PHOTO: New England Patriots' Tedy Bruschi, right, holds up three fingers for the Patriots' three Super Bowl wins during a victory parade in Boston, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2005. Patriots' Rosevelt Colvin stands on the left. The Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
The Parade of Champions
By Michael Reardon, Site Contributor
For the third time in four years, members of the New England Patriots roster, staff, and ownership were paraded through the streets of Boston to celebrate another championship season with a sea of euphoric fans.
At the end of the 2001 season, a similar mob of fans celebrated their first Lombardi trophy in their team's history. At the conclusion of the 2003 campaign, they cheered again for the Patriots' return to greatness after a disappointing season the year before.
Now, after their team's third Super Bowl victory in fours years, they lined the streets to witness the arrival of a dynasty.
Police estimated that just under a million people from all over Patriot Nation gathered to welcome the parade of Patriots home on the unseasonably warm February day; many of which missed a day of work or school to attend the festival.
The Patriot parade consisted of a series of Duck Tour boats and rolled from the Prudential Center to City Hall Plaza. The route was about 1.5 miles long and lasted around 90 minutes. Head coach Bill Belichick appeared far removed from his usually stoic personality, and happily greeted the crowd of cheering fans. The players seemed to be genuinely enjoying the event as well, some of them holding up three fingers to signify the three recent championships. Those that did so were one - upped by Scott Pioli Robert Kraft, and Jonathan Kraft who each triumphantly hoisted one of the actual championship trophies,
Considering the size of the crowd, it was relatively well - behaved. Thirty - eight fans were arrested for various minor violations, the most serious of which was assault and battery. The whole routine of the celebratory parade seems almost normalized in Boston, it having become such a regular event as of late. However, judging by the size of the crowd and the tangible excitement that it exuded, it is clear that the local fan base is not taking the golden age of New England sports for granted.
One well-known Patriot was absent from the celebration. Kicker Adam Vinatieri was already relaxing in Hawaii and got an early start on preparation for his second Pro Bowl appearance. Vinatieri traveled directly from Jacksonville to Hawaii to make things easier on his pregnant wife, Valerie, and their son A.J.
"I'd love to be (at the parade), but I have a feeling they did just fine without me," said Vinatieri, who will make his second Pro Bowl appearance. Vinatieri assured Patriots fans that his absence at the parade was not a reflection on relations with him and the Patriots ownership. Vinatieri is a free agent this off-season and will be engaged in negotiations with the Patriots soon.
You can find more stories about the players in the HOT NEWS section or in their player profiles. This article was assembled by Site Contributor Michael Reardon. If you have any comments or suggestions for future topics, you may contact us here
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