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Fan Club of the Month: First Austrian New England Patriots Fanclub
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And Austria is no exception. Meeting only two games a season, the First Austrian New England Patriots Fanclub supports the team as much as they can.
Based in Vienna, the Austrian fan club boasts more than 250 members. When the club began as the First Vienna Patriots Fanclub in March 2013, the club only had about 20 members. One of the group’s original members, David Tscheppen, chatted with club president, Christian Storgan as he joked about starting a club.
“It was a Sunday night game and we just watched the game and Christian [Storgan], our president and a friend of mine, he said ‘Oh yeah, we should start a group for all of the Patriots fans in Vienna,’” David told Lifestyle. “He started to create the group and invited some people, and after six months we only got 15 people and at work I only found four people.”
The following September, on a whim the club sent an email to a local television station Puls 4 and the announcers read their email on air as the station showed a Patriots game.
“It was a really crazy because he called me at midnight [during] the game,” David said.
That moment put the group on the map and their number spiked to 190. Once the club noticed they had members from all over Austria, they changed the club’s name to its current one, First Austrian New England Patriots Fanclub. In December, they met as a group for the first time at a T.G. I. Friday’s in Vienna when the Patriots played the Dolphins. They met a second time that season for the playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens.
“It's very difficult to see every [game] and every week,” David said. “Some people are on the other end of Austria so they're driving nine hours to Vienna. That's crazy, only to watch three, four hours football and then going back. So this is very crazy, and we have some crazy guys in this group.”
For David, love for the Patriots began when the team took on the Panthers at Super Bowl XXXVIII. After Tom Brady set a record for the most pass completions in a Super Bowl, David knew the Patriots were the team to follow.
“Every fan, they have Game Pass like me on Xbox1, and we are watching via Facebook in our group,” David said.
When they are able, some of the members make the journey to Foxborough to catch the team in action live. In October, some will see the Patriots take on the Cincinnati Bengals. David hopes he’ll be able to make it to a game soon.
“I want to see Tom Brady live,” he said. “[I’m] trying to be there next year. I hope so.”
Until then, you can catch David and the rest of the First Austrian New England Patriots Fanclub at the T.G.I. Friday’s watching the team take on the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 18. Read