of Foxboro had already made her sign: a cutout of a photo of quarterback Tom Brady’s head under a painstakingly written “In Tom We Trust.”

Sergei’s husband Richard predicted a win by the Patriots in Sunday night’s game with a score of 31-24.

“Patriots, all the way,” Richard Sergei said.

Paul and Michelle Brevett, also of Foxboro, wore paper hats in the shape of the team logo, which a friend from the Boston Globe had given them. The Brevetts were out to lunch at Subway when they were attracted by the activity on the Common.

“I think it’s great for the town to feel connected as Foxboro residents,” Michelle Brevett said.

Although Boston is the major city, the epicenter of Patriots pride is undoubtably in Foxboro, as Lynda Walsh, the Jaycees vice president, pointed out.

“All the publicity goes to Boston, because we are a New England team,” Walsh said, “but this is their hometown, and we should be proud.”

It was Walsh who brought the idea of a rally to the Jaycees board, and it was apparent the first-time event was a success.

“It’s a good way to get people together in a happy way to celebrate,” Walsh said. “It shows the team and the Krafts that we’re behind them.”

Residents gather to support the Patriots on Foxborough common

By Heather Gillis/HGillis@wickedlocal.com

FOXBOROUGH–Hundreds of fans turned out for one last Super Bowl LI rally on the Foxborough Common Saturday afternoon, letting their hometown New England Patriots know that they are behind them and want just “one more” win in tomorrow’s matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.

Fans, and even some family pets, were decked out in their red, white and blue Patriots Pride colors. Some sported their “Gronk” and “Brady” shirts while other carried signs, “Belichick for President” and “They Hate Us Cuz They Ain’t Us”.

The Foxboro Jaycees organized the rally that included a poster making table, face painting, and DJ Paul Feeney.

Feeney got the crowd fired up and dancing with the help of the Foxborough High School cheerleaders, the Foxborough Pop Warner Cheerleaders, and performers from the Foxborough Elite Dance Center.

“Lynda Walsh, (the Ways and Means Jaycee Vice President) presented the idea and we wanted to show our pride in town for our team,” said Jaycee Membership Vice President Laureen House. “We wanted to bring the town together to cheer together.”

Food donations were also collected during the event that benefitted the Foxborough Discretionary Food Pantry.

Andrea Murphy and her son Joey, 3, traveled from Wrentham to attend the rally.

“I wanted to expose him to the festivities,” Murphy said. “Foxborough does a lot of great things on the common that are family friendly. We met up with our friends who live here and wanted to cheer for the Patriots! This is a fun, feel-good break.”

Murphy’s friend Heather Bearce, who brought her two children, Mallory, 4 and Zealand, 3, said she moved to Foxborough four years ago because of it’s reputation for having a good school system.

“It’s amazing to be here today and part of it. We bump into (Patriot players) around town and they are always great, even calling me ‘ma’am’. We love living here,” Bearce said.

On hand at the rally was Town Administrator Bill Keegan and selectmen Chris Mitchell and James DeVellis.

“It’s freezing, but I’m feeling the love,” Keegan said.

Keegan read a citation from State Rep Jay Barrows (R-Mansfield) that recognized the town for being the official home of the New England Patriots and wished the team and town good luck.

“It’s awesome seeing everyone out here today,” Mitchell said. “We are real lucky to have the Patriots right down the street.”

Mitchell also made a special announcement that caused the crowd to cheer.

“Sunday, Feb. 5 (2017) is designated as New England Patriots day here in Foxborough,” he said.

Congressman Joe Kennedy III sent a letter that Feeney read out loud, thanking Foxborough for being the face of Patriots nation.

“Thank you for graciously housing us in your town and playing a key role in their success,” Kennedy wrote.

At the conclusion of the event, with sirens blaring, police and fire paraded their cruisers and trucks around the common. Foxboro Cable Access then asked the crowd to come together to create one final message for the Pats.

“They will be sending this to the Patriots tonight so they know that we are behind them,” Feeney said.

With the sirens blaring and music playing, fans enthusiastically raised their hands, holding up decorated signs and, like the New England Patriots, came together for one final battle call, “ONE MORE!”


Celebrate one more time: Pats fans stage rally, skip school, win bets

By Bera Dunau The Foxboro Reporter Feb 9, 2017 Updated Feb 9, 2017

Patriots fans hold up their signs for the camera during rally on the Common Saturday afternoon. Photo by Robert Gillis

Patriots fans hold up their signs for the camera during rally on the Common Saturday afternoon. Photo by Robert Gillis

The hometown of the New England Patriots celebrated before and after the team’s historic, 34-28 overtime victory in Super Bowl LI.

Fans turned out for a pre-game rally on the Common Saturday and many went to greet the team when their buses returned to Gillette Stadium on Monday evening. Some even skipped school or work to be at the victory parade Tuesday in downtown Boston.

