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At Colorado Springs bar, they may not know your name but they all cheer for the Patriots

By: Chhun Sun
February 5, 2017 Updated: February 6, 2017 at 8:34 am
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While Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is swarmed on television, Pikes Peak Pats vice-president Cody Neumann lifts an exact replica of the Lombardi Trophy as he walks through the celebratory crowd at the Fox and Hound. Hundreds of Patriots fans gathered at the Fox and Hound, the official location for the Pikes Peak Pats, the region's Patriots fan club on Sunday, February 5, 2017. The club has over 800 members and is the largest sanctioned Patriots club outside of Massachusetts. They bought the $500 trophy for the club two years ago. photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette

Chantal Shaw was born and raised in East Millinocket, a small town of just under 2,000 people in Maine that few could probably find on a map.

On Sunday, at the Fox & Hound Sports Tavern in Colorado Springs, 2,300 miles from her hometown, Shaw met up with another Mainer.

It wasn't a coincidence. Both are New England Patriots fans. The Patriots were playing in the Super Bowl and the Fox & Hound at 3101 New Center Point Drive is Patriots central in Colorado Springs, a home a long way from home for New England fans in hostile Broncos country.

Shaw drove from Aurora to watch the Patriots play the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI at the Fox & Hound for the camaraderie.

"It's tough," she said of flaunting Patriots pride among the orange and blue Broncos colors that fill most sports bars on Sundays during football season.

The Fox & Hound, she said, was a welcome oasis: "It feels awesome because there a lot of fans from where I'm from and they're my family and they make me feel like I'm home."

The Super Bowl party was organized by the Pikes Peak Pats Fanclub, which boasts about 300 members, mostly from the military community, said vice president Cody Neumann.

He is one of three founding members who came up with the idea of a club in 2006. They drew up a plan on a napkin at a Steelers bar in Colorado Springs.

That year, six people signed up for the club.

On Sunday, hundreds of Patriots fans showed up at the bar and restaurant in Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman jerseys. Others wore team shirts while at least one person sported a face completely covered in the Patriots' red, white and blue colors.

"It started really small," Neumann said about his club. "It got enormous in a real hurry."

At the Fox & Hound, club members can gather to watch their team without being stared down or taunted by Broncos fans. Also, as Shaw said, everyone can understand their Boston accent.

Kelly Bell of Denver roots for the Broncos, but on Sunday she wore a Patriots jersey and scarf to support her friend, Shaw.

Bell said she prefers Patriots to Broncos fans because they're more welcoming.

"Pats fans are welcoming, no matter if they're winning or losing," Bell said.

She also likes their accents. "Even though they don't talk like that regularly, when they get together they have wicked dialogue and they're wickedly cool," she said.

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