18 years after Christian Fauria’s famous karaoke Super Bowl celebration on the NEPC team bus, he and Lauren Dabbs, a cheerleader on that team, join the fight against diabetes.
IT’S FEBRUARY 6, 2005. The energy was still electric.
Moments earlier Deion Branch had hauled in a Super Bowl record 11 catches for 133 yards, and Christian Fauria had sealed the Lombardi Trophy for the New England Patriots by safely nestling into his arms a late 4th qtr on-side kick, thwarting any thoughts of a come-from-behind victory the Philadelphia Eagles may have been having in Super Bowl XXXIX, thus sealing a 24-21 victory.
The New England Patriots Cheerleaders, following their on field celebrations filled with confetti, presentations, and jubilant chaos were on the team bus about to head back to the hotel to freshen up before continuing that evening’s championship festivities in Jacksonville.
“We had been hanging around on the bus for about an hour,” Lauren Dabbs, part of that 2004 squad remembers. “Then all of a sudden the door swings open and on comes Christian Fauria, Larry Izzo, and Matt Chatham!”
Apparently, the Patriots team bus was slightly delayed in leaving as well. And Christian isn’t one to sit still.
“None of us had any idea what was going on,” Lauren continues. “But before we knew it Christian had finagled the microphone from the bus driver and was singing to us!”
All of the Patriots cheerleaders were in an uproar. Christian looked over at NEPC and Patriots HOF coach, the late great Tracy Sormanti, and asked if this was okay with her. She smiled, laughed, and gave him her nod of approval. He had, after all, just recovered that on-side kick helping to deliver a Super Bowl to New England.
Taking his cue, Christian broke out into a merriment rendition of Rick Springfield’s smash hit “Jessie’s Girl” turning the NEPC bus into, at that moment, the hottest party in Jacksonville.
“The bus was legit rocking from side to side and back and forth,” Lauren says. “All of the girls were jumping and screaming, it was so fun, we were having a blast!”
“Christian hopping on our bus and grabbing that mic is one of my favorite memories from the Super Bowl,” adds Erika Tarlow, another member of the 2004 team. “We all rocked out!”
Following “Jessie’s Girl” the cheerleaders in unison requested another hit from Christian, Larry, and Matt.
“But Christian said, ‘Nope that’s it,'” Lauren laughs. “And he put the mic down and left our bus.”
THIS PAST JULY, nearly eighteen years later on a casual night out at Mariel in Boston, Lauren bumped into BostonMan Magazine publisher Matt Ribaudo. In conversation, it came up that BostonMan would be featuring Christian and his “Blitz on Diabetes Telethon” on the cover of the summer 2022 magazine.
Her heart literally stopped.
“I had just rushed my mother to the hospital two weeks earlier and she was diagnosed with Type II diabetes,” Lauren says. “I told Matt that night I wanted to do whatever I could to help with the telethon or anything related.”
Like Christian’s son Caleb, who was diagnosed with Type I diabetes in 2019, the symptoms were hard to catch and appeared to come out of nowhere.
“It was very sudden with my mom,” Lauren explains. “She had mentioned a few days earlier that she was having a little bit of blurred vision, but she was still able to drive and stuff. It wasn’t until I found her on the couch unable to move that she was showing serious signs.”
Like many who manage diabetes in their families, after the initial diagnosis came the crash course from the hospital on how to treat the condition followed by a pat on the back and the customary folder of pamphlets with “call here if any questions” brochures in it.
“We have so may questions!” Lauren says. “There is so much I need to learn about diabetes to know what and how I need to help take care of my mom. This is why I am so grateful to Christian and BostonMan Magazine for allowing me to be any part of this.”
Lauren accompanied BostonMan to the photoshoot at the WEEI studios for this cover, catching the tailed end of Christian’s live afternoon show: “Merloni, Fauria, and Mego” in the process.
It was her first time seeing Christian since “Jessie’s Girl”.
“He still has that same energy he had playing on the field and singing on the bus,” she says laughing. “That’s exactly the type of energy we need to lead this fight against diabetes.”
Christian was happy to welcome any new help towards the Blitz.
“I hear you’ll be coming on the air with Matt during the telethon,” he greeted Lauren with. “Did he tell you his shift is somewhere between 2am-4am?”
When people talk about Patriots culture, Patriots spirit, and the Patriots family, it goes far beyond a catchy phrase or any accomplishments on the football field.
In 2005, Christian Fauria and Lauren Dabbs shared a moment in time celebrating a Super Bowl championship on a team bus. Now nearly 18 years later, their paths have crossed again. This time, the opponent is much greater, and the stage much bigger. But with that Patriots spirit they both have instilled in them, they are definitely ready to help in the fight against diabetes.
And that’s something we can all sing along to.