By: Kevin Rousseau - Kevin's Articles are Sponsored by Comdoctor.net
September 07, 2010

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We've been through a lot together-you and I.

You've read my column over the last eight years. Sometimes it gave you something to think about. Other times perhaps it was just a good laugh that broke up your day a little bit. Still, there were plenty of columns over the years that were just plain stinkers but you stood by me and kept coming back. You know who you are, the 1,000-2,000 of you for whom I am very grateful for every week during the season.

We've been through a lot together-you and I.

Ian, Ian, Ian. Just what makes you so devotional to this patsfans.com website when it has been a labor of love and not one of profit for over a decade. If the folks who enjoy the quality website that you put your name behind only knew. They would be amazed that because of your job and being the great dad that you are, amazingly you've only been to a handful of games in Foxboro over the years. Maybe this is the year that the messageboard will rise up and rightfully nominate you for Fan of the Year. Who could be more deserving? But beyond the ups and downs we've shared while keeping this website going, you've become a dear friend even though we only see each other maybe once a year as I'm blasting by on I-95. Patsfans.com is great, but you're better.

We've been through a lot together-you and I.

Or should I say "Bert and I" with apologies to Marshall Dodge. One day, as a little boy I can distinctly remember being lead by you through the blueberry fields past the telephone tower to Schaeffer Stadium to see a pre-season game against the Kansas City Chiefs. All I remember of that day besides the walk is that I really liked Cracker Jacks. Then the next minute, we are taking the two little munchkins to their first Patriots game a few weeks back. Another pre-season tilt. This time against the Saints. Suddenly, those pre-season tickets aren't such the albatross they've always been when the kids get to go to a Patriots game with their dad and Bumpa. Oh yes, I still can't figure out how it happened but somewhere between there and here, we saw hundreds of games together and will never forget seeing the look on your face inside the Superdome that night in February 2002.

We've been through a lot together-you and I.

I told you when we first started dating that "I'm kinda into the Patriots." In retrospect, that was like Jabba the Hutt saying "I kinda like to eat." The ashen look on your face the first time you saw me handle a fourth quarter Patriots meltdown still brings a grin to my lips. Through it all, you've played along and even bought the ticket for that game in New Orleans that-although foggier as the years goes by-still gives me goosebumps when I stop to think about it.

You were the person who always supported me. Whether it was starting to write this column sin 2002, encouraging me to give live television a shot, throwing my lot in with the Coast Guard, or just about anything else over the years. Years from now--hopefully--, please put that column that I wrote for this website "Think You Had a Better Week Than Me?" from October 2004 in my casket. To think that it's revised version, "For Many Reasons It Was a Week To Remember" netted us a "Notable Sports Writing of 2004" in that year's version of the "Best American Sports Writing" is something that can never be taken away from us. Indeed the former Ms. Peters, that column was lightening in a bottle. Just like our two little munchkins.

We've been through a lot together-you and I.

The tailgating gang loosely named Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch has had many members over the years. Some came. Some went. Some like Matt we just can't get rid of. But looking back, the laughter and the deep friendship that I've shared with them over the years probably comes to the front of my mind equally as much as what happened in the stadium across the street a few hours later. I'm glad I could be the source of so much amusement to you over the years. Whether it was trying to thaw and serve a pie in 25 degree weather, being made sport of for the 3,489th time over the years, or trying to catch my grandfather as he took a nosedive off the makeshift picnic table; I'm glad I could amuse you.

We've been through a lot together-you and I.

It tears me up to know that you are gone. It feels a bit empty to make the trip back home to see the Patriots on a fall weekend and not being able to see you or Meme while I'm in town. Your enthusiasm, encouragement, giant heart and passion for the Patriots have all been traits that I think I've inherited from you. I'll be sitting at work and listening to a iTunes shuffle and that clip of Gil Santos calling the Drew Bledsoe touchdown pass to Kevin Turner will come on. For 20 seconds or so, we are back together again on that beautiful autumn day in 1994. Each time, I listen to hear our voices among the 61,000 that went bananas when the referees two arms went straight up in the air.

We've been through a lot together-you and I.

You've changed your logo once or twice. But somehow I keep staring back at you. Being with you is like any long-term relationship. There have been the times when you've disappointed me with a moribund season or through Spygate. But there have been so many more times when you brought me great joy like a win against the Raiders or the Colts in the snow. I've always been in your corner. Looking back on the different stages of the first half of my life, you've been a constant. That means something to me as I get more gray hair by the day.

It irks me when people ignore you and would rather talk about the fourth outfielder for the Red Sox. I laugh along with you when people think you are some type of boogie man. "Do you know that there was a time that they were more of a running joke than the Detroit Lions?" I would respond. The Victory Tour fiasco. The great toilet flush to inaugurate Schaeffer Stadium. The Chuck Fairbanks fiasco. Victor Kiam. Quite a shopping list to pick from. Now you're hated around the League because you've won too much. What a riot.

We have indeed been through a lot together-you and I.

I'm not Carnac. I have no idea what is going to happen after the ball is kicked off on Sunday when the Cincinnati Bengals come to Foxboro. But with a new chapter in this lifelong story about to be penned, I can hardly wait to see what we'll go through together in 2010.

You and I.


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