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Greetings from Gate 166

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  August 13, 2010 08:03 AM

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Good morning from the Michael "Pinball" Clemons International Airport here in Toronto. We're waiting for a flight to Dallas, where it's supposed to be 106 today. No kidding, 106.

But it's going down to 104 tomorrow. So that's a relief.

Here is my tale from last night. I stayed at a hotel out at the airport last night and arrived around 8 p.m. After checking in, I realized the Patriots were playing the Saints.

The hotel television didn't have the game. So I went down to the front desk and asked if they knew of any where within walking distance where I might be able to catch the game. The woman at the desk had no idea but summoned a co-worker. "Oh, sure," he said. "Hooters."

Hooters?

Turned out the Toronto Airport Hooters was three blocks away and they had plenty of televisions. I called over and they said they would happily put the Pats game on. The alternative was taking a cab to someplace that wasn't sure they could get the game. So Hooters it was.

I'm here to tell you, the Toronto Airport Hooters at 8:30 p.m. on a Thursday night was not a lively place. It was me, four bikers with a combined 750 tattoos and two guys desperately chatting up a blond waitress.

Oh, and there were two guys standing on the sidewalk smoking. They never came in, they just stayed out there smoking.

But they did have cold Coors Light and a giant high-definition television and for once in my life I got to see Laurence Maroney square his shoulders and run straight ahead. So the night wasn't a total loss. Also saw Brandon Tate catch a ball and Brandon Spikes make a bunch of tackles.

I love the game of baseball and feel privileged to get to cover it. But in my job, you don't really get to kick back with a beer, watch a game and have a rooting interest. That's where the Pats come in.

My family (first my dad and now my brother-in-law) has had season tickets for years and there are a lot of great memories of tailgates and games in the snow. I'm in three fantasy leagues and voraciously read the coverage of the team, particularly the great stuff Albert Breer, Shalise Manza Young, and Monique Walker have in the Globe and on Boston.com.

So getting to take a break from baseball, even at such an unexpected time and place, was fun.

Time to board the flight. Catch you later.

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