EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill Archive

January 23, 2008

Their family's 'Patriotism' is a multigenerational thing

Emily Leslie of Haverhill was a big New England Patriots fan. When she died in 2005, a flower arrangement that family members draped across her casket displayed a banner that read "Go Pats."



"She died on the same day Tom Brady's grandmother died," said Leslie's granddaughter Leslie Benvenuti of Haverhill. "We always tell people that the two grandmothers are up there watching and cheering Tom on."



Leslie Benvenuti and her husband, Dominic, are part of a multigenerational family of Patriots fans. Most come from Leslie's side of the family.



"It's kind of hereditary for me. My grandparents, parents and siblings are all New England sports fans," she said.



Six years ago, she and her husband bought a used ambulance, which they converted for use as a tailgating vehicle when attending Patriots home games in Foxborough. The vehicle, simply referred to as The Ambulance, is plastered with Patriots logos and "Go Pats" signs.



Dominic Benvenuti didn't always root for the Patriots. He grew up in Connecticut and for a long time he was a New York Giants fan.



"I had to convert him," Leslie Benvenuti said, "although he still holds a little torch for them."



He didn't have a choice, she said. It was either convert or else. But it wasn't a sudden change.



"It's when Bill Parcells came to New England that my husband became a Patriots fan," she said. "Now he loves Belichick. We all think he's brilliant."



Of their children - Alicia Rose, 13, Matthew, 21, and Andrew, 23 - only Matthew is a rabid Patriots fan.



All of their children have become used to living among Patriots memorabilia such as a panoramic photo of the 2002 Super Bowl in New Orleans on one living room wall, autographed footballs, Patriots mugs, seat cushions from the 2004 Super Bowl, hats and bobbleheads of Tom Brady, and a front door decorated with caution tape that bears the words "Patriots Fans Only."



Leslie Benvenuti was on a waiting list for Patriots season tickets for several years. In 2000, her dream came true.



"We've had four season tickets since that time," she said. "We're in the nosebleed section, but we're happy."











MUST RUN AT BOTTOM OF STORY



Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
Haverhill Archive

NDN Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Photos of the Week