The Boston Globe and The Sports Museum have teamed up to provide occasional looks back at the good old days of Boston sports, featuring the responses to prompts posted on the museum’s Facebook page from Rusty Sullivan, the museum’s executive director.
On June 1, 2002, the demolition of Foxboro Stadium was completed. In its 30 years of service, it was known alternately as Schaefer Stadium, Sullivan Stadium, and Foxboro Stadium. It wasn’t exactly state of the art — but it had its charms. Your favorite memory (good, bad, or ugly) of the old stadium that the Patriots called home from 1971 to 2001?
▪ I was at the very first game, the Aug. 15, 1971, exhibition against the Giants, the night of perhaps the worst traffic jam in the history of New England. So while it was a thrill just to be at the game, it was even better appreciating that I had taken the train from Providence.
I was also at the last game, the legendary playoff in the snow. I was never so cold in my life. As I looked at the stands across the field, the fans took on a ghost-like appearance from the snow. I shivered in my coat with an old army blanket wrapped around me. But what a game!
▪ Oh my favorite is the last one. We went to the Snow Bowl. It was surprisingly warm that night.
▪ My Mom was at the first game there. I was at the last one.
▪ Seeing the first regular-season game played there with my Dad. With some surprising completions from rookies Plunkett and Vataha, the Pats upset the Raiders, 20-6.
▪ The Snowplow Game, and an underrated aspect of it, the crowd — small, largely drunk, and shirtless.
▪ J F White Construction Co. built the stadium. My father was an architect for them at the time. He was at the stadium with Billy Sullivan and Chuck Fairbanks. A helicopter lands at midfield. My Dad says, “Who is that?” Russ Francis. That’s how he got to the stadium.
▪ Opening game in a typhoon against Marino and Miami. The Pats won, I believe. Just remember wading over my ankles in water while standing in line [in the bathroom]!
▪ Watching the Colonials [of the Atlantic Coast Football League] along with about 200 other people. My Dad and I were able to try out any seat in the stadium.
▪ Tailgating with 20 people in the lot. 2,000 at the game.
▪ I went there a few times and the actual seats were horrible, but I had a good vision of the field wherever I sat. Unlike Fenway.
▪ The aluminum bench seats with the stick-on numbers for seating (measured 8 inches apart). What a joke!
▪ Those freezing cold seats!
▪ The miraculous Vinatieri field goal that flew through the snow and tied that epic Raider playoff contest that was the stadium’s glorious swan song. What a finale.
▪ Vinatieri kicks in the blizzard.
▪ Our first victory on our way to first championship. Went to plenty of concerts and events there. It was a crap heap. But a helluva way to close it out.