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January 20, 1997

Patriots fever takes
to the Internet

By Timothy C. Barmann

They laughed. They yelled. They cheered. They cried.

The celebration of the New England Patriot's 20-6 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday spilled into cyberspace within hours of the game's end.

Dozens of messages were posted to NFL discussion groups and chat rooms on the Internet by jubilant fans who turned off their televisions and turned on their computers to celebrate.

Many messages were succinct.

"Ain't it sweet," wrote Kurt Doherty of Pittsfield, Mass., in the discussion group called alt.sports.football.pro.ne-patriots. To that, "Luc" replied, "MAN I LOVE THIS TEAM. GO PATS!"

Bob Antonson of Johnston wrote simply, "Pats win what a day." But he took to the discussion group again later hoping someone might help him get to the Super Bowl in New Orleans next Sunday.

"NEED THREE TO FOUR TICKETS FOR THE SUPERBOWL. EMAIL ME OR CALL ME AT WORK . . . BOB THANKS IN ADVANCE." (Later, in an e-mail message, Antonson said he would even trade his 1989 Pontiac Lemans for some reasonably-priced tickets.)

As the evening went on, the messages got longer.

One writer, a student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, thanked the Patriots players -- every single one of them by name -- in another post-game tribute to the team. After more thank-yous, Jacob Michaels signed off, "Damn, I'm going to go cry or laugh or something now."

Of course, there were paybacks to Jaguar fans who taunted New England fans all week.

"And to all those Jaguar fans whose incessant bragging in the run-up to this game now must be thrown back into their faces, your team showed much more class than you did. Championship football wins over trash talking any day of the year!," wrote "John."

But there were also gracious Jaguar fans. Deric Crosby of Jacksonville wrote: "Congratulations Patriots, onward to the Super Bowl, you deserve it."

Even a Green Bay fan, also celebrating a championship victory Sunday, piped in with compliments and a challenge: "Way to go NE. Let the Expansion teams suffer for a little longer -- like we have," wrote "Jeff." His note ended: "Bring us your best game, fellas."

For fans getting ready for next week's Super Bowl, there are plenty of places to travel on the Web.

For the official word from the Patriots, visit the team's Web site (http://www.patriots.com) where you can listen to post-game interviews with coach Parcells and quarterback Drew Bledsoe. In the media guide section, there is background material and photos of each player. (You can even read about the Patriots' cheerleaders.)

The Journal-Bulletin is among several newspapers that have posted special sites devoted to the football playoffs. At projo.com http://www.projo.com/report/sports/pats there are several action photos of last Sunday's game taken by Journal-Bulletin staff photographers as well as an active discussion board. The Boston Globe's Patriots site http://www.globe.com/globe/spt/pats/home.htm contains links to many other football-related pages.

You can stop by the Super Bowl chat room at the official Super Bowl site (http://www.superbowl.com) and add your own comments. Come back during Sunday's game, when there will be a live "cybercast" of the Super Bowl.

There's also an archive of the history of each Super Bowl, going back to the first game, on Jan. 15, 1967, when the Packers played the Chiefs.

There's plenty of Patriots-specific information at the Super Bowl site as well http://www.superbowl.com/patriots/index.html. There are statistics, interviews and a history of the team.

You can hear pre-show discussions of the Super Bowl at ESPN's site at http://espnet.sportszone.com/editors/liveaudio/nfl.html

Of course, in another part of the world, there is something called Packers Fever, which has been well-covered by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, on its Web sitehttp://www.onwisconsin.com/.

More Packers information is available at the team's official Web site at http://nfl.com/packers/.

Computer calendar

Tuesday -- The PC Users Group will discuss "PC housekeeping" and how to avoid problems with your PC, at 7 p.m. in the East Conference room of the Community College of Rhode Island, Warwick. The meeting is free. At 6:30 p.m. there will be a general discussion, along with a question-and-answer session. For more information, contact Louis Stein at 739-2810, or by e-mail at louisstein@aol.com, or see the group's Web page at http://ids.net/~louissn/ribcs.html.

Saturday -- The Rhode Island Apple Group will offer a class called "Beginning Macintosh" from 9 a.m. to noon at the Gordon Middle School, 45 Maxfield Ave., East Providence, in the Mac Lab. Fee is $20 for members and $35 for non-members. (First-year membership is $30.) To register, call Maggie Holmes at 433-3192 or send e-mail to her at magholm@aol.com.

Jan. 27 -- The Rhode Island Macintosh Group (RiMac) will meet at 7 p.m. in the second-floor conference room of the CIT Building at Brown University, at the corner of Waterman and Brook Streets. It's "newcomers night," for people who have basic questions about how their Macintosh operates. For more information, see the group's Web site ( http://www.dwiggins.com/rimac/) or call Bob Hazard at 884-3050, or Gordon Lee at 943-8498.

Timothy C. Barmann is a Journal-Bulletin staff writer. His column runs every other Sunday on the On Line page. Send him comments via e-mail at tim@cybertalk.com or U.S. mail, c/o the Journal-Bulletin, 75 Fountain St., Providence, R.I. 02902.