Below-freezing temperatures and mountains of snow may have delayed the Patriots Super Bowl Victory Parade by a day, but it didn't stop hundreds of thousands of fans from lining the streets of Boston on Wednesday to welcome home their champions.
An estimated 750,000 people, both young and old, showed up to celebrate the New England Patriots as they rolled through a two-mile stretch of Boston on the Duck Boats, amphibious vehicles normally used for city tours. The rally began at the Prudential Tower, proceeded down Boylston Street and along Boston Common before concluding at City Hall Plaza.
People lined the entire parade route, with the crowd dozens of rows deep in some spots. Although the snow storm that hit the city on Monday caused the celebration to be postponed 24 hours, many fans took advantage of the towering snowbanks to get a better view of their champions. Some also watched from balconies and buildings along the route as the 25 Duck Boats and five flat-bed trucks passed by.
Owners Robert and Jonathan Kraft along with Bill Belichick and other members of the coaching staff led the way. They were followed by Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady, who, despite having three victory parades under his belt, got to experience it for the first time as a dad. The quarterback brought along his five-year-old son, Benjamin, and the pair got plenty of cheers from the crowd as they kissed the Lombardi Trophy and celebrated together.
Check out photos from the Patriots Super Bowl Championship parade in Boston, MA on Wednesday, February 4, 2015.
After TB12, the rest of the team rolled by, with small groups of players on most of the vehicles. Others carried the Patriots Cheerleaders and the drumline that performed at home games in the latter half of the season. The caravan also featured more than 20 Patriots alumni, including Troy Brown, Pete Brock, Joe Andruzzi and Scott Zolak.
Along with Zo, current players like Danny Amendola, Chandler Jones and Vince Wilfork kept the crowd revved up despite the bitter cold. For the entire two hours, the guys sang, chanted and danced as Gillette Stadium favorites like "This is our House" and "Crazy Train" played over loud speakers. All along the parade route, they also signed jerseys, footballs and other gear fans threw to them.
One of the big stars of the afternoon was Julian Edelman, who later told reporters he was "on cloud nine" during the parade. It certainly showed too, as he was quick to climb on the roof of the Duck Boat, where he held up signs from the crowd and danced with his teammates.
Although some have called JE11 the MVP of the celebration, he was not to be outdone by Gronk, who let loose and partied with his family, friends and fans. Sporting a yellow beanie designed to look like the Minions from "Despicable Me," he had the crowd in a frenzy as he put his famous dance moves on display, both on the hood of the Duck Boat and hanging out the side of the vehicle. At one point, the Patriots tight end even jumped off the boat and into the crowd to take photos with fans.
The rowdy celebration of No. 87 was in contrast to that of Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler. The 24-year-old rookie took it all in calmly, waving and saluting the legions of fans who came out to praise him with signs reading, "The Butler Did It."
In addition to the tributes to Malcolm, there were tons of creative posters, some stating "Belichick for President" and others honoring four-time champion Brady. And of course, the day wouldn't have been complete without the rallying call that the Patriots and their fans adopted throughout the post-season: "Do Your Job." The crowd thanked the team for getting the job done in Arizona and bringing Super Bowl glory back to New England. And as for the players, they had nothing but love for all the loyal fans who did their job by coming along for the wild ride that was the 2014 season.