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An Amazing Road Trip to JAX...(Long)

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgcolby, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. mgcolby

    mgcolby Woohoo, I'm a VIP!!! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As many know my family and I went to Jacksonville for the Jags game. I wanted to ensure that I could get 5 seats together for the game so I bought season tickets for the Jags in April. In May I booked our hotel using Priceline, I named my price at $65 and got a 3 star hotel. I didn’t pay much attention when it said the Marriot as I figured it had to be the Courtyard by Marriot. Fast forward seven months and it is game time. We head out from Virginia Friday morning and arrive at the Hotel later in the evening (after some scary but minor truck trouble). To find that it is a full service Marriot and we get booked on the 9th level usually reserved for “Elite Members” (ha). After bringing in my many totes full of Tailgating equipment we left in search of a store. Upon our return I see another guy with a bunch of trunks and thought, “glad I’m not the only one looking foolish” and jumped on the elevator. When I turned and looked as the doors were closing I noticed the trunks had the NFL Films logo all over them, we all thought it was neat that we were in the same hotel as NFL films and didn’t think much of it after that.

    Saturday we did some sightseeing and returned to the hotel around 6 pm to find three large busses, Police Cars and bunch of people standing in the lobby wearing Pats gear looking for autographs. Naturally we were excited to find out that by nothing more than **** luck we were staying in the same hotel as the Pats. My Kids and my brothers quickly went up to the room to get their Pats stuff on and came back down to the lobby. I went outside to the truck and watched Koppen get of an SUV, hug his dad and wish his family a merry Christmas. About 10 minutes later I watched Asante jump out of an SUV and literally run into the hotel. Back in the lobby I noticed a bunch of fans leaving the restaurant in front of Vrabel and Light, Vrabel walked by and my brother asked if he had a minute which he promptly replied with a no; Which pissed my 19 year old brother off but made me chuckle. All of the players for the next hour or so were in meetings down the blocked off hallway and nothing much was going on until I noticed my brother talking to a group of folks. As I walked up I quickly noticed that he was shooting the **** with Gostkowski. They talked for an hour or so just sitting in the lobby. As the night went on my brothers and Sons kept lingering around the elevator jumping on with various Patriots and getting autographs.

    My six year old son was wearing his Bruschi shirt and as soon as he saw him he ran up to him before any of us could grab him, we could tell he wasn’t in the mood to sign but my boy put him in an awkward position so he kindly signed the “4” on the left shoulder for my son and then came over and signed for some more kids. My boys and my brothers got a ton of autographs, Graham took a picture with my boys and was a very good guy overall. Corey was kind of odd he just stood talking with any player that happened to walk by in plain view of the crowd but didn’t come over to sign for anyone (Most of the other players hid from the crowd behind the curtain that blocked off the hallway). Belichick and his boys stayed five rooms down from ours on the 9th floor, I only saw his sons. My brother bumped into him getting off of the elevator and asked for his autograph and he told him to mail his shirt to the stadium. Too many details to completely cover from that night but over all it was a great day especially for my boys and my brothers. On Sunday morning we stayed back and video taped them getting on the bus and taking off before we headed to the stadium for some tailgating.

    If anyone has a chance to attend a game at Alltel I highly recommend it, not a bad seat in the house and overall a very friendly group of fans. The game was great as you all know with the exception of the Brady hit. As we were leaving the stadium we had to walk by the CBS trucks and a golf cart carrying Gumbel and Dierdorf drove by and stopped right next to us. I had no idea that Dierdorf was handicapped, it looks as if he can’t put any pressure at all on his right leg and hip. Another reminder of how much these guys put on the line.

    Nothing else could have capped off this weekend better than a division clinching win. When we got back to the hotel I went to the bar to relax and have a few beers. The bar had about 8 guys sitting around talking and I struck up conversation with the one next to me. A few minutes later I noticed a guy had a CBS Sports hat on, so naturally I asked if they worked for CBS and they all said yes. They did various jobs working in the trucks and lived all over the US and fly in on Friday and Fly out on Monday (for a Sunday game). Some tidbits that I learned that may interest some of you:

    • The NFL almost always books the teams, NFL Film crew etc.. at the Marriot in each city.
    • The reason CBS only shows 3 games in HD is because the main equipment in New York can’t handle more than that. Fox as many probably know broadcast their games in HD Lite much like DTV does.
    All in all it was a fantastic weekend that will be hard to beat next year and all of it was **** luck as a result of a $65 Priceline request.

    Sorry for rambling on I thought a few folks might enjoy reading about it.
     
  2. Brownfan80

    Brownfan80 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Great read, mgcolby, happy new year buddy. :)
     
  3. PhilD

    PhilD On the Roster

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    Nice post, sounds like you had a great time.
     
  4. mgcolby

    mgcolby Woohoo, I'm a VIP!!! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Same to you.
     
  5. Flying Fungi

    Flying Fungi In the Starting Line-Up

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    very good read--thanks for sharing!
     
  6. italian pat patriot

    italian pat patriot In the Starting Line-Up

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    #12 Jersey

    nice ! grazie for sharing the emotions
     
  7. Fanfrom1960

    Fanfrom1960 In the Starting Line-Up

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    MG, thanks for sharing and nicely written. I don't usually have the patience for a post that long, but I read it all!
     
  8. patsacolachick

    patsacolachick Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I was there too!!! And I actually had that hotel all picked out to book but then my daughter decided she wanted to stay closer to the stadium. We stayed at the Hyatt which was full of Pats fans, but then my daughter started asking around about where the Pats were staying, we got a bogus tip that they were at the Marriott in Sawgrass so because this trip was her Christmas present we headed out there, we passed your Marriott along the way and she was like "Mom there are a lot of busses there!" but of course we carried on to the other Marriott, 1/2 hour away and of course they were not there! On the way back she begged me to stop at the Marriott with the buses and sure enough, when we saw the cop cars out front we knew it was the right one. We went in and I had a drink at the bar (which was tiny!) but it was 11:00 and I was pretty sure there would be not Patriot sightings that night. We took a picture in front of their busses, of course it killed my daughter cause she knew that was the hotel I had originally picked out! Anyway we had a fabulous time too, you can't beat being there for the division championship. I cannot wait until next year to plan our next football trip!
     
  9. mgcolby

    mgcolby Woohoo, I'm a VIP!!! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It died down around 10-10:30 and yes the bar barely sat a dozen people. I sat in the Lobby farely late the only player that was left was Corey Mays he was in the back of the lobby chatting with his family.
     
  10. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Many thanks McGolby and Patsacolchick! :rocker:
     
  11. Crowpointer

    Crowpointer Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Sounds awesome. I always like hearing the stories about great road trips. I did 2 myself this year (GB and Miami) and even tough we didn't win both games I highly recommend them to anybody thinking about taking one in the future. Always a memorable time. Anybody go to Tennessee ? Let's hear about it !
     

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