By Taylor Raglin
BU News Service
BOSTON — In this city, parading through downtown on duck boats has become practically commonplace.
Following the Patriots’ fifth Super Bowl win in 15 years and Boston’s 10th major-sport championship in the same stretch, the city celebrated as it has for every title since 2002 — by sending its victors marching down Boylston St. on the amphibious vehicles, trophy in hand.
Throngs of Patriots fans braved a mid-20s wind chill and driving snow-turned-rain to witness Tuesday’s parade, which the city expected to bring out hundreds of thousands of people.
Maggie Secor of Wellesley, who currently attends the University of Miami but flew home for the event, said departing the warm Florida weather was worth it.
“Everyone is just so excited,” she said. “There’s not anyone who’s miserable about the rain. It’s so cool being here, because everyone is so excited and positive.”
In a route that mirrored previous celebrations, the procession made its way down Boylston Street from Hynes Convention Center to Tremont Street, where it turned and headed for City Hall Plaza. The team concluded the parade by addressing fans from an elevated stage near City Hall, and even tight-lipped head coach Bill Belichick couldn’t resist taking his turn on the mic. The 64-year-old was uncharacteristically enthusiastic, leading the crowd in an extended chant of, “No days off!”
Pan around the video to get a 360 view of the parade crowd.
Fans brought signs and props aplenty, with some praising their team and others deriding Roger Goodell in a continuation of the fan base’s long war with the NFL commissioner over his role in the Deflategate saga and quarterback Tom Brady’s eventual four-game suspension. Outside the Government Center T station, a man brandished a sign that read, “Not my commissioner.” He was hoisted onto the shoulders of the crowd, igniting chants of Brady’s name among the revelers as they waited for the duck boats to make their way down Tremont Street.
Linda Murphy of Attleboro took it a step further, creating large replicas of each of the Patriots five Super Bowl rings and of the Lombardi Trophy.
“This is a new ring, because I didn’t know what the fifth ring would look like,” Murphy said. “I looked [the other four] up, and this is what they were in different years. That’s what they looked like, except they had a lot of diamonds around them. I didn’t have diamonds.”
Despite the parade falling on a weekday, there were plenty of young faces lining the barricades to take it all in. A paradegoer and 30-year resident of Boston who identified himself only as Sammy O. said that his 8-year-old son was the driving force behind the decision to attend the pair’s first parade.
“We were supposed to come other times, but school was in session,” he said. “This year, he deserved it. He’s been doing excellent in school.”
Noah Debreceni, an 8-year-old from Haverhill, said he was more excited for the parade his second time around.
“It’s more exciting,” he said. “There are more people, and I have more Patriots gear.”
Debreceni, like many in attendance, was waiting for one person in particular to roll by.
“Tom Brady, because he’s the ‘GOAT,'” Debreceni said through the face mask of his plastic Patriots helmet. “He’s the greatest of all time.”