FOXBORO, Mass. — Have you ever been flipped off by an old lady in a wheelchair?
Well, Patriots right guard Brian Waters certainly has. That's just life as an opponent visiting the Oakland Coliseum to play the Raiders, who boast some of the most passionate fans on the planet. Depending which side you're on, they're either certifiably insane or the most loyal lot in the land.
"I'll say this, [it was] the first time I ever saw an old lady in a wheelchair shooting you the bird with both fingers," Waters said of a past experience in Oakland. "That's about as crazy as you can get."
Waters spent 11 seasons with the Chiefs — who are as hated by the Raiders as anyone — so he made an annual trip to the Coliseum. The residents of the Black Hole aren't too fond of the Patriots, either, especially since the Snow Bowl. Waters was asked if they might hate him more now that he's with New England.
"I don't care who it is, when you walk in there, I don't care who you are, I think they're not going to like you," Waters said. "And they're not going to like you, your family, your friends and they're going to have no issues of letting you know from the time the buses ride in."
The Patriots are used to that. They were given the one-finger salute by half of upstate New York on their ride to Orchard Park on Sunday to play the Bills. This weekend, they'll get yelled at by men who wear spikes on their shoulders and silver skulls on their faces.
"From the time you drive in to the end of the game, you're probably going to see a lot of different things — some good, some bad," Waters said. "But the biggest thing as a player going in there, and the one thing that you try to get across to the young guys as much as possible, is don't focus on those things. Try not to pay attention to those things, because they can be a distraction. They can be a great distraction if you allow them to."