2001 Patriots Experience

The date? August 15th 2001. The place? Bryant College. The Event? Patriots Scrimmage versus the New York Giants.

If you ask me anything about the Patriots Scrimmage, I will not be able to answer, because we didn’t really pay any attention to them. I have a few really good pictures of Drew, and a bad one of Jason Sehorn, but aside from the fact that they were within 20 feet of me, the scrimmage itself was very difficult to watch. So instead, we spent our time at the Patriots Experience! Its a little set up that they do for these public practices. Nelly and Pat went with Pat’s kids last year, and I heard that they had such an awesome time, so when Pat presented tickets to this event, I jumped.

Now, the Patriots experience is a bunch of blow up type rides, where you get to perform little tricks to simulate different elements of football.

Well, we’re not 2 minutes into the field, when Pat issues the challenge.

“Murph, do you want to square off?”

I said, “Sure.”

If you can say anything about Pat, he is certainly very competitive. Sometimes it doesn’t show, other times it is so blaringly obvious, that you feel stupid for getting rooked into it in the first place. So I’m thinking, this ought to be fun. We take our shoes off and step up to the first one:

The Obstacle Course
Here you get a chance to run through the defensive line of blow up dummies, jump over a fence, run through the tires, go through a tube and hurtle yourself over the goal line. There were two of these and they were a little bit different.

We set up, and the guy says “go”, and we’re off, the tires, the tube… and then it hits me… I’m way too big for this. I dove through the tube and landed flat on my belly, but I’ve got the lead. Next comes he tackling dummies, and I get through them, then I jump over the blowup linemen, and Pat is right behind, and I land on my face. My sunglasses pretty much broke at that point and I looked like Austin Powers just after he got gassed by the Fembots, and I’m sticking to the rubber, and Pat catches up and leaps the final obstacle into the end zone for the victory.

So here we go, the SMACK IS COMING! It starts with laughter, and then “What happened Murph?” and all the little things that come after it. And suddenly, we are in actually competition, my manhood being questioned and I am already down 0-1. Hmmm… And the first raspberry appears on my elbow. Skin just ripped off my arm and is somewhere in the middle of the Obstacle Course.

The 2nd Obstacle Course
So now it hits me. Pat and I are competing for some macho prize. Kind of funny. And then another thing hits me. Pat and I are 3x the average age of all the other people doing this. Here are 14 little 10 year olds waiting in line, and 2 adults. I guess it can be classified as comedy. OK, did I mention that I am also really heavy? Aren’t you supposed to walk on the cushion of air? Well not me baby! At 245, I am hitting ground and I am in my bare feet.

As tough as the other one was, this one was even worse. I was sticking to everything, and Pat, looking like Marshall Faulk beat me by about 15 seconds. I pretty much crawled out of that one and said, “Too big, too freaking big.”
Brian 0, Pat 2, Raspberry Count 3

The Wall
You run up a 25 degree wall (with little rubber notches for assistance), and jump over the top, to slide down the other side. Its about 30 feet tall so its a lot of fun.

No contest on this one, you can beat me with the going through little sewer pipes, but when it comes to scaling tall buildings, trees, or brick walls, I learned from the master back in college. No way he beats me. I get up the wall in record time, and start to make a game of it. kudos for Pat’s very cool leap in the picture though. By the time Nelly took the picture, my attempt “slide” down the backside, failed miserably and I found yet another ripped piece of skin.
Brian 1, Pat 2, Raspberry Count 4

The Goal-line Leap
Here you’ve got menacing looking Defensive blow up guys, and you take the ball and hurtle over them to the goal line.

I think this one was the true controversial one of the day. Nelly was timing us, and somehow didn’t get his watch reset for me, so time became a non-factor. However, this is supposed to emulate the Goal Line Stand and the Runningback is supposed to do a tremendous leap. I did a pretty good Curtis Martin impersonation. Pat? He looked like an old man going over a fence. No contest, and no controversy. Pictures in a few weeks will confirm this.
Brian 2, Pat 2, Raspberry Count 5. We’re all tied up baby!

The Extra Point kick
One of the tallest blowup sets in the field. Here you tee a ball up and kick it through the uprights. It has a blowup cage about 30 feet high to stop the balls.

I smell an advantage here. I smell blood! Pat steps up and kicks one right through. I step up and miss. Doh! So we continue, and we move the tee back 5 yards or so. Pat misses, Brian makes it. We move back a little more. Here comes the groove. I make it, Pat misses. We left that even and waited in line for the 10 yard Run, but it was too long, so Nelly did it instead. And as luck would have it, they didn’t have a belt large enough to go around my waist, so that was a good decision in hindsight.

I went back to the kick, and Pat was there. I asked the man if I could move it back pretty far, and he said, no problem. I moved it back to about a 30 yarder, and the guy was fine with it but he cautioned, “If you kick it over the fence, you have to fetch it.” I agreed, and set it up. I stepped in and… the ball sailed over everything and into the practice field. The best part of it is that it went right over the uprights and was good from 30 and would have been good from 38. The competition was not heatd by this time, but since noone was going to kick on like that…
Brian 3, Pat 2, Raspberry Count 5 Oh and I had to fetch the ball. Note in the right picture, Pat running out of the way, after his attempt as the Base-ketball Psyche-out failed.

The 10 yard Run
Meanwhile, Nelly was at this drill, because he has the dainty enough waist to get the belt around it, Pat and I have men-bellies. Here they attach a bungee cord to your waist and you have to run to get the ball to the goal line. The whole time, the bungee is getting harder and harder to pull. After you give up, it usually pulls you off your feet and backwards about 5 yards. Since this is all cushioned with a blow up surrounding, its pretty safe. Nelly made it to the goal and then got launched backwards.

The QB Pass Accuracy Drill
Pat’s last chance to get even (even though he was still thinking that he had the Goal Line Leap, but I can tell you, without the time to back him up, it was all about style points). I went first, and we agreed to throw for the TD since it was worth 7 points and the others were only worth 1 and 3 (bigger holes, easier to get through). I missed my chances. Nelly missed his, Dave Mitchell missed his, and Pat being… well Pat, decides to score the only points of the round by throwing through the 1 point hole. Again, more controversy, since we agreed that those were off limits. Pat won, but on this website, he lost by disqualification.
So we stand at 3-2.

What a fun day we had. All told, I got five raspberries. One on the elbow, one on the knee and three on my feet! Pat got a bunch too, and they took like 5 weeks to heal. That was the awful part of it. It was cool to see the players but it was 89 degrees out and very humid so we opted to watch a little bit of the action, and take pics (see below), and then go find an air-conditioned pool hall. Oh yeah (Bow Bow, chick… chicka chicka)

-Til next time
Murph

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