So, I had a fabulous day yesterday. Let me tell you all about it! ;)
My sister, BunnyGirl (what can I say, she likes bunnies!) had tried to get passes for a local living history museum that we hadn’t visited in years. The rainy weather shifted our plans as a monsoon was predicted.
Where did we go?
To Foxboro and Patriots Place! ;)
The owners of the New England Patriots, Robert and Myra Kraft, opened a new mall area in the town of Foxboro right next to the stadium. Now, the shops there except one are shops you can see anywhere, so why go?
Because the new Patriots’ Hall of Fame just opened! :)
Bunny was treating me to a tour of the Hall. She paid for my admission and before that, for lunch. We walked the outdoor mall and saw some high-end restaurants that would have been too pricey, and besides, we wanted a quick lunch so we would get to the Hall. My sister is not as fanatical as I am about the Pats, but she likes and watches the games and knows the history of the team, having been a fan for years, and has been enjoying the success of this decade, too, so going to the Hall was going to be fun for her as well.
The Hall is three stories tall, but the ground floor is the Pro Shop. The exhibits are on the top two floors. We started up on the third floor and saw a display of Tom’s uniform, Randy Moss’ gloves from last season when he caught a record 23 touchdowns, and loads of other memorabilia that delved into the teams’ current success and past. There were fun interactive kiosks asking football questions, and large vidscreens that showed continuous scenes of Pats’ football. It was fun to recognize players of the past as well as the present.
We saw a 15-minute film that covered the team’s history and was very well-done. People who had been fans since 1960 were part of it, talking about the days when the team was a vagabond, traveling from Boston University to Fenway Park to Harvard Stadium to Boston College before finally settling in Foxboro in 1971 in Schaefer Stadium (beer company). The Patriots were ahead of their time, selling naming rights to a big company for their stadium! It was because the stadium was concrete blocks and aluminum bleachers, built on the cheap for six million dollars in ’71 (cheap even by that era’s standards). The team had to practice at a local high school and held training camp in Rhode Island.
The owners were always on a shoestring budget, but Billy Sullivan did bring football to New England and kept them here with even a cheap-o stadium, which all fans can appreciate now. And my family and I sat on those bleachers years ago, and we had fun.
We saw a special photograph of Darryl Stingley, the Patriot wide receiver permanently paralyzed by Oakland Raider Jack Tatum in 1978, and other meaningful exhibits.
Bunny and I had fun with another interactive game and I got most of the answers right, and we saw the Patriots Hall of Fame display for the inductees.
One tent area simulated snow falling as Adam Vinatieri’s infamous kick in the Snow Bowl was shown on-screen, the most remarkable kick in NFL history in a blinding snowstorm. No one knew if it had gone through the uprights until the officials signaled it was good. :) His shoes are in this exhibit, too.
We also enjoyed a mock-up of the huddle and hearing the actual voices of the players piped in, and saw a sample of the plays that Tom Brady wears on his arm during the game. Whew! You have to have smarts to play QB!
There was also a mock-up of the locker room, and my foot is less than half the size of defensive lineman Richard Seymour’s, thank goodness! :) The helmets these guys wear are heavy, too!
There was a replica of a duck boat, which the team used in all three of its Super Bowl victory parades in Boston, a display of all three of their Lombardi (Super Bowl) trophies and a replica of one of the Super Bowl rings. I could fit two fingers in the size of the ring!
The Hall was well worth the money. Fans will appreciate the place and come away happy.
We visited the Bass Pro Shop in the mall next, a store that isn’t common in New England. It’s like the Trading Post in York, Maine and L.L. Bean’s in Freeport, Maine, used to be, catering to hunters and fishermen. I’m not a fan of hunting, but there were other areas of interest in this huge store. A pond and waterfall, a giant fish tank, huge replicas of whales, sharks, etc. There was a general store and all kinds of things you’d never see in a regular store like boats and land rovers!
Bunny also treated me to dinner. We ate at an Irish restaurant that has really good food. It has Tom Brady sirloin on the menu. ;)
We shared Buffalo wings for the appetizer, salad, and wheat rolls, and ordered broiled Boston schrod, butternut squash, and red bliss smashed potatoes.
And I got a birthday cake! Four waitresses and BunnyGirl sang Happy Birthday to me! :)
The cake was from an Italian bakery and was heavenly! It was chocolate with vanilla frosting and orange-and-pink rosettes. Mmm!
So all in all, a great day! Who could miss with a Patriots Birthday? ;)