Whether it was a desire to send off their team into hostile territory outside New England right, a chance to get on the Gillette Stadium field, or a combination of both, an estimated 35,000 fans woke up in the wee hours and braved the cold on Sunday morning to salute the Patriots as they head to their record 11th Super Bowl and ninth of the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era, Jon Couture of the Boston Globe reports.
“Twenty-five years ago this week, last Monday, we paid the highest price ever paid for any sports team, anywhere in the world. And we kept it from going to St. Louis,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft told a crowd and fan base he declared the G.O.A.T. “And people worried because the team never sold out in 34 years. The games were blacked out locally. And within less than 24 hours, 6,000 of you lined up on a snowy morning and bought season tickets. We knew right then our family made the right decision.”
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
Capping a program that included Blue Man Group, Fitzy, the Foxboro High marching band, team broadcasters Bob Socci and Scott Zolak, Bill Belichick, and the six Patriots captains, Tom Brady led the crowd in a “WE’RE STILL HERE” chant before a phalanx of buses headed to T.F. Green airport outside Providence, flying the Patriots to Atlanta and another Super Bowl week.
“This feels like a home game. … We gotta take this right here and bring this to Atlanta with us,” said Brady, a week from starting his record ninth Super Bowl. “I’ve been so blessed, obviously, being here as long as I have. To play with so many great teammates and coaches, to represent this team and organization and, obviously, to represent you guys is what it’s all about. So I can’t thank you enough.”