BOSTON — The New England Patriots are taking their victory lap! While the weather is nasty, the spirit is alive and well!
MVP quarterback Tom Brady and company are traveling through Boston in typical Boston fashion. Players and other team officials are riding in duck boats, the World War II-era amphibious vehicles that are popular with tourists seeing the city’s sights.
The Patriots returned to New England on Monday night, bringing their fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy home to show off for fans who filled the parking lots outside the team’s stadium and lined up for hours. Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia carried the silver trophy off the bus at Gillette Stadium, where fans were dozens-deep along the route in near-freezing temperatures.
“That was wild,” cornerback Eric Rowe said. “I knew there was gonna be some people there but they were ready to knock down the guard rail it was so packed.”
It’s the fifth championship parade for the Patriots since 2002. Streets on the parade route closed around 9 a.m. The city is anticipating 500,000 to one million people, although the nasty rain/ice/snow could shrink that a bit.
“We’ll have a lot of officers undercover inside the crowd,” Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans said. “We ask the public if they come the less luggage, the less backpacks, articles of clothing or whatnot that might draw suspicion, to leave them at home the best you can.”
Democratic Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the Pats “have made Boston and New England proud.”
Hundreds of fans gathered late Sunday night and early Monday morning in Boston Common. They were dancing, cheering and chanting “Brady.” Police also were there to make sure the celebrations didn’t get out of hand. There were no immediate reports of any problems and fans were mostly described as being well-behaved.
Boston police tweeted their thanks Monday “to all the fans who acted like champions tonight” and wrote that they would see them again on Tuesday.