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Old 01-22-2002, 05:45 PM   #1
Marc
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Unhappy Sad - Lifelong Pats fan dies celebrating

I found this today and it was quite sad and ironic.
Quote:
Lifelong New England Patriots fan dies celebrating at stadium

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news/ap/...triotsfan.html

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) --The scene was jubilant -- a dream come true for a loyal New England Patriots fan like Michael Downing.

His beloved team had just capped an improbable comeback to defeat the Oakland Raiders in one of the most memorable playoff games in NFL history.

Just seconds later, as his family cheered amid the bedlam at snowy Foxboro Stadium, Downing collapsed of a heart attack and died.

"It was just like we were so pumped, so high, from them winning, and then we turned around and it was just bang!'' said son Tim Downing. " We went from ultimate high to ultimate low within a second.''

Downing, 65, had been standing in snowy conditions the entire evening as his Patriots attempted to advance to the AFC championship game. But late in the game at Foxboro, Mass., he started to feel sick and sat down.

With the Patriots trailing 10 points after the third quarter, Downing was convinced a loss was imminent. But the team rallied and, improbably, won in overtime on a field goal by Adam Vinatieri.

Downing's two sons, son-in-law and grandson began to celebrate.

"We celebrated for maybe 10 seconds,'' Tim Downing said. "I turned around and looked, and he was slumped over.''

A doctor attending the game arrived quickly, followed by emergency medical technicians, but Downing was pronounced dead a short time later at Norwood Hospital.

Family members said Downing was a burly, confident man with a passionate devotion to his family. He died surrounded by people who loved him and cheering for his Patriots, they said.

Saturday's game was the last that will be ever played in Foxboro Stadium. The Patriots' next game is Sunday in Pittsburgh, and next season they will occupy a new stadium under construction next door.
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Old 01-22-2002, 05:55 PM   #2
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Oh, wow...

I actually had a feeling that something bad had happened to someone, because as I was walking back to my tailgate spot, which is located right next to the stadium entrance, two ambulances went flying by, coming from the direction of the stadium. I figured maybe someone had fallen and hurt themselves while celebrating, because everyone (in my section at least) jumped up on the benches in front of them when Vinatieri kicked the FG and they were pretty slippery. I never even thought that the possibility of someone dying.

That's sad...my condolences go out to his family.
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Old 01-24-2002, 01:09 AM   #3
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Sad story, I had no clue that anything happened.
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Old 01-24-2002, 01:31 AM   #4
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Very sad, but he died in a good place and his Patriots won.
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