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'Deflate This': Patriots Fans Welcome Super Bowl Champs Home


OK, here's one last deflate-gate joke - in Boston today, Patriots fans were pumped up. That's all we'll say. The team took a victory spin through the city's downtown to celebrate a fourth Super Bowl title, this one over the Seattle Seahawks. Fred Bever of member station WBUR was there.

FRED BEVER, BYLINE: Despite the record-breaking snows from two storms that walloped the city and for a while paralyzed roads and public transit, the parade route was clear and crowded.

A musket brigade in Minuteman garb led the procession of duck boats and flatbed trucks from the city's Prudential Center across the Boston Marathon finish line and on to City Hall. They carried players, cheerleaders, team owner Robert Kraft with the Lombardi trophy raised triumphantly over his head. Coach Bill Belichick came through, and wide receiver Julian Edelman stripped to a T-shirt while surfing the top of a truck cab. And quarterback Tom Brady, who earned his fourth Super Bowl ring on Sunday, kept his young son on his lap.

UNIDENTIFIED FANS: (Chanting) Brady, Brady, Brady.

BEVER: Fan Justin Coonan of Duxbury, Mass., seemed particularly blissed out.

JUSTIN COONAN: Yeah, I'm pretty damn happy. (Laughter).

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Damn right. Damn right.

COONAN: Yeah - because we waited 10 years to win again. And that's how much it means to the people. That's how much it means to the fans. I was crying when I saw that guy make the interception on the five yard line, but then they were stupid enough to throw the ball, and we got the interception. We won the Super Bowl.

BEVER: Fans traveled here from all the New England states and beyond. Venezuela native Geraldo Giusti used to live in Boston. He was here in 1996, the year the Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the Green Bay Packers. He says he was so excited by this year's win, he had to be here.

GERALDO GIUSTI: I am. I live in LA now, and I came all the way from there to watch the Super Bowl here and come to the parade.

BEVER: And if there was any taint to the victory in the aftermath of the deflate-gate allegations about ball tampering in the Patriots' win over the Indianapolis Colts, you couldn't find a hint of it in the proud streets of Boston. Azeb Hishe and Angelica Laing took the day off to join the joyful chaos. Hishe chalked up the controversy to jealousy.

AZEB HISHE: When you have a good football team - we used to have a good basketball team - a good baseball team and a good hockey team. People