Pats all around

It wasn't quite like a Red Sox game at Camden Yards, but New England fans were out in force last night

The scene

December 04, 2007|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN REPORTER

Andrew Pitman bought his tickets on eBay from a Ravens season-ticket holder in Bel Air - for $20 above face value.

John Sandwell got his from someone at work.

Steve Moran was given his by his cousin.

They all had something in common - they were New England Patriots fans who found each other last night at M&T Bank Stadium. They were easy to spot, wearing the colors of the NFL's only undefeated team.

Moran's allegiance goes back to one of the most infamous nights in Baltimore sports history.

"I've been a Patriots fan since the Colts left on the moving vans," Moran said.

Why the Patriots and not the Washington Redskins or Philadelphia Eagles or some other team closer to his home in Ocean City?

"Because Raymond Berry was coaching the Patriots at the time," Moran said of John Unitas' favorite receiver.

Sandwell came by his rooting interest more naturally, having grown up in Wellesley, Mass. Now living in Glen Burnie, Sandwell heard that one of his supervisors at BWI Marshall Airport, where he works for Continental Airlines, was looking to sell tickets to last night's game.

"He's a very honorable man," Sandwell said.

Sandwell invited his sister, Lisa Wood, down from her home in Framingham, Mass., for the game.

Moran brought his son-in-law, Del Truitt, a die-hard Ravens fan, and his son, Chris, who didn't have much of a rooting interest. Pitman, who lives in York, Pa., brought his father, Harold, "as an early Christmas present."

Andrew Pitman began checking around the Internet on Saturday to see if tickets were available. He found someone in Bel Air looking to sell his $80 seats for $100. "When I bought them, he had six more to sell," Pitman said.

While M&T Bank Stadium didn't resemble Camden Yards when the Boston Red Sox come to town, the presence of Patriots fans was noticeable. Most who wore jerseys had Tom Brady's No. 12.

They also were distinguishable for their accents.

They were hoping to have a party - or "potty" using the patois of most New Englanders - at the expense of the Ravens.

Sandwell realizes that if the Ravens had a better record, the tickets might not have been available to see his beloved Patriots in person for the first time since the days of Steve Grogan and Sam Cunningham.

And Moran couldn't wait to tell his friends - the majority of them who became Ravens fans long after the Mayflower moving vans pulled out of town - about seeing the Patriots in person for the first time.

"Hopefully," he said, "I'll be smiling."

don.markus@baltsun.com

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