Though his father didn’t have much luck in the lottery for Super Bowl tickets, Eric Montayne managed a streak of luck he’ll never forget attending his fifth-ever New England Patriots’ game last month.
The 13-year-old was seated with his father, Kurt Montayne, near the end zone when quarterback Tom Brady connected with wide receiver Jabar Gaffney in the second quarter of their game against the Miami Dolphins. Gaffney dodged Dolphins safety Lance Schulters and then ran 48 yards to score the 71st touchdown for the Patriots this season, shattering a National Football League record set by Miami in 1984.
Gaffney, apparently unaware of the new team record, moved toward the sidelines and offered the game ball to the throngs of cheering fans. Moments later, Eric found himself holding a piece of franchise history.
“I just sort of reached down and he gave me the ball,” he recalled Monday.
Within minutes, the father and son were approached by Patriots’ officials, who politely offered a deal for them to return the ball. Apparently, franchise Chairman Robert Kraft had specifically requested the ball to be placed in Patriot Place, a 36,000-square-foot hall being built to celebrate the team’s history.
“I asked for five minutes to discuss it with my son,” Kurt Montayne said. “They gave us 90 seconds.”
But with the deal Kraft offered for the ball, it was difficult for the Montaynes to refuse. In addition to receiving a game ball signed by both Brady and Gaffney, Kraft gave the family two luxury box seats at the 45-yard line during the Patriots’ playoff victory against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
Eric shared the seats with his 17-year-old sister, Taylor, while their father sat nearby in his less glamorous season-ticket seats.
“To be a fan given a ball is one thing in and of itself,” Kurt Montayne said. “But it’s few and far in between when it happens after a record is broken.”
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