Haley Sylvester

Haley Sylvester is from Greenwich, CT and an undergraduate student at the University of Maine. She is studying Management and Marketing with a concentration in International Business and a minor in Professional Writing. She joined the Maine Campus in the spring of 2016 and currently serves as the News Editor.

Tom Brady was all smiles with his son on the afternoon of Tuesday, Feb. 7 during the Patriots parade in Boston. Following his fifth Super Bowl win on the evening of Sunday, Feb. 5, Brady and the rest of the New England Patriots crowded onto duck boats and paraded through the city of Boston, cheering and celebrating with upwards of one million fans after their historic comeback over the Atlanta Falcons.

The parade was scheduled to start at 11 a.m., but did not start until briefly after noon due to the inclement weather. Fans began arriving as early as 7 a.m. to secure a spot up against the barriers on the streets of Boston. Driving through the city proved extremely difficult, as fans crowded the streets and cars were forced to squeeze into impossible parking spaces and garages.

The snow and rain fell with a mix of confetti as the Patriots rolled through the streets celebrating their fifth Super Bowl victory. Despite the weather, close to one million fans were in attendance, decked out in Patriots apparel including jerseys, hats, jackets, flags and one fan who had a tattoo of Brady’s five rings on his chest. The span of 22 duck boats started their route at Hynes Convention Center and ended at City Hall Plaza. Each duck boat had numerous players divided up by position and loyal fans smiling, dancing and cheering through the streets.

The parade was led by Robert, Jonathan, Josh and Dan Kraft, followed by Bill Belichick and his coaching staff. Next came Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett to kick things off. The duck boat that carried the running backs and tight ends was the life of the parade party, with loud music filling the streets, Gronkowski waving a Patriots flag and Martellus Bennett and LeGarrette Blount celebrating. Numerous fans threw beer cans at Gronkowski, who proceeded to drink them and then spike them back into the crowd or onto the ground. It only made the crowd rowdier.

A Boston police officer at the scene mentioned, “This is one of the best turnouts for the parade, even despite the weather. I think the incredible turn-around by our team in the last few minutes made more fans want to come out today.” The officer added that Boston fans will forever be crazy and loyal about their sports teams and it was great to see people coming from all over the Northeast for the occasion, adding that he was impressed students from Maine made the drive. “The Patriots are more important than class, but you didn’t hear that from me.”

He also explained that they pull from all departments for the parade. “Traffic is crazy, fans are crazy and it takes a lot of us to maintain our city.”

The spirit of New England had never been more prominent as fans lined the streets and buildings surrounding the route. Fans were cheering out of windows as duck boats passed and cannons fired heaps of red, white and blue confetti in the sky. Fans brought thousands of handmade signs, some celebrating Brady by referring to him as the “G.O.A.T.” (Greatest of All Time) and others highlighting wide receiver Julian Edelman, who made the catch that saved Patriots Nation in the fourth quarter and James White, the first NFL player to score a touchdown in overtime in Superbowl history.

At the parade’s finish in front of City Hall, team owner Robert Kraft addressed the crowd, “We have the G.O.A.T. when it comes to players with Tom Brady,” he said. “We have the G.O.A.T. when it comes to coaches with Bill Belichick. We have the G.O.A.T. of fans on the planet!” This made the happy, snowy, semi-intoxicated fans erupt into loud applause. Following the parade, the streets were lined with wet confetti and empty nip bottles.

Third-year management student at UMaine Andrew Callinan went to the parade with some of his friends. “My friends and I decided to go to the Patriots parade for the main reason we never had the chance to experience one before. Being a diehard fan myself, I had always wanted to go, but it had never worked out. If you were to ask anyone who really knows me undoubtedly they would say I am the biggest Patriots fan they know. In some cases, I care almost too much about the Patriots as they have meant so much to me ever since I was a little kid. After by far the greatest game and comeback I’ve ever seen in football, I knew I wanted to be apart [sic] of the celebration and it didn’t disappoint.”

The Patriots have celebrated in Boston four times previously.