Seems as if the New England Patriots ‘ long-time preseason “Territorial” Rivalry with the New York Giants will continue after all.
The National Football League released it’s 2013 Preseason schedule on Tuesday afternoon, and the one thing that folks around these parts always look for, calendar in hand, is to make sure that the Patriots and Giants will be lacing them up the preseason finale.
There was some question amongst the regulars around the bar at the Rock Bottom Grill on Tuesday afternoon as to whether the rivalry would continue, something along the lines of the mysterious way that the Indianapolis Colts seem to wind up on the Patriots’ regular season schedule every year, despite not being in the same division.
The AARP crowd are mostly Giants’ fans, as they started watching the game before the Patriots even existed, and were heavily influenced by their fathers and grandfathers. They are typically unrecognizable by their attire, as very few seem to possess Giants’ gear, in direct contrast to the Patriots’ fans.
Lewiston is crawling with Patriots fans, to the point that if you are male and not wearing Patriots gear, you are either a Giants’ fan or one of those “Hockey perverts” that hang out down around the Colisee, hoping that fight between rival gangs somehow evolves into a hockey match…
Ah, Lewiston. A typical dirty little New England town with a population of 35,000 – a former textile mill town with an access canal running the entire length of Canal Street, separating downtown from an area known as “Little Canada”, well known as Giant’s turf…
…while on the other end of town, a railroad cuts through town where Main Street becomes Route 202 leading into thousands of square miles of nothing – the tracks eventually running parallel to the Androscoggin River, a rusted tressel crossing the river at Great Falls, which really aren’t that great.
A town dominated by Patriots’ fans, with little pockets of aging Giants’ fans scattered about, mostly on their turf in Little Canada and in seedy bars downtown – and somehow they tend to assemble at the Rock Bottom when it comes time for things like schedules being released, so that the two team’s fans can snarl at each over ice cold PBR’s…
The Patriots open their exhibition schedule on the weekend of August 8-11 at Philadelphia but an exact date has yet to be determined. New England then welcomes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Gillette Stadium in a nationally televised Friday August 16th night game – and will probably be the culmination of a week’s worth of the two teams practicing against each other.
Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano and New England coach Bill Belichick are long time friends who probably lobbied the league for this game to take advantage of the opportunity for the dual practices, which have been a mainstay of Belichick camps in the recent past.
The third preseason game, which is typically when a team’s projected starters play the majority of snaps in a final tune-up for the regular season, is at Detroit the weekend of August 22-25 and the preseason finale is slated for Thursday and Friday, August 29th and 30th in Foxboro against – yes – the New York Giants…
The entire NFL preseason schedule is listed below:
WEEK 1 – AUGUST 8-11