At 7:30 a.m., fans were lined up at the gates waiting for the first Patriots training camp to start. At the front of the line were James Guest, James Stokes and Brendon Stokes, who have been at the front of the line at training camp for the past six years. This moment was long awaited for the three, who arrived at Gillette Stadium at midnight.
Guest, of Melbourne, Fla., explained that the trio has a long-standing tradition of traveling to Foxboro for training camp. "Every year for the last, probably, six years, we've been first in line," Guest said.
Guest and James Stokes, both originally from N.H., went to high school together and bonded over their love of the Patriots. Stokes also brought his son, Brandon, of Newtown Square, Penn., to share in the fun.
The three arrived at midnight but were told it was too early to start lining up, so they tried to sleep in their car and returned to the gates at 2:30 a.m.
What did they do to pass the time before camp started? "We talk Pats!" explained Guest.
The three line up so early every year so they can get to the bleachers first. "We want to have the best seats to take pictures and get autographs at the end," said Guest.
Even though Guest and the Stokes have waited outside in the unpredictable New England weather for six years in a row, they never let that deter their good time. Waiting in line for the gates to open has become part of their beloved tradition and has added on their fun-filled day at Patriots training camp.