The New England Patriots were recognized for a second consecutive season for their designated driver program.
More than 23,000 fans at Gillette Stadium this season pledged to be designated drivers, the most of any NFL team for the second straight year. Since 2009 the Patriots, the Revolution, Gillette Stadium, the Ensign John R. Elliott HERO Campaign and TEAM Coalition have educated fans about the importance of using a designated driver to ensure a safe ride home from the game.
Fans who pledge receive a free soft drink and wristband, discounts at the pro shop and a chance to be selected as the designated driver of the game. The designated driver of each home game is recognized in a pregame ceremony at the next home game.
"Patriots games should always be a fun and safe environment for our fans, whether inside the stadium or driving home afterward," Patriots senior vice president of operations, finance and administration Jim Nolan said in a statement. "We are thrilled by how many of our fans embraced this program throughout the season."
In addition to the award presented to the Patriots, Scott Osterman of North Kingston, R.I., was recognized as the Patriots designated driver for the season. If the Patriots make it to the Super Bowl, Osterman will attend the game as the grand prize winner of a league-wide sweepstakes supporting the designated driver program.
In the photo below, from left to right, Michael Morrissey, District Attorney Norfolk District; Chief Ed O'Leary of the Foxborough Police; Bill Elliott and Muriel Elliott, founders of the HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers; Jill Pepper, TEAM Coalition; Scott Osterman, Patriots Designated Driver of the Season; Robert Kraft, President and CEO of the New England Patriots; Jim Nolan, New England Patriots Senior Vice President of Operations, Finance and Administration; Dick Farley, NFL security representative and Massachusetts State Police representative Lieutenant Jeff Stuart appear during a pregame ceremony at Gillette Stadium to honor Osterman as the Patriots designated driver of the year.
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