More than one million fans, including several Harvard students, flocked to downtown Boston Tuesday to welcome home their Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots.
Students joined the crowd on the sidewalks of Boylston Street and Boston Common. Many of them skipped classes and put their studies on hold in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the Patriots players as they held aloft the Vince Lombardi Trophy to celebrate their victory.
Fans screamed “I love you, Tom” to quarterback Tom Brady and directed obscenities at the Los Angeles Rams, the team the Patriots defeated 13-3 on Sunday. Music boomed from speakers mounted to the Duck Boats and flatbed trucks that carried the players and their families. “Let’s have another Super Bowl of Ram chowder,” one fan’s sign read, referring to Boston’s famous clam chowder.
The Boston Police Department estimated 1.5 million fans attended the parade, which began at Hynes Convention Center and made its way to City Hall.
Paul E. Kuechler ’22 said he skipped class for the first time at Harvard to commemorate his hometown team, an experience he said was “worth it.”
“Once in a lifetime is what they say, but hopefully not,” Kuechler said of the opportunity to attend a championship parade.
Boston sports fans have not had a dearth of championship parades in recent years. This year’s win was the Patriots’ sixth since 2002 and the Boston Red Sox held a parade just a couple months ago to celebrate winning the World Series. Boston teams have won 12 championships in the last 18 years.
Chris Kuang ’20, a self proclaimed “die-hard” Patriots fan and six other Harvard students spent three hours in Boston to watch the parade.
“I’ve grown up around Boston and been to a bunch of parades my whole life, and each one is special,” he said. “It only happens every once in a while. We’re lucky here in Boston to have had a lot of celebrations over the years, but you really can’t take them for granted.”
With warm temperatures and sunny skies, the weather presented prime conditions for the parade, a marked improvement compared to the snowy championship parade two years ago.
“The weather was a lot nicer, which was really good,” Feven Yohannes ’22 said after attending her second parade in three years. “There was that New England camaraderie, everyone coming together and having fun together.”
Yohannes said she did not mind missing lecture to attend the parade. But not every student — even longtime fans — could afford to miss class to partake in the festivities.
Jerome M. Edwards ’21 said he was disappointed that he had a class at the Medical School during the time of the parade.
“I personally felt like this season the team gave so much back and played so hard, so I hoped to attend to show my appreciation and love for them,” he said.
—Staff writer James S. Bikales can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @jamepdx.
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