Road Cheer, 35,000 Strong
By Taylor Pettaway
FOXBORO -- There wasn’t any football in Foxboro on Sunday, but more than 35,000 Patriots fans still came out to Gillette to cheer on the home team as they make their way to Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII.
“It’s going to take a lot,” said quarterback Tom Brady to the roaring crowd. “Offensively, defensively and special teams, this has got to be the best game of the year. We’ve got to bring it, you’ve got to bring it and hopefully we can bring a trophy home.”
The fired-up crowd packed Gillette Stadium, letting loose with chants such as “We want six,” “Beat L.A.” and “We’re still here.”
“The Rams are going to lose to the Patriots,” said Luke Loud, 8, of Sandwich who was there with his dad, Joe. “The Patriots are going to win so, so, so, easily.”
“This kind of feels like Christmas,” said Jennifer Hittle of Bow, N.H., who came with her daughter and mother. “You can’t describe the feeling. I never would have thought I could ever get to watch my 8-year-old doing cartwheels on the field at Gillette Stadium.”
The crowd was deafening as it celebrated its hometown heroes. For scores of Pats fans, many who have been loyal for decades, this was another day to make history.
“It’s overwhelming to be here on the field. It’s magic,” said Christine Visbaras, who was at the rally with family and friends. “The energy, the love, the fans, it is amazing.”
Fans couldn’t agree who was their favorite Patriot -- tight end Rob Gronkowski, Brady or receiver Julian Edelman -- but they could all agree they would miss Brady if he ever hung up his cleats.
“If Brady does retire it will be an incredible walk off win for him and he is going to be able to hold his head high, and I’ll be thankful and grateful for all the times,” said Joe Loud. “Of course I want to continue to see him play but he owes us nothing. He’s an incredible person and he’s the real life Superman in my book.”
“They’re going to crush it, absolutely crush it,” said Kathy Lynch, who brought a sign reading “Put the Goat back on the Boat” to the rally.
The rally culminated in a flurry of confetti with fireworks erupting in the background and fans screaming their admiration. Then Brady and the team boarded buses with a police escort for the ride to T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island, where they departed for Atlanta and Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams.