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Out of town fans make annual pilgrimage to Foxborough
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Scott Holt and Todd King had the weekend of Oct. 24 and 25 highlighted on their calendars for months. It was when the two and their out-of-town fan clubs – Scott’s from Phoenix, Ariz., and Todd’s from Raleigh, N.C. – would converge on Foxborough for their annual Patriots pilgrimage.
Although they organize game-watch parties and trips to away games throughout the season, the yearly Foxborough trip has been a fixture for nearly a decade.
“As soon as the schedule comes out, everybody’s ready to go,” Scott said while tailgating before Sunday’s game against the Jets. “By the time the season starts, we’re all waiting for this game.”
This year, Scott brought 35 people, while Todd’s North Carolina contingency was 58 members strong. They were mostly native New Englanders, making the home game experience a homecoming as well.
“It’s awesome,” Todd commented. “You get to see family and friends. The Arizona fan club and us have been friends for 10 years now, so we look forward to seeing them all – both the new faces and familiar ones.
“This morning, bright and early, everybody couldn’t wait to get here,” he continued. “It wasn’t even really about the game; it was more about getting to see your friends.”
Among those friends were a handful of members from the Memphis and Orange County fan clubs, as well as dozens from Tailgater 2000, a group that comes out before every Patriots home game.
“They just kind of open their arms to us,” Scott said, explaining that Tailgater 2000 provides plenty of food and drink for all, “from lobster to you-name-it.”
Todd agreed, calling the Tailgater 2000 crew “the most welcoming people.”
The hospitality, however, is not one-sided, as both Scott’s and Todd’s fan clubs have hosted large gatheringsin their cities too. Last season, Scott helped organize a huge Patriots fan party in Phoenix over Super Bowl weekend, while Todd took charge for the Patriots pre-season game in Carolina. Such events combined with social media and the Patriots Official Fan Club Registry have allowed Patriots from all corners of the country to stay connected and build relationships over the years.
“It’s about camaraderie,” Todd said. “It’s a family.”