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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Fri Apr 16 - 12:00 AM | Sun Apr 18 - 11:59 PM

Pats announce Fan of the Year

FOXBORO, Mass. – Many Fan of the Year candidates pledge a blind faith in their support of the New England Patriots. Randy Pierce (a.k.a. "Zip"), who will be honored as the 2001 Fleet/Patriots Fan of the Year during pre-game ceremonies at Saturday's New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins game, may have re-defined the term.

Pierce, a Nashua, N.H., native and a Patriots season ticket holder since 1988, is the friendly host of a weekly tailgate party with all the comforts of home. Fans regularly gather under his canopy in the parking lot outside Foxboro Stadium to watch TV while enjoying a pre-game feast. He offers fans free face painting, free food, lots of seating and plenty of game-day discussion. When the home team is on the road, his house becomes a home to the biggest Patriots "tailgate party" in Nashua.

In 1996, Pierce began a web site dedicated to the Patriots, a site he has maintained as a labor of love despite his loss of eyesight in 2000. Each week, he provides game previews, reviews and updated standings. He also names weekly awards after his guide dogs. He throw's bones to the players of the game and sends players that did not perform so well to the dog house. He also lists his predictions for the game on his web site, but always picks the Patriots.

Pierce is a faithful fan of all the Patriots, but his personal favorite is linebacker Tedy Bruschi. Pierce can usually be found proudly wearing his Bruschi jersey to every game.

WHO:
Fan of the Year Randy Pierce, Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, Adam and Stacey Mastrangelo, and from FleetBoston Financial, President and COO Chad Gifford and Director of Corporate Relations & Community Sponsorships Dan Salera.

WHAT:
The 2001 Fleet/Patriots Fan of the Year Award will be presented to Nashua, N.H. native Randy Pierce. He will receive the Mastrangelo Memorial Trophy, awarded annually by FleetBoston Financial to the Patriots Fan of the Year.

WHERE:
On the field at Foxboro Stadium (60 Washington Street, Foxboro, MA) during pre-game warmups.

WHEN:
Saturday, Dec. 22 at approximately 12:15 p.m.

DESCRIPTION:
The Fleet Fan of the Year award is presented annually to the person who shows the strong support, loyalty and devotion to the team as exemplified by the late Joseph R. Mastrangelo, one of the team's original season ticket holders. Fleet, the official bank of the New England Patriots has sponsored the award for the past seven years.

The Fleet/Patriots Fan of the Year will be recognized in a permanent exhibit at the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Visa Hall of Fans Program.

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