WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) – A die hard Patriots fan is gearing up for Thursday night’s season opener against the Pittsburg Steelers at Gillette Stadium.
Rocco Santurri Jr. has attended the last 43 consecutive home openers and plans to make Thursday night number 44.
Santurri Jr. says his first ticket cost him just $25 dollars and since then he knows he has spent a lot of money attending each game. “If I didn’t follow the Patriots, I’d probably be driving around in a brand new Mercedes, living in a mansion,” said Santurri Jr.
The Cranston native who now lives in Florida even bought a condo in West Warwick, just to store gear for tailgating.
It all started back in the early 1970’s when Santurri Jr. and his brother began attending games. “Years ago we used to go to opening day all the time because there was a hope that the season was going to be better than the last year. Now we just go to celebrate,” said Santurri Jr.
Santurri Jr. says the 2002 home opener is his favorite Patriots memory. That’s when the Patriots hung their first super bowl banner. “This was all the years of suffering, losing seasons and having a new coach every other year, playing to win the first draft pick because we were so bad. That was it.,” said Santurri Jr.
Thursday night’s season opener not only marks Santurri Jr.’s 44th home opener. It also marks his daughters 35th and his son’s 33rd.