Day 1 of the Patriots Drive for 5 in Houston started on Sunday for some of the crew.
We arrived at the team hotel around 12:30p. Took one of those luxury shuttles from the George Bush Airport which is around 30 minutes away. Inside the shuttle, the movie playing was "Mission Impossible" which I hope wasn't some sort of shot at the Patriots (Note to Hollie Mendillo, our Kraft Sports Productions project manager: when someone tosses you a bottle of water, the idea is to try and catch it, not let it smash into the video screen behind your head).
In comparison to past Patriots Super Bowl headquarters, this one is pretty nondescript, tucked away in the Galleria section of Houston. It's nice enough and home for the next eight days.
The idea of getting to the hotel the day before is to set up and be ready to hit the ground running when the team hits the ground. We did exactly that in short order because the big event of the day was meeting up with the Drive for 5 bus, scheduled to arrive in Houston around 7pm.
The whole bus tour was awesome. The idea was to provide some Patriots energy all the way to Houston and it did exactly that. If you haven't checked out the tons of content the bus created along the way, check out the Drive for 5 section of Patriots.com. It's great to see how passionate Patriots Nation is, not just in New England, but throughout the country. The folks on the bus did an absolutely amazing job pumping out videos, photos and firing up Patriots fans.
When the bus finally arrived in Houston it was at Diablo Loco, the headquarters of the Patriots Houston Fan Club. President Amanda Howe and her group were on hand in force to greet the bus and the scene was wild. Most asked question: Is Tom Brady on that bus?
Fans were screaming, taking pics with Pat Patriot and clamoring for Patriots goodies as the bus team emptied out everything they had for the trip.
Lots of "One More" chants, the tag line the team has adopted for this run. Speaking of One More, I've heard some fans wondering why that phrase; don't the Patriots want more than just one more?
The idea behind One More is that no matter what the goal, there is a series of one mores that need to happen first. A great example of this is a story Pete Brock, former Patriots center, tells about a game he played against Miami in 1983. On the first play of the game he jacked up his knee pretty bad. Back in the huddle he told John Hannah, "Hog, I think I screwed up my knee." Hannah replied, "Can you go one more play?"
"Yeah, I think so," said Brock.
That conversation continued for the rest of the game. One more play. Brock finished and went into surgery the next day.
That's the idea. Take it one whatever at a time until you get to the finish line.
For the Patriots it's one more day at a time, one more film study, one more practice rep, one more media interview until the next step.
And then they'll get to Sunday.