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PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — The screen printing business was set and ready, waiting for the Patriots to win the AFC Championship game so they could start spewing out T-shirts at a rate of about one-thousand per hour from their machine.
The moment didn’t come. Production manager Ray Delgado and his team at Mirror Image in Pawtucket put the machines to bed and went home after the Patriots lost to the Denver Broncos Sunday evening. They’ll ship the blank, navy blue T-shirts back to the supplier.
“It’s a damn shame,” Delgado said, explaining that the business gets a big boost in extra cash whenever the Patriots win championship games. “But you know, football can go either way.”
To say New England fans were disappointed would be an understatement.
“I’m extremely sad,” said Zach Smith from Burrillville. “I’ve never been this sad in my entire life. This is the worst day,” he said.
He and his friend Dan Mattera were waiting for the win at Snookers in Providence, ready to book a trip to the Super Bowl.
“We were going to San Francisco, we had tickets ready to go on our phone,” said Smith.
“It was a good game,” added Mattera. “But it was like, they gave you the hope and then they brought it down.”
Cinnamon Striplin from Wichita, KS proudly wore a Denver Broncos jersey surrounded by Patriots fans at Buffalo Wild Wings in Warwick.
“It’s a little weird and a little awkward,” she told me during the first half of the game. “But I’ll rep Broncos all day, every day. That’s my team, and I know we’re going to win.”
Striplin was right, much to the chagrin of Pats fans. New Englanders bounce back fast, though; all of the fans who talked to Eyewitness News said they were ready to cheer on Tom Brady and the team to victory next year.
“We got it, you know,” said Corey Ferschke from Smithfield, echoed by his friend Chris Keejan from Burrillville. “Next year, we’re going all the way.”