At 10:30 on a Wednesday morning, I find myself braving the cold to walk to the T to celebrate the Patriots fourth Super Bowl win. Wearing my warmest Patriots hat, and enough layers to make me resemble a linebacker, I take the 15 minute train ride to Park Street, where the parade will pass. It is scheduled to begin at 11 o’clock at Copley, so I arrive at 11:07 with just enough time to maneuver my way to the front of the masses of people who are there to celebrate New England’s victory. At approximately 30 degrees, the weather is cold but not unbearable, as I stand with many other fans waiting to catch a glimpse of the legendary Tom Brady, vivacious Rob Gronkowski, and numerous other talented members of the team.
An hour and a half later, we are still standing, and waiting. Waiting in the cold. Numb hands and feet, and enough red noses to cause Rudolph to fear for his jobs security. Just as I am about to give in to the cold and consider leaving my ideal position against the guardrail in favor of a warmer location, we catch our first glimpse of the duck boats carrying the champions. Suddenly everyone becomes more alive and the cold seems to disappear. The noise of the crowd fills my ears, and the low rumble of music blasting from a few boats back makes its way towards us.
The first boat finally reaches us, and everyone is cheering loudly for the man who has led this organization for years. Robert Kraft proudly stands in his duck boat surrounded by family and friends, the Super Bowl Trophy firm in his grip. He gives a smile and raises the trophy over his head, and the crowd goes wild. The parade has begun.
The following boats were full of music, and ecstatic dancing Patriots players. Tom Brady and back-up quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo shared a boat, and held one of the other four Super Bowl Trophies that the Brady and Belichick team has earned over the years. Malcolm Butler earned one of the loudest cheers of all from the crowd: his game clinching play has earned him the love and admiration of all Patriots fans. In typical fashion, Rob Gronkwoski made his presence known, drinking beer thrown to him from fans in the crowd and popping open a bottle of champagne while hanging off the side of the boat, while players like Julian Edelman and Shane Vereen stood on the rooftops of trucks showing off their dance moves, keeping the crowd very entertained.
New England fans are nothing if not dedicated. When the Patriots began their season with a painful loss to Kansas City, some people counted them out and wondered if Tom Brady was no longer an elite player. True Patriots fans of course, knew that one game does not determine the course of an entire season, and remained unwavering in their support of the team. With approximately 70,000 people at the Super Bowl in Phoenix, AZ, there is no question that it was an incredible place to be. The ratio of Seahawks fans to Patriots fans was about 5:1, and there is no question that Seahawks fans took advantage of that. Despite their overwhelming presence, it was the Patriots fans who were able to cheer their team on to victory.
However, upon their return home to New England, the Patriots finally got to experience the real fan celebration during the parade. With 700,000 fans lining the streets of Boston, ten times the number of people at the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots had their fourth parade, alongside some of the best fans in sports. Congratulations to the Super Bowl XLIX champions, our New England Patriots!