It was with both joy and some sadness that I attended the 2019 Patriots Super Bowl Championship Parade on Tuesday. As much as I was very happy to help the city of Boston celebrate yet another title, I couldn’t help but think of how much my friend, Pattie, would have enjoyed seeing Tom Brady hoisting his sixth Lombardi trophy.
Tom Brady (a.k.a the GOAT)
I worked with Pattie for about fifteen years in the 80’s and 90’s. She was a devout Patriots fan and even though I hadn’t seen her in quite some time, I always looked forward to her Sunday Facebook posts during football season that read “Luv, Luv, Luv my Patriots”. In her eyes Tom Brady walked on water and could do no wrong. You wouldn’t have wanted to invite her and commissioner Roger Goodell to the same party.
Sadly, Pattie died suddenly either during, or shortly after, the overtime period of the AFC championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs on January 20th. I can only hope that her death occurred after the game ended and that she knew the Pats we’re headed to another Super Bowl. If there is a football stadium in heaven, I know she deserves a seat at the 50 yard line. The world will miss you, Pattie.
Super Bowl parades in Boston can be a bit chilly but on this February day mother nature rewarded the city’s residents with a record setting 65 degrees and people responded by coming out in droves. Boston Police estimated the crowd at 1.5 million and if traffic getting into the city was any indication, that number is probably accurate.
The city was all decked out for its Patriots
The crowd didn’t need cheerleaders to fire it up
Something I always look for at these events are the clever signs that pop up and make folks smile. My all-time favorite was spotted at the Bruins Stanley Cup parade in 2011 that poked fun at the losing team. It read “the Vancouver Canucks have no balls so they don’t need a cup”. Some of this year’s contestants are shown below.
I also like watching kids being kids and there were thousands in attendance. I can’t imagine that there were many students sitting in the Boston Public School classrooms on such a gorgeous day. I think the system should not only allocate a certain number of snow days each year, but at least one, if not two, “parade days” so that children don’t have to play hookey and bring a note the following day claiming that their grandmother died (for the sixth time). Twelve titles in eighteen years should be enough justification.
I took one of my kids to the parade – or should I say, she took me. Her office is on Boylston Street which is ground zero for championship parades and the city’s famous marathon and we used it as our home base. We debated whether to watch from the office’s fourth floor windows but decided that the short walk to Copley Square would place us right in the heart of the madness. It was a good choice. The best way to experience the madness is to stand elbow to elbow with other crazed fans.
If I had any doubts that my daughter has established roots in Boston they were quickly erased by watching her enjoying herself. She’s not much of a football fan but if something good is happening to her city, then something good is happening to her. She’s not a Mainer anymore. She is now Boston Strong!
Julian Edelman became the first Jewish person to win the MVP
It didn’t take much time for the long awaited duck boat carrying Tom Brady to arrive. It remained within my sight for about a minute and a half and during that time I got to witness a true super-hero in action, but not in the manner that you think. Alongside Brady was his young daughter, Vivian, and it was obvious that she meant more to him than any Super Bowl ring. He held her in his arms; she sat on his lap. He took her hand and whispered in her ear; she held up the Lombardi trophy. During those brief ninety seconds Tom wasn’t the greatest quarterback of all time, he was just a guy being a great dad.
I’m sure that in little Vivian’s mind my friend Pattie was right. Tom Brady does indeed walk on water.