Thousands of Patriots fans packed the streets of Boston on a cold, snowy Tuesday to catch a glimpse of Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick and New England’s fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy during the team’s championship parade.
Riding in the city’s signature duck boats, the Patriots slowly made their way down Boylston Street in downtown Boston before making a left turn onto Tremont Street on the way to Boston City Hall.
As the procession reached Copley Square, fans chanted “Brady!” as the smiling quarterback pumped his fist in the air. Once the celebration reached Tremont Street, Brady caught a football from WBZ-TV sports anchor Steve Burton and tossed back a perfect spiral as fans chanted “MVP!”
The day after the Super Bowl win Brady posted on Instagram: “Attention managers of Boston: I hereby declare tomorrow a city-wide holiday. Tomorrow, we DANCE IN THE STREETS.”
And dance they did.
“One more!” Brady screamed during a post-parade rally at City Hall. “I told you we were going to bring this sucker (the trophy) home and we brought it home. Thank you guys. We do it for you. You do it for us. Let’s go! Let’s go!”
Brady added, “These aren’t easy to do, but this team gave everything it had and it took — damn, that game was hard. That game was real hard, but you know what we’re going to remember this moment for the rest of our lives.”
Brady threw for a Super Bowl-record 466 yards, two touchdowns and one interception as New England overcame a 25-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime on Sunday night.
“There’s been a lot of talk over the last couple weeks about goats,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said, referring to the acronym for the phrase greatest of all time. And you all know we have the G.O.A.T. when it comes to players in Tom Brady. We have the G.O.A.T. when it comes to coaches in Bill Belichick.
“And I (want) you to know that my family and our organization feel that we have the G.O.A.T. of fans on the planet.”
Belichick led fans in chants of “No days off!” and ended his brief address to the crowd by screaming “Let’s go Pats!”
“These players, they work harder than any team I’ve ever coached,” Belichick said. “They came to work everyday and there were no days off!”
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, was met with a smattering of boos as he addressed the crowd, but the boos turned into cheers when Baker officially declared Feb. 7 as “New England Patriots Day.”
Kraft said he was inspired by the impact the Patriots’ success has had on the region.
“I’m happy, I think this team is a rallying point for a lot of people,” Kraft told NBC Boston before the parade began.
Kraft spoke about a young electrician who told him before the parade that he suffered from depression and has identified with the Patriots.
“What we’ve done over the last two, three years has made a difference in his life, and that makes me feel good,” Kraft said.
Before the parade, injured Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was pictured holding a customized WWE championship belt with Patriots logos on it. Video later showed Gronkowski catching a can of beer that was thrown to him while riding on a duck boat.
Another popular chant from fans was “Roger That!” a nod to the strained relationship between NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Brady. Goodell suspended Brady four games for his role in the Deflategate scandal.
On Monday, Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia was photographed wearing a shirt with a red clown nose on Roger Goodell’s face as he exited the team plane on the tarmac.
One spectator interviewed by NBC Boston, who was accompanied by a person in a wheelchair, voiced his displeasure with the city of Boston’s poor viewing conditions for disabled individuals at the parade.
The city set up two accessibility viewing areas at Copley Square and City Hall Plaza.
Another spectator complained about being hit by snowballs.
Brady’s wife urges him to retire
If Gisele Bundchen had her way, Brady would have called it a career after winning his record fifth Super Bowl championship on Sunday.
The Patriots quarterback told SiriusXM NFL Radio that Bundchen, his wife of eight years, pleaded with him to retire after the win in Super Bowl LI.
“If it was up to my wife, she would have me retire today. She told me that (Sunday) night three times,” the 39-year-old Brady said Monday in the interview. “And I said, ‘Too bad, babe, I’m having too much fun right now.’”
The quarterback turns 40 in August and has said he would like to play until he is 45.
Brady missed the first four games of the 2016 season because of his Deflategate suspension, but still threw for 3,554 yards, 28 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
His touchdown-to-interception ratio was the best in NFL history. Brady finished second in the NFL MVP race behind Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
“I still plan on playing for a long time.”