It should come as no surprise that Foxboro High School is full of New England Patriots fans, and that some students were so dedicated to the team they decided to skip out on school entirely for the fifth Patriots duck boat parade.

And it wasn’t a small number.

“A little over 300 is safe to say,” said Foxboro Schools Superintendent Debbie Spinelli.

Spinelli said that this mass, Patriots-inspired absences have happened before in Foxboro, but there would be no special penalties for those diehard fans who were out Tuesday.

“Things like that happen,” she said. “Parents make the decision every day whether to send their kids to school or not.”

She also said that she could understand why parents would be OK with letting their kids miss school in order to watch the parade.

“Nevertheless it still counts as a student absence,” said Spinelli.

Those students who skipped on Tuesday were not allowed to attend after-school or evening school activities, including sports practices and games, as per the usual policy on being absent.

A good bet

The Patriots’ stunning comeback against the Atlanta Falcons will surely go down as one of the greatest games in all of sports. And perhaps few Foxboro residents were more nervous about the outcome of the game than Foxboro Board of Selectmen Chairman David Feldman.

Feldman entered into a wager with the mayor of Flowery Branch, Georgia, on the outcome of the game that involved the key clause that the loser of the bet would have to wear the winning team’s jersey at his next public meeting. And with the Patriots down 28-3 in the third quarter, things were looking bleak for Feldman.

“Through the first half I was pretty nervous,” said Feldman.

Indeed, it wasn’t until overtime, after the Patriots had tied the game 28-28, that Feldman said that he became confident that the Pats would indeed win.

“The Mayor of Flowery Branch Georgia received a Tom Brady authentic Patriots jersey,” said Feldman, at the end of this Tuesday’s meeting of the board. “He will wear that at a city council meeting on Feb. 16, and he will get to feel what it’s like to be a champion.”

Flowery Branch is the city that officially headquarters the Atlanta Falcons, and Feldman confirmed that pictures of the mayor in the jersey of the Patriots’ star quarterback will indeed be taken.

Happy birthday indeed

Another person who was especially happy to see the Patriots win was Boyden Library Director Manny Leite. The Super Bowl was on Leite’s birthday, and the last time the Patriots played on his birthday they lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI 21-17.

So, it should come as no surprise that Leite appreciated this year’s victory for his team.

“It was a very nice birthday present,” he said.

After the Patriots’ discouraging early performance, Leite said that he began to just have the game on in the background. However, as the comeback swung into full force, Leite’s hope returned.

“I just had this suspicion,” he said. “They’re going to come back. They’re going to tie this game.”

Leite had also performed a bit of magic himself the week before, predicting in The Foxboro Reporter that the Falcons would beat The Patriots. He said that he had done this as a way to jinx the Falcons, and it appears to have worked.

“I’m happy for the players. I’m happy for the town of Foxboro,” said Leite.

Tough to predict

As fate would have it, no one asked to predict the final score of Super Bowl LI by The Foxboro Reporter accurately prognosticated the ultimate result of what turned out to be a thriller for the ages. But one person came very very close.

Tammy Young, an employee of Eurest, the company that runs the Schneider Electric commissary; predicted that the New England Patriots would beat the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 34-27, one point shy of the Patriots’ 34-28 overtime victory, achieved after being down 28-3.

“It was awesome,” said Young, when asked what it felt like to be so close in her prediction.

She also said that she never lost faith in the team.

“We always know our team’s gonna come back,” she said. “We’re a comeback team.”

She said that the two point conversion that tied the game 28-28 was her favorite part of the game.

Young also said that during the Patriots’ final drive she’d said repeatedly, “We’re doing this for (Tom) Brady’s mom.”

The New England Patriots quarterback’s mother has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer.

Proclamations, celebration

At a pre-Super Bowl rally on the common on Saturday, sponsored by the Jaycees, two proclamations were read: One, from the town of Foxboro, designated Feb. 5, 2017 to be New England Patriots Day in town; The other, from the state house of representatives, recognized Foxboro as the home of the Patriots. A statement from Congressman Joe Kennedy was also read.

“The rally went really well actually,” said Foxboro Town Manager Bill Keegan.

Additionally, both proclamations were read out at Tuesday’s board of selectmen meeting.

Foxboro Cable Access recorded the rally, which also featured two firetrucks on the Common for kids, DJ Paul Feeney blasting out some pump-up tunes and a sign-making table. In addition to signs made by Paul Farmer around the Common, the fences were also decorated with homemade signs and balloons donated by Judy’s Village Flowers downtown.

Lynda Walsh, who was the key organizer of the event, made sure that the Patriots received a video Saturday of their hometown fans, who all gathered in front of the bandstand and shouted GO PATRIOTS WIN ONE MORE!

Keegan was also enthusiastic about the game, characterizing it as having had the best fourth quarter of football he’s ever seen.

“We will never forget that performance,” he said. “It was one for the ages.”

Note: These stories were taken from the news web sites on which they appeared and all content in this post is copyright by the original writers and photographers and no copyright in infringement is intended.

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