Last night, as Super Bowl LI came to a nail-biting close, excitement coursed through Boston. The Prudential Tower, which was illuminated with red and blue lights, was emblazoned with GO PATS on the side of the tower, and fans crowded into public spaces and bars to watch the game.
So, when the New England Patriots pulled off a shocking and historic 34-28 overtime victory against the Atlanta Falcons, the Boston streets filled with enthusiastic fans just as the confetti filled the Super Bowl stadium in Texas.
Immediately after the game ended, overjoyed fans danced through the streets, their chants mixing with the sounds of helicopters and sirens in the city. Many left their apartments and swarmed into high traffic viewing areas such as Kenmore Square, Fenway, and Faneuil Hall, where they celebrated with their fellow fans and chanted “Go Pats!” and “Brady!” as they headed toward Boston Common and the Boston Public Garden.
As the night continued, the police barricaded the streets near Copley and Boylston in order to give celebrators the space to move around, many officers filming the enthusiastic crowd and joining in the energy-filled chants. Even the hectic city traffic joined the celebration as cars honked in unison with the chants of the swarming crowds, and drivers rolled down their windows and blasted Queen’s “We Are the Champions.” In the Common, the joyous atmosphere was palpable as fans continued pouring out from nearby T stops so that they could bond with other Patriots fans and revel in their victory.
Even though the Boston Campus itself was by no means devoid of celebration—anyone within a mile of the Mods could follow the game’s turnout from the screaming—many BC students, like Matthew Gavin, MCAS ’18, made their way downtown to watch the game.
Gavin, who had been planning to watch the game downton beforehand, arrived at the popular sports bar Cask’n Flagon near Fenway around 1 p.m. in order to secure a spot for a large group. Gavin wrote to The Heights, that the bar was completely “packed” with eagerly waiting fans before the game even began. The excited atmosphere died down in the first half as the Patriots struggled, but following their turnaround in the second half the enthusiasm returned in full force.
“Once the comeback started, the people went crazy,” Gavin said in an email. “It really felt like everybody was family as we were all hugging and screaming even if we didn’t know each other.”
That sense of camaraderie stuck with Gavin, who was struck by the sense of faith and support that was palpable in the bar.
Bostonians will have another chance to feel this sense of community tomorrow, as he City of Boston officials wasted no time in planning the victory celebrations that will take place. The mayor’s office announced that the duke boat parade will begin at 11 a.m. in Back Bay before making its way down toward City Hall Plaza via Boylston St. and Tremont St.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh, WCAS ’09, congratulated the Patriots in a statement made late last night, just after the win was announced.
“Congratulations to the greatest team, the greatest coach, and the greatest quarterback of all time for winning their fifth Super Bowl victory in Houston,” Walsh said. “The Patriots have made Boston and New England proud— fire up the duck boats!”
And with thousands recording attending the Patriots’ victory parade after Super Bowl XLIX, this year’s turnout is not expected to be any less impressive. Even with the National Weather Service issuing a winter weather advisory and predicting that a delightful mixture of snow, rain, and fog will accompany the festivities in the city, the Massachusetts Bay Area Transit Authority (MBTA) has announced that they will increase their service to accommodate the anticipated levels of traffic. The MBTA will also be closing the Government Center T stop after 9:30 a.m. for safety reasons, and suggests that customers making connections on the Green Line use the Park Street stop, which is a short walk from City Hall Plaza.
But regardless of the weather, for which the Mayor’s Office advises that parade-goers dress warmly, if this parade is anything like the many of years’ past, it will undoubtedly go down in Boston history.
Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Editor