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Jan 31, 2012 4:53 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Couple Chooses Sides In Upcoming Super Bowl

Jan 31, 2012 5:03 PM

The average temperature of the Atlantic Ocean in February at the shores of Ipswich, Massachusetts, hovers in the high 30s. Not exactly ideal conditions for taking a dip.

But that’s exactly what either Britton Bistrian or her husband, Jon Emptage Jr., will be doing after the conclusion of the Super Bowl on Sunday.

A bet has been made between the Amagansett residents, who have something of a “mixed marriage”—Ms. Bistrian is a diehard Patriots fan; Mr. Emptage, a lifelong Giants fan. The fan of the losing team will don a hat, jersey or another item of clothing representing the winning team, and make his or her misery complete by taking a frosty plunge in the waters of the Massachusetts town where Ms. Bistrian’s parents live.

The couple will be watching the game in Patriots country with their two daughters, Clemens, 2½, and Merritt, 8 months. This might seem like an unfair arrangement for Mr. Emptage, but in 2008 Ms. Bistrian was forced to watch her beloved Patriots endure the upset of the century at the hands of the Giants during a Super Bowl party in her home, where she was surrounded by Giants fans.

“We had this huge party, and I made a stadium cake for the Patriots and a stadium cake for the Giants. But after they lost I was, like, ‘OK, you can all leave now,’” Ms. Bistrian said with a laugh earlier this week.

She’s hopeful that this year’s viewing of the Super Bowl will be a much more enjoyable experience. “It’s better to be surrounded by fans,” she said. “Plus, I’m a little superstitious: We stayed in New York last time, and they lost. It was awful. Everyone knew I was a Patriots fan, so they were just calling up the next day and saying, ‘Hey, how was yesterday?’”

Ms. Bistrian, who grew up in Amagansett but moved to the Boston area with her family when she was young, is not shy about flaunting her allegiance to a New England team while living in enemy territory—especially lately. “I’ve made a point of wearing all the Patriots gear that I own,” she said.

Because the Patriots and Giants don’t always play each other in the regular season, the rivalry doesn’t cause too much discord in the Bistrian/Emptage household. Except, of course, when the stakes are the highest.

According to both Ms. Bistrian and Mr. Emptage, their rivalry takes its most notable expression in the way they dress their daughters. Both girls already have an extensive collection of both Patriots and Giants gear—jerseys, cheerleading uniforms and T-shirts. Mr. Emptage said the compromise is typically having one child wear Giants gear while the other wears Patriots gear, but Ms. Bistrian thinks an exception should be made for Sunday. “I’m going to tell him, since we’ll be near Boston, for their safety they really should both be wearing Patriots gear,” she said.

Surrounded by Ms. Bistrian’s Patriots-loving family, Mr. Emptage might have a tough time putting up a fight. “It’s going to be torture for me,” he said. “I’ll be surrounded by the enemy, if you will. But it’s all in good fun, and we have a good time. But I’ll be the only Giants fan for miles around.”

Of course, Mr. Emptage is hoping for a repeat of the last time the teams met in the Super Bowl, an experience he relished. His wife? Not so much.

“She was very cocky, because they were undefeated,” he said. “What a great upset that was. This year it’s totally different, so we’ll see what happens.”

Either way, someone is going to be very unhappy—and cold, and wet—after the game is over, but Mr. Emptage estimates that a loss will be tougher on his wife.

“I can handle defeat much better,” he said. “They’re so passionate about their sports in New England. Not that there will be any grudges, but when the Giants beat them in the last Super Bowl, it took her a while to get over it.”

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Go Giants!
By Talbot77 (53), southampton on Feb 1, 12 11:04 AM
Go PATS!
By sayitaintsojoe (100), Westhampton on Feb 1, 12 1:31 PM
Go tie game!
By GoldenBoy (341), EastEnd on Feb 2, 12 6:27 PM
Slow news week..
By gansetteer (125), East Hampton on Feb 3, 12 4:27 PM
1 member liked this comment
VERY slow news week.....
By lollie94 (2), east hampton on Feb 3, 12 4:33 PM
busy news week.
By Rimz88 (1), Southampton on Feb 3, 12 5:27 PM