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Patriots disappoint some wide-eyed youngsters



A bunch of kids at Lebanon Middle School in Connecticut got fired up to participate in the NFL's "Fuel Up to Play 60" program -- more than half of the kids at the school, in fact.


And because their participation rate was so high, they thought they won the right to have some real, actual New England Patriots come to their school. I imagine the youngsters thought they'd be mingling with Tom Brady(notes), Randy Moss(notes), Wes Welker(notes) ... at the very least, a Tully Banta-Cain(notes) or a Julian Edelman(notes).


Nope. They got an intern. He brought some exercise videos. Enjoy, kids!


From NorwichBulletin.com:


The Fuel up to Play 60 Web site stated if enough students participated in the program, they would be rewarded with a gym session complete with New England Patriots, said [health and physical education teacher Alyssa] Fabry. The students ended up with one of the highest participation rates in the state.


Instead, the hour featured a registered dietitian giving them tips on healthy eating and a communications intern from the New England Patriots playing kickboxing workout videos.


“The event was fun,” said seventh-grader Tom Bergamo, who won a (Patriot’s running back) Fred Taylor(notes) jersey for being the most dedicated student to the program. “But I was hoping to see a Patriot. I even brought pens and notebooks so I could get autographs.”


I was willing to give the Patriots the benefit of the doubt and believe that there was an honest mistake here ... until I read that they gave the kid a Fred Taylor jersey. Fred Taylor? Fred Taylor and his 269 yards last year? That's really the best you can do for the kid? What, was Zoltan Mesko(notes) too busy to sign a jersey?


The kids seemed to take it in stride, though.


"I thought it was fun,” student Levi Duharme said. "I like the videos; they were cool."


Well, it probably still beats science class. The young fellow is being a better sport about it than I would've been. If they were just going to send a random intern and some videos, I'd have at least demanded to see the video of the Rams practice before Super Bowl XXXVI.


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