Rob Gronkowski chugs a beer while hanging out of a duck boat: The Patriots 2015 Super Bowl Parade
In a period of just 10 days, mother nature dumped 47.9 inches of snow on the city of Boston. That number is 90% of the season's average total. The department of public works had their work cut out for them. There was a parade this morning. The Patriots were Super Bowl champs.
It was cold, cramped and wet. That didn't keep fans from around New England from crowding together between snowbanks and metal barriers to line the streets - waiting for the rain of confetti, booming music and, of course, their favorite players on duck boats - chugging beers, holding up fan's signs, waving flags, dancing on hoods or even mocking their freshly vanquished foe - the Seattle Seahawks.
The sports championship parade is almost a semi-annual tradition in the city of Boston. On average, the city has had a parade every 17 months since the Pats first won the Lombardi in 2002.
Never has one felt so good.
"How many rings does Brady have?" a sign asked, the words plastered over a picture of the Seahawks' Richard Sherman holding up four fingers.
The photo is a moment screencaptured from the NBC broadcast of Super Bowl XLIX after Sherman's self-imposed Patriots rival, Darrelle Revis (#24), gave up a touchdown pass to receiver Doug Baldwin. Sherman taunted Revis on the sidelines, holding up two fingers, then four. 24. The cameras loved it, they often do love Sherman.
Revis got the last laugh. He's been laughing since Sunday night.
Unlike his counterpart, the Pats' star corner is often silent. He never responded to the jeer, but another Boston athlete did. Red Sox player Mike Napoli flipped Sherman's taunt around and tweeted out the meme yesterday afternoon. It was on signs everywhere today.
Boston tends to inspire that kind of sports solidarity from its inhabitants. This Patriots season did that more than most.
Following a blowout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs early in the season, Pats fans endured endless columns disaparaging the team, TV personalities going on sensationalized rants calling for Tom Brady to be benched, Trent Difler even called the team "weak".
The Pats silenced the doubters by rolling to the AFC's number 1 seed, and eventually, a ticket to the final game of the year. Then, "Deflategate" happened.
Many out there, tired of the Patriots' neverending success, saw the signs of a fall of a dynasty and they gave it the meticulous attention of a vulture. When they were given a reason to tear apart the team again, just before the SuperBowl, they pounced.
Suddenly the Pats' 2015 season was "tarnished" with unfounded accusations of cheating. The Colts had apparently been suspicious that the Pats were using underinflated footballs. The Pats won the game 45-7. The NFL was investigating.
Bill Belichick took time away from preparing for the SuperBowl to perform a physics experiment testing the effect of weather conditions on the air pressure of a football. The weeks leading up to SuperBowl XLIX were mostly spent by the media talking about pressure per square inch. News segments were dominated by uneducated debates on the advantages of a slightly underinflated football. NFL "analysts" literally wept on live TV over conjecture.
"Deflate This!" plenty more signs read.
One of the first duckboats came by. Josh McDaniels hung along the side, beaming. His offense just beat the best defense in the NFL. There were no deflated balls.
|Bill Belichick was on the other side of McDaniels.|
"1, 2, 3...," he mouthed. No one could hear him talk. He held up a finger with each number.
"FOUR!" he yelled, pumping the Lombardi trophy into the air as hard as he could. Then he started over again. He never stopped smiling.
Patriots fans were showered with confetti. They were screaming too loud to be cold. The Patriots minutemen lead the charge, stopping to draw their muskets into the sky and fire. A ritual that accompanies a touchdown at Gilette Stadium. The Patriots scored four of those in SuperBowl XLIX, the last went to receiver Julian Edelman - who certainly wasn't bothered by the cold.
Despite the temperature being listed in the 30s, Edelman stood on top of a duckboat in a white t-shirt, jeans and a gigantic smile.
hands down my favorite moment #patriots #PatsParade #patriotsparade @universalhub @BostInno @BostonTweet pic.twitter.com/tHlkC6pBGo
— Ratty (@HeyRatty) February 4, 2015
Julian Edelman getting ready for the Rolling Rally! #JE11 #SB49 #GoPats pic.twitter.com/MuP8Y4xxKM
— Boston Duck Tours (@BostonDuckTours) February 4, 2015
Edelman is dressed like an 80s high school movie villain. RT @Theo2004: Pure Joy!! pic.twitter.com/OTf6YJVUfb
— Toucher and Rich (@Toucherandrich) February 4, 2015
Some of his teammates' celebrations were more subdued. Edelman's BFF, Tom Brady, wasn't yelling or singing. Grinning from ear to ear, occasionally flashing four fingers, Brady held his son and basked in the glory of the spectacle.
The 37 year old quarterback's more wholesome, subdued celebration is to be expected of the veteran team leader. After all, he's been here before, most of this team hasn't.
That includes Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
The tight end is famous as much for his partying antics off the field as his dominant play on it. When his duckboat rolled by, he did not disappoint.
PHOTO: Rob Gronkowski Chugging a Beer at Patriots Super Bowl Parade http://t.co/pxFfvgncuR pic.twitter.com/tnzl4wzZu5
— Tyler Duffy (@tyduffy) February 4, 2015
Rob Gronkowski caught a football while riding a duck boat http://t.co/YZufppML5l #Patriots pic.twitter.com/RxKMe302Yt
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) February 4, 2015
He also danced on the hood of his duck boat. I didn't see it myself, I have to take the drunk guy in front of me's word for it.
Shane Vereen stood on top of a duck boat too, he almost got hit by a traffic light. Revis, one of the Patriots' biggest rivals in year's past as a member of the Jets, sat at the corner of his boat sporting a wide smile that said, "I still can't believe this."
I barely can either.
Fans shivered, cheered, some even got arrested. For most it was worth it.
Media members pumping up DeflateGate the past two weeks whined on the twitter sidelines. How can they not arrest Gronk for public drinking? Why are the Patriots so happy when they just lucked out in the SuperBowl? Don't these antics run contradictory to the Patriot Way?
The hate on the Patriots will continue, but today was about proving all of the doubters wrong and, in typical Boston fashion, rubbing it in their face.
— Rand Getlin (@Rand_Getlin) February 4, 2015
The Patriots 2015 SuperBowl parade was more than a celebration. It was a sigh of relief.
Follow me on Twitter @MichaelASaver
Read more of my work at PatriotsLife here
Read more of my work at CelticsLife here