Not unlike the travels of Che Guevara, Aaron Kaplowitz's heroic quest for Patriots' 19-0 memorabilia in Central America is a tale fraught with danger and high adventure. And did I mention cockfighting? On hearing that a remote Nicaraguan village was the destination for Patriots World Champions gear rendered useless after the 2008 Super Bowl, Kaplowitz and a friend decided that they had to have one of the treasured items. What drove this New Jersey-raised Giants' fan to descend into the monkey-infested jungle for such a purpose? He explains all in a piece for Sunday's Boston Globe Magazine.
In a perfect world, the hat would be sitting on Tom Brady's mantle and the woman holding the hat in an impoverished and remote village in Central America would still have her teeth. But there is perfect and there is near perfect, and the slightest difference explains how I came to be standing in a puddle of mud, carefully balancing a 75-pound purple backpack on my shoulders in San Gregorio, Nicaragua, urging my new best friend Hannibal to assure the toothless woman that we were serious about giving her actual money for this hat.
Spoiler alert: Those not wishing to learn the outcome of the journey before reading the actual article, do not read further.
The woman couldn't believe we were willing to pay money for these things. We gave her $5, a sizable amount in the area, and handed Hannibal an equal finder's fee before sprinting down the road as the bus began to gain speed out of town. The driver slowed to let us on.
On the bus, I studied the "19-0 Perfect Season" hat and pointed out to Ilan the line etched into the red and blue Velcro strap: "WE WANTED IT MORE." Not as much as we did.
And let's not forget that it's not only T-shirts and hats that are going to places like Nicaragua and Romania, but sweatshirts as well. In impoverished areas where many people can't afford warm clothing, that's a good thing. I also hear that France is stocking up on the Patriots T-shirts for the next time they need surrender flags.
Oh, The Humanity! [The Boston Globe]