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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Boston Celebrates Patriots with Massive Parade

Jonathan+Kraft+holding+the+Lombardi+Trophy+as+the+parade+traveled+by+the+Boston+Common
Jonathan Kraft holding the Lombardi Trophy as the parade traveled by the Boston Common

A lot has changed in 14 years. But no matter the transformations New England has made during that time, some things have stayed the same too.
For starters, Boston still knows how to throw a party.
On Wednesday, thousands lined the city streets to celebrate the Patriots’ 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks in last week’s Super Bowl. It was an especially gratifying championship win—for both the fans and the team—as it came 10 years after New England raised the Lombardi trophy for the third time in four years.
While there are many differences between the most recent parade and those of yesteryear, the most significant was the players who were being celebrated. Guys like Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Shane Vereen, Devin McCourty and Rob Ninkovich, all of whom have given the Patriots their all throughout the 2010s, finally helped lift Tom Brady to his fourth title.
It didn’t matter that Brady and Vince Wilfork were the only players remaining from the 2004 team—in fact, in some ways, the new crop of players made the parade even more exciting. Fans flocked to the city, eager to see their favorite new additions, as chants of “Revis” wrung through Downtown Crossing.
Revis wasn’t the only defensive back to receive high praise, however. Rookie Malcolm Butler, who joined the team as an undrafted free agent prior to the start of the season, was the toast of the town. After securing the Super Bowl win with his interception in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter, Butler was proudly on display, perched on top of one of the first duck boats spectators would see.
As fans, especially in Boston, we want the players to care about being successful more than we do—which can be quite the task. But as Gronkowski and Edelman illustrated with their antics, whether throwing a Richard Sherman poster or spiking beers (to each their own), this championship meant a whole lot to the team.
With any fan base, though, especially one which celebrates good fortune as routinely as the Patriots’, there are some bad fans. They tend to get exposed in a setting like a parade, where parents don’t appreciate profanities and drunkenness around their children.
From my vantage point—right near the Common and the Park Ave T stop—at least four different fans were hauled away by Boston’s finest. Shenanigans of some sort should be expected when the masses come together for an event like that, as the city has a longstanding reputation of chaos ensuing amidst large crowds.
Although the fans who were tossed likely deserved their fate, it pains me to say they weren’t the worst fans on display at the parade.
I’m no Yao Ming. At 5’9, I have enough trouble seeing over crowds of people that range anywhere from 15 to 20 deep without some girl getting on her boyfriend’s shoulders. The way some people carried themselves—with little regard for others or humanity—was absolutely despicable.
If there was one common thread between nearly all fans, big or small, it was the use of cellphones. With all of the colleges and universities in Boston, it’s incredible you rarely come across a photography major.
At the parade, fans couldn’t look two feet forward without seeing 27 different iPhones, as it seemed as though everybody was on a mission to upload a perfect shot to the Instagram feed. Maybe that’s just par for the course when it comes to winning a title in this day and age.
Ultimately, the Patriots parade went on without any major hitches other than the snow storm which moved the original scheduled date back a day.
Each attendee, the old-timers that have been watching the Pats since they played at Sullivan Stadium, the out-of-towners whose faces glowed at the magic that surrounds Boston’s sports teams, and the little kids who were fortunate to miss another day of school, all seemed to enjoy catching a glimpse at the champs.
Robert Kraft’s sneaker collection may have undergone a major upgrade since his team first won a Super Bowl in 2001, and Tom Brady has certainly aged—albeit fantastically—in the 14 years that have passed, but the most recent parade proved the feeling of victory tastes as good as ever.
And in New England, no matter how long passes or how many banners we raise, we’re always up for a party.