PORTLAND, Maine — The scene was jubilant — a dream come true for a loyal New England Patriots fan like Michael Downing.
His beloved team had just capped an improbable comeback to defeat the Oakland Raiders in one of the most memorable playoff games in NFL history.
Just seconds later, as his family cheered amid the bedlam at snowy Foxboro Stadium, Downing collapsed of a heart attack and died.
"We went from ultimate high to ultimate low within a second," said son Tim Downing.
Downing, 65, had been standing in snowy conditions the entire evening as his Patriots attempted to advance to the AFC championship game. But late in the game at Foxboro, Mass., he started to feel sick, sat down and slumped over.
A doctor attending the game arrived quickly, followed by emergency medical technicians, but Downing was pronounced dead a short time later at Norwood Hospital.