I'm tired. I'm cold. I'm soaking wet. I'm hydrated. I'm hungry.
The New England Patriots held their fifth Super Bowl Parade through the streets of Boston this morning, and yours truly blew off work today to be in attendance. A gloomy forecast and a miserable mix of wet snow and rain did absolutely nothing to...shall we say, deflate...the spirits of the thousands of Pats fans who showed up in droves to line the streets all the way down Boyleston and to City Hall. The revelry and energy was amazing, so I thought I'd share a few quick-hit observations from the parade as I continue to thaw out.
- I got into Boston last night, and overall, it was pretty quiet. Years past have seen mixed results on the night before the parade, but Monday night saw most people more probable than not nursing their hangovers from the weekend and recovering from the multiple heart attacks that Sunday's game caused.
- That didn't stop me from turning my head every time the door to the bar I was at opened in hopes of seeing a Patriot walk through the door spraying champagne. Alas, no dice.
- As for the parade itself - it was awesome. I was posted up on Boston Commons, approximately halfway between the route's start and end point, and I was please to see folks from all walks of life. Families. College students. Couples. Single guys. Working stiffs taking a break from their desk jobs. A bunch of slurring, stumbling teenagers that kept insisting that they were 21 for some weird reason. And the entire thing was just one big high five.
- As always, you got your share of morons. A few guys decided to climb onto the roof of the Park Street T Stop to get a better view of the duckboats when they came, only to be immediately reprimanded by the cops. A few snowballs went flying into the crowd, and at one point I think I saw a bottle in the air. But for the most part, it was a great and friendly group.
- The most notable exception, however, was the amount of anti-Goodell signs absolutely littering the sidewalks. I don't know how the NFL Network was able to get a single shot of anything without catching some love for good old Rog. A few of my favorites:
- Goodell Sits When He Pees
- More Probable Than Not We All Hate Goodell
- Fire Goodell
- Roger Goodell Can Sit in My Seat for the Home Opener
- I can't wait to watch the parade on TV to see how they blocked out all the profanity and not-so-subtle suggestions as to what Tom Brady should do to Goodell with his thumb as soon as he gets that ring for it. If the NFL Network finds a way to lessen the actual levels of Goodell hate in those streets, that's Emmy worthy for sure.
- I didn't actually get to the parade until about 11:30 due to the massive crowds and traffic, but it actually worked out well that way. The city of Boston did an amazing job keeping the streets clear and pacing the parade so that your decision to stand out in the cold paid off. Each duckboat went by slowly, full of extremely happy and excited members of the Patriots and Patriots staff
- The only real negative of the day was the almost completely empty duckboat that was supposed to hold the Patriots cheerleaders. Not quite sure where they all went.
- I'm sorry to say that I wasn't able to congratulate Tommy B in person the way I was hoping to; a combination of the crowd and my needing to remain 250 feet away from him at all times, I guess. But he was in a duckboat with the rest of the quarterbacks, all of whom were grinning from ear to ear, and you could tell how much he was enjoying himself. These things haven't gotten old for him. He doesn't take them for granted. He knows what was at stake this year, and what this win means. I didn't get the "Let's Go!" I was hoping to get, but that's OK. Just seeing him there, taking it all in, was pretty special.
- And since I'm kind of a jerk, the second best part of my parade experience was watching some guy throw a hat to Danny Amendola, which he, Julian Edelman, and Chris Hogan signed. But then when they went to throw it back, it was snatched up by someone else in the crowd. Couldn't help but laugh at that one.
- Probably my proudest moment was the chance I got to scream out a massive "thank you" and "helluva job, sir" to running backs coach Ivan Fears. He was on a boat with some lesser known staffers, so there wasn't as much hoopla as the other positional groupings, and so he was kind of just riding along taking it all in. But he waved back at me, and said thank you with a nod. That man isn't getting nearly enough credit for what he did with this running game, and I'm glad I was able to show him some love.
- Rookie Joe Thuney was waving a Patriots flag while singing "I Just Wanna Dance With Somebody" at the top of his lungs. Rookie Malcolm Mitchell was dancing his ass off and waving to everyone with a massive grin on his face. What those guys are feeling today must be kind of like what the drunk high schoolers in front of me have felt like their whole lives. There are high school seniors who have literally never lived in a world where the Patriots didn't have a winning record. Nuts.
- It was a little sad to see how few people actually recognized Trey Flowers as he and the duckboat containing the defensive line struggled along, listing very heavily to one side. You can make the case that his sack of Matt Ryan was the play of the game. But I guess when you have a helmetless Tommy B and Jimmy G nearby, you tend to fall by the wayside.
- I need to figure out how to sneak my way into one of the upper floor offices on the parade route so I can watch out the window. Tommy B seemed to look up that way a lot.
- If you have never been to a Boston championship parade before, I strongly suggest you find a way to get there. These things only come along every few months or so for this city, so who knows how many chances you'll get.
What a day. What a parade. What a game. What a great time to be alive. We did it, everyone.