“Boston. You are insane,” Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman wrote in gratitude after the parade.
This parade, the sixth of the Patriots’ dynasty and the 12th sports championship parade in the city since 2000, carried a stern reminder from Mayor Marty Walsh not to turn cans of beer into projectiles. Fans appeared to honor that request, preferring to toss footballs and items to be signed by players.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski found a different form of merriment by drinking wine. From a bottle. An hour into the parade he was shirtless, save for a neon yellow police vest, and catching the occasional beer tossed his way.
Owner Robert Kraft, who sported the diamond-encrusted “CHAMPIONSHIPS” medallion that was a gift from rapper Meek Mill, said in a TV interview: “We need things to bring people together in today’s world. We had the ‘blitz for six’ and we completed our mission.”
The Patriots busted out all six Lombardi trophies for this parade, which differed from its predecessors in that it featured no speeches at the end of the route. It was simply a parade, a 90-minute lovefest along the two-mile route.
Temperatures in the 50s contributed to the party atmosphere (not that cold weather has stopped fans before). Instead of brews, it was mostly confetti flying through the air as fans chanted “We want seven!”
But the Patriots didn’t forget for a moment that some people, including ESPN’s Max Kellerman, had written them off.
It was a different feeling from the Patriots’ 2017 parade when players, including Gronkowski, gleefully caught beers from fans and downed them. Things got out of control during the parade for the Red Sox last fall when a flying can of suds slightly damaged one of the World Series trophies. A bystander reportedly needed stitches after being struck by a can, and one fan was arrested. One beer can struck Manager Alex Cora and two others nearly hit Mookie Betts.
“This definitely has got to stop,” Betts told the Boston Globe. His family, including his mother, was riding with him.
Tuesday’s event, at least at first blush, had no signs of such mayhem.
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