Thousands of fans show Patriots-like resiliency

BOSTON -- Snow banks on the sides of streets and frigid temperatures were no match for New England Patriots fans during the team’s Super Bowl championship duck boat parade on Wednesday.

Fans battled brutal traffic, Mother Nature and more than three feet of standing snow to cheer on the champs, as they did their best to imitate the resiliency of the Super Bowl-winning team that fought back from 10 points down in the fourth quarter.

And leave it to a true New Englander to embrace the cold wearing only shorts and a T-shirt in sub-30 degree weather.

Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, who lost his voice while shouting and celebrating with fans, talked about how special it was to see the fans brave the cold to show their support.

“Words can’t explain the way I feel right now,” Jones said. “I mean, the fans being in the cold even makes it that much better. It’s a great vibe.”

Thousands of fans screamed and cheered as the sidewalks were blanketed in a sea of red, white and blue.

“It means so much to me [seeing all the support], honestly,” Jones said. “These guys are the backbone to our team. Without these fans, we wouldn’t be anything. I appreciate the support. I really do.”

The support rang in from fans standing on snow banks for a better view to others hanging out of windows and watching on rooftops.

One fan went for a more creative approach: an 8-foot ladder.

Boston Police barricaded the streets while the Boston Fire Department set up trucks on side streets to watch the Super Bowl champs cruise by on duck boats.

“You get to share the experience with all these people,” Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman said. “Seeing all these cops, firefighters, seeing those first responders of the Boston bombings and all that and these people taking care of us, it’s unbelievable.”

The outpouring of fan support set a remarkable scene. As the duck boats approached Boston Common, the noise levels dropped with the open space. But as the boats passed by City Hall Plaza, the crowd picked up the intensity with cheers that made it tough to hear the person next to you. Fireworks went off when coach Bill Belichick and his coaching staff passed by in their orange duck boat named “Back Bay Bertha”.

“It’s great to be here in Foxborough and Boston, this is home,” Edelman said. “I hope we have at least a million [people here]. This has been an unbelievable experience.”

It felt like there were a million celebrating fans on the streets and in the windows. One group of fans held a sign touting that they traveled from Montreal to cheer on their Patriots.

The Boylston Street and Park Street train stations had the largest congregation of rowdy fans jumping up and down in the snow and making their voices heard.

Sporadic chants such as “Bill! Bill! Bill!” and “We want five! We want five!” boomed through the streets throughout the procession.

Belichick smiled throughout most of the parade (a rare sight, indeed) as he was soaking it all in and hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in the air to bellowing fans.

While Tom Brady, Darrelle Revis, Belchick and Robert Kraft received a large chunk of the cheers and credit on signs, Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler was not to be forgotten.

Butler doesn’t have a jersey available at the Patriots Pro Shop yet, but one fan got creative with this retro jersey:

As the parade reached its conclusion, fans didn’t want the celebration to end. Robert and Jonathan Kraft posed with the Lombardi Trophy with Boston police officers, drawing a roar of cheers.

Even after a two-hour parade and an outpouring of faithful fans, Jones and Edelman said the Super Bowl victory hasn’t even sunk in it. Though it is close.

Edelman had one simple message to pass along to fans before moving on to the offseason: “I’d say thank you guys for coming out! And we’re champs!”