By Traci McCartney //@traciamc
Thanksgiving is a day for family, food and football – and though I’m thankful for all three, they go hand in hand. I’m a New England Patriots fan, born and raised. And every football season, I’m thankful for my team. But it wasn’t always this way.
The New England Patriots brought three generations of Sarkisians together: my grandfather, my father and me. My grandfather had season tickets for several years before he died in 1994 when the Patriots played at the old Schaefer and then Sullivan Stadium. Although we never got to go to a game together, the 3 of us, we all shared the same love of football and our team. He sold them shortly before he died, but we had suffered 5 losing seasons in a row, and I think he thought it was time. If he’d only had an inkling of the seasons to come, the Kraft Era – the Brady Era.
Regardless, we always had a good time watching football. And after my grandfather passed away, my father and I kept up the tradition. Even if we weren’t together, we would call each other to complain about the refs, recap the game, discuss our favorite players…it was a bond between us. And the Patriots, sports in general, were a big part of that bond. My Dad passed away in 2009, and even today, I miss being able to call him on the phone to complain about the refs, talk about our favorite players, discuss the losses and what could have been better and most of all, celebrate the wins.
Even though my husband isn’t a Patriots fan (he grew up in San Diego a Chargers’ fan), he shares my love and passion for my team with his team. We’ve been married 22 years, and we almost always start watching games between our teams together, and end up in separate rooms. Passion, indeed. But we’ve always rooted for each other’s teams and reveled in our love of the game. It’s a little awkward this year since the NFL owners allowed the move from San Diego to Los Angeles. So we root for the players and at the same time root against the team. It’s a tightrope walk, for sure.
But the Patriots will always be my first love, from the old Pat Patriot on the helmet to the current Flying Elvis, I have Patriots gear from all eras. I was so excited to go to Canton to be able to see the history of football, and see the busts of some of my favorite players – Patriots, Chargers or others: John Hannah (the first Patriots player inducted), Nick Buoniconti, Andre Tippett, Curtis Martin and most recently, one player both a Patriot and a Charger, Junior Seau. I so wish I could have shared the Hall of Fame with my Dad, but I’m thankful I was able to experience it with my husband, friends and some of my Our Turf Football sisters.
In fact, one of the most exciting things for me was to be able to find smart women who love and know about the game as much as I do. Our Turf Football has brought me friends, friendly rivalries, the chance to share my love with people all over the country – even the world, and the opportunity to learn and enjoy football more than I ever thought I could. Thank you, especially to Liz for finding me on Twitter and bringing me into the fold.
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!
Talk Patriots with Traci on Twitter @traciamc