Friday, August 3, 2007

Patriots Training Camp

The mercury hit 95 degrees yesterday, which naturally got me thinking of football. Many sports fans look forward to the start of spring training as a sure sign that warmer temperatures are around the corner. Pitchers and catchers serve the same function as Punxsutawney Phil.

I can't stand the 3 H's of summer (hazy, hot, and humid). Ninety-five degree days have me pining for the cool, crisp days of autumn, so the opening of football training camps are a benchmark for me that there's probably six more weeks of summer.

So I headed down to Patriots training camp at Gillette Stadium yesterday to catch the afternoon session, the second of the day for the team. It was my second time there in less than a week since I went to last weekend's New England Country Music Festival with Erin (you can take the girl out of honky tonk, but...). There is construction all around the stadium as Patriot Place is being built. During yesterday's session, the crowd was coming in for the Revolution soccer game, so needless to say traffic wasn't an issue, but parking could be interesting for the Pats games this year.

For most of the time I was there, the offense was running plays against the defense, starting in the shadows of the goalposts and moving the ball down the field. There were three different squads that would change up every five to ten minutes or so. It was fun to watch. Not much tackling, but still the QBs were throwing, running backs were taking handoffs. And the players were definitely into it. Tom Brady was even jawing with the referees on some calls. Brady looked in good form with some nice touch passes and solid catches from the new receiving corps.

Parking was free. That was the good news. The bad was that, just as some of the Pats looked to be in mid-season form, so were the concession prices. I was a little surprised when I was told my bottle of beer would cost $7.50. Yikes. Still, it was a good time. The training camp schedule is on the Patriots web site. I've got more photos from training camp on Shutterfly.


Anonymous said...

Hi ... how come you were on the practice field? I'm a Foxboro resident and when I go every year, we are in the stadium? Just curious ... the pictures kind of confused me for a minute until I realized where they were taken from. AWESOME pictures by the way!!!

Chris Klein said...

The day I went to training camp, the team was on the practice fields on the south side of Gillette Stadium. I believe training camp is held on most days on those practice fields and only go in the stadium for special events, such as practices for season ticket holders. There is a small hill behind one of the end zones on which to sit, and a stand of bleachers about 10 rows high or so runs along the side of one field. That's where I sat when I went and got those photos with a zoom lens. Glad you liked them! Thanks for commenting!