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Patriot fans have mixed feelings after loss

January 27, 1997

BOSTON (AP) _ There was more red, white and blue in New England on Sunday than on the Fourth of July.

Fans donned the colors of the New England Patriots and gathered in bars and private parties to watch the Pats play in the Super Bowl.

Unfortunately, the Patriotism waned as the outcome predicted by the oddsmakers came true for the 14-point underdogs as the Patriots lost to the Green Bay Packers, 35-21.

The outcome was not a surprise to many fans.

Robbyn Linden, 28, and Valerie Gabriel, 25, both of Somerville, were pleased that the game wasn’t a complete blowout.

``We both sort of figured that Green Bay was going to win, so we’re glad that Green Bay is not slaughtering them,″ she said during the fourth quarter.

Dominick Silvestri, 48, of Somerville said it just wasn’t the Patriots’ year. He predicted they will play in another Super Bowl soon.

``A couple more years,″ he said. ``At least it’s not a boring game like the last couple of years. It’s a lot more exciting.″

Enver Softic, 49, principal of Dexter Park School in Orange, was satisfied as he watched the game at home in Athol. ``I think overall, it’s been a big surprise because they weren’t picked to be in the playoffs, so this is gravy or frosting on the cake,″ he said.

After the first half, he predicted the Patriots would not overcome the Packers.

``They won’t be successful tonight because Drew Bledsoe could have any one of three roles in the movie the Wizard of Oz. One, he could be the lion with no courage, the Tin Man with no heart or the scarecrow with no brain,″ he said.

``Tonight is an example of how he hasn’t had an individual good performance in a big game for the team. I don’t think he is the quarterback of the future if we are ever going to win a Super Bowl in the future.″

He said he thinks owner Bob Kraft did much to help the team make it to the Super Bowl. Nevertheless, he said, ``I think it’s too bad it has to end with Parcells leaving.″

Kraft and Parcells plan to meet Tuesday to decide whether they will go their separate ways.

Lou Morin, 36, Somerville, said the Patriots need better players. ``I think New England has been outclassed. The Green Bay Packers have many more superstars.″

``I think the Packers are dominant,″ said Eben Steele, 28, of Kingston. ``Drew Bledsoe is absolutely overrated.″

Dwayne Machebelli, 50, Plymouth, said Bledsoe is overpaid. ``Bob Kraft spent the worst $42 million of his life, because drew Bledsoe is not a great quarterback,″ he said.

But for many fans, this Super Bowl was something to remember, regardless of the outcome.

Andrew Harris, 22, who works as a banker in Boston, cooked up some spicy Jambalaya in the Allston apartment he shares with Mark Olinger, 22, a computer software engineer. The two hosted a small party with friends.

Harris said he watched every game this season, and his Super Bowl hopes increased with every win. ``This is the biggest sporting event of my life,″ he said.

Harris and his friends had pom-poms from last week’s rally on City Hall Plaza and designed some homemade ``Go Patriots″ signs. Besides the bragging rights at stake, the two had each $50 riding on the Patriots.

Amy Hansen, of Natick, admitted she only recently jumped on the hyped-up Patriots bandwagon.

``I feel proud the Patriots are the center of the nation’s attention,″ she said. ``It’s the biggest thing for the city of Boston.″

She said the media game the team a ``bad rap,″ after they lost the first two games of the season. ``People put them down. Now they will be able get the credit and respect they deserve,″ she said.

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