12-15-2008, 09:31 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Report from Oakland
My recap from Sunday as I posted to the Patriots Tailgate Club late last night:
Woke up early at 5am which should be illegal on Sundays.
Left from Irvine for LAX at 6am and checked in for my Southwest flight smoothly. Arrived at the gate to see a whole bunch of Raider fans. I was wearing my jersey under a jacket that was partially zipped so it was visible but not obvious. Got some looks but no one said anything and I just kept to myself, listening to some Patriots and Raiders podcasts on my iPod.
On the flight were probably 20 or so Raiders fans and just three of us Pats fans. Talked to some of the Raider fans sitting near me and they were cool. Some of them fly up to Oakland for every home game, and when they continue to do that even when their team was been eliminated from playoff contention probably a month ago, you have to give them props for their dedication.
Arrived in Oakland and took the BART Shuttle bus over to the Coliseum which is the closest BART station. On the way, we got stopped at an intersection by the Hilton as the police were escorting a bus and probably a dozen cars. As they headed straight toward the Coliseum, I'm figuring this must have been the Pats or Raiders though I'm not sure which. The Pats were staying down in San Jose earlier this week to practice so I'm not sure whether they would move hotels just for one night when its saves only about an hour of drive time. It could have also been the Raiders since some teams do stay in hotels the night before a home game.
Got to Jillian's and found our Pats fans there at the bar. Many familiar faces from the San Fran game back in October and a bunch of new ones too.
After getting our fill of food and drink it was time to head out. While the plan was to stay "undercover" in terms of Pats attire until we got into the stadium, it really wasn't necessary as we hardly saw any Raider fans coming in from San Fran.
At the stadium we found our section just as the Pats were just finishing up their warm-ups.
There was just a light drizzle coming down so we were optimistic that conditions would hold up and it would be a great day for football. We followed the Jets and Dolphins scores by phone but I don't think any of us realized how close each of those teams were to losing and helping out the Pats. Oh well...
At the first TV timeout, Randy Moss was shaking hands and hugging a lot of Raider players on the field that he probably hasn't seen in two years. The crowd however booed loudly everytime Moss or Jordan made a play which there were plenty of.
The Pats offense started off fast and as we were sitting in the end zone that the Pats were playing toward in the first quarter, it was great to see those three early TDs happen right in front of us.
Aside from a brief break late in the 1st quarter, the rain never really stopped and actually began to fall harder.
Watching the game highlights right now as write this, I don't think TV viewers really got a good idea of how much rain was actually falling. The field held up surprisingly well and I was a bit surprised there weren't more turnovers.
By the 3rd quarter many fans had already left and by the end of the game only the angry bitters one remained.
For the most part Raider fans didn't get in our faces or get personal with their comments. Mostly just a lot of yelling and cursing. There were a few things thrown our way but security was on top of it and removed the culprits right away.
About half way through the 4th quarter we made our way down to the lower rows at midfield right behind the Pats bench. Bitter Raider fans yelled their lungs out at the Pats and Belichick with silly, old-news chants like "18 & 1", "Cheaters", etc.
Kelly Washington in particular enjoyed interacting with the home team fans. He got the Black Hole riled up with some friendly taunting before a kick return and on the sideline he was telling them all to go home (with a smile on his face). Lamont Jordan and Richard Seymour were also quite entertained by the friendly hospitality they received from the silver and black that stayed to the end.
Our group shrunk down to just 6 of us by the end and thanks to the blowout, getting back on the BART was easy as most of the fans were already dry at home.
At SFO Airport many flights were delayed due to a security alert but fortunately I was able to get on stand by for an earlier flight.
While walking through the terminal, Roosevelt Colvin and I crossed paths. I told him "good game" and "good to have you back". Not sure why he wasn't on the team charter flight back to Boston but I didn't want to be to nosey or bother him for an autograph or picture especially because I don't think anyone else recognized him and doing that will often draw attention and attract others to do the same.
Another great day for Pats fans and I hope that the rest of you that were at the game enjoyed it as much as we did in 148.
Many more photos will be posted at the Patriots Tailgate Yahoo Group.
Join Patriots Tailgate here if you are going to any road game
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