By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper, 1/2013
Before our New England Patriots go to Denver this weekend, before we are either anticipating another Super Bowl or looking toward next season, I would like to say this to the Pats, a sentiment I think most of us share:
I’ve proposed before that football has replaced baseball as the favorite American sport, and while baseball may certainly continue to be the great American pastime and will always remain beloved and well attended, NOTHING compares to the intense debates, discussions, fights, celebrations, and sheer love of the game of football — especially here in Foxboro, the only town in America to host a professional franchise.
by Robert Gillis Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper 11/2013
“This is for you, Boston. You guys deserve it… We’ve been through a lot this year and this is for all of you and all those families who struggled.” — David Ortiz, MVP 2013 after the Red Sox World Series win.
The story goes that a few days after the September 11 attacks, singer/songwriter (and my personal hero) Bruce Springsteen walked along a bridge in New York City and stared where the twin towers had stood.
by Robert Gillis Published in the Foxboro Reporter and The Boston City Paper, 6/2013
Last week, in light of the events in the Aaron Hernandez case, the New England Patriots organization announced that anyone who wanted to return their Hernandez jersey for another jersey would be welcome to do so. The reasoning is sound and it’s a nice thing for the organization to do. I applaud it.
And it got me thinking — as a culture we love wearing team jerseys with our favorite players on them — I have a few myself — And yet, isn’t it strange that we wear jerseys of these sports “role models” and “heroes,” and want to be just like them, then disassociate immediately when they do something unspeakably evil, or illegal, or immoral.
By Robert Gillis Published in the Boston City Paper 6/2008
Boston sports fans: What the hell is the matter with you people?
The Red Sox / Patriots / Your College Team / Celtics win a championship and you see that as a license to go out rioting, setting fires and doing malicious damage to property?
In the latest me lee, over 20 people were arrested after the Celtics win. The Celtics — a team you couldn’t GIVE AWAY tickets to a year ago — are suddenly on everyone’s mind and the unruly chaotic mob floods into the street.
by Robert Gillis Published in The Foxboro Reporter 11/2004
“I can’t believe it,” Sue said.
“I can’t believe it either,” I said.
The Boston Red Sox had just won the World Series.
Under a blood-red lunar eclipse, surely a sign of divine providence, the Red Sox had just swept the Cardinals in four straight games.
The announcer was reminiscing about all the famous Sox players who never saw the series win, and then wondered how many of us have lost family members who were lifelong Sox fans who wanted to see just one series win?
by Robert Gillis Published in the Foxboro Reporter 2/2004
It’s taken me a little while to collect my thoughts about the alleged “wardrobe malfunction” incident during the Superbowl half-time show. But I finally figured out what needs to be done. It’s a baby step, but one in the right direction.
First of all, let’s dispense with the obvious rhetoric. Yeah, the line has been crossed. This is a sex-saturated culture. The act was reprehensible. Something must be done.
by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter 1/2004
In “City Streets” Carole King sings, “River wind is icy / Chills run through my bones / Tides of life are ebbing out / between the cobblestones … winter colored morning / Gray and dirty brown / Reflecting the mood I’m in / Despair is all around.”
King’s song seems sadly applicable to the artic tundra our town has become this month. The temperature in Foxboro fell to around minus thirteen a week ago.
My dad, God bless him — was the sports fanatic in my family and a true die hard Red Sox fan. While winter nights were often peppered with him shouting “SCORE!” whenever the Boston Bruins got a goal, it was the Red Sox that was his true sports passion and most dear to his heart.
Some of my earliest memories of Dad are him watching the Red Sox, the cool summer breeze blowing in, or the old exhaust fan desperately trying to stifle the blazing August heat.
by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 1/1997
Note: I’d been writing for the Reporter for only a year or so when I wrote this one — keeping the New England Patriots in Foxboro was BIG news back then. And this, my open letter to Mr. Bob Kraft, was very well received by folks in town. To this day (2014) I am so grateful that the Patriots call Foxboro home, and all that the Kraft family has done for our town.