How far we've come since the beginning. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Happy summer, everyone!
I know that summer doesn't officially start until June 22, but in the eyes of most Americans the summer season opens Memorial Day Weekend. And with good reason, I say; the combination of good weather, a long weekend, graduation ceremonies, and barbecues makes the weekend about as summery as it gets. Things just seems to slow down a bit after Memorial Day, and we all get a chance to relax a little bit and hit the beach.
Now I'd be lying if I said I didn't love summer. The weather is nice, the days are long, and the new season of bathing suits are out on full display. Grills nationwide are dusted off and powered up as the hot dogs, sausages, brats, kielbasa, and many other pig products bless us all with their salty, porky goodness. Baseball is in full swing and the Red Sox are... well, they're where they usually are this time every year. Summer is also the season when me and my fellow Ample Americans throw caution and shame to the wind and let our flab fly free. For my money, there is nothing more American than an overweight, hairy fellow, crammed into last year's suddenly-too-tight bathing suit, a hot dog in one hand and a beer in the other, not caring in the slightest that his fat rolls and manboobs are creating pasty white oases in what will ultimately be an otherwise impressive sunburn and transforming his torso into some bizarro rendition of The Kool Aid Guy. It makes me teary-eyed just thinking about it.
However, much like Eddie Murphy's career after the first Nutty Professor movie, there is a very dark side to summer. This season isn't all just sun and sand, my friends. Along with the summer months also come the absolute worst weeks of the year - that dreaded dead time in the NFL. Free Agency has come and gone, the draft is over, rookie mini-camp has taken place, and OTAs will soon have wrapped up until the end of July. What we're left with is almost two full months of relatively football-free living, and I for one can't really deal with that. While I agree that everyone needs a break from the game every now and then, and I'm ultimately very glad that football starts in the fall and I don't have to spend every beautiful Sunday from May to August inside screaming at my television and pissing off my neighbors, two months is simply too long to go without at least some sort of football-related activity that doesn't involve analyzing the status of the Jets' locker room based on whether or not Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez sat at the same lunch table.
So, I figured now is a great time to bone up on my Patriots knowledge. I've always considered myself something of an NFL History buff and love to
listen to books on tape read anything I can get my hands on, but all-too-often I get so caught up with the current season I forget to look back on seasons past. And to be honest, I'm sick of all the Wes Welker contract talks and the Bountygate articles and trying to keep track of who Gronk is dating at the moment. Time to get back to basics.
And why not share my studies with the Pulpit? Everyone likes to kill time at work, and everyone loves trivia quizzes - so why not incorporate the two?
Each week during the dead time, I'll be posting a trivia quiz from a certain era of Patriots football. Questions will be a combination of multiple choice, True/False, and fill in the blank. I'm going to try to post a new trivia quiz every Tuesday, with the answers coming later on in the week.
And yes, I'm very aware that you can cheat and look up all the answers on Google - but what's the fun in that? See how much you know about our beloved franchise without the help of the internet. I was initially thinking about having some kind of contest where everyone emails me their answers and I send the person with the most correct answers a prize, such as a vintage 2012 Alec Shane signed headshot - but then I realized that such a coveted reward would encourage too much cheating and absolute chaos would ensue.
I'm going to try to have a theme of sorts for each quiz. And what better place to start than at the beginning? The first trivia installment focuses on the early years, back when the Patriots first became a franchise and the fledgling AFL was nothing more than the annoying little brother of the National Football League.
So here we go. No cheating.
1. Who was the first ever owner of the New England Patriots?
A. Victor Kiam
B. Clive Rush
C. Billy Sullivan, Jr.
D. James Orthwein
2. In what year did the Patriots play their first ever game?
5. Who was the first Patriot to officially sign with the team?
A. Gino Cappaletti
B. Butch Songin
C. Jack Rudoph
D. Harvey White
6. How many games were in the Patriots first-ever season?
7. During that first-ever season, which team handed the Patriots their worst loss?
A. Denver Broncos
B. Buffalo Bills
C. Dallas Texans
D. Houston Oilers
8. All of the following venues were home to the Patriots prior to the opening of Foxboro Stadium. Which stadium served as their LAST home field before their permanent move to Foxboro?
A. Harvard Stadium
B. Fenway Park
C. Alumni Stadium
D. Nickerson Field
9. When did Foxboro stadium open?
10. The Patriots have posted consecutive 10 win seasons since 2003. When was their first-ever 10 win season?
11. True or False: Pat Patriot was the team's first ever mascot and logo.
12. True or False: to this day, the Patriots original AFL uniforms remain the most badass throwbacks in the NFL.
B. Damn straight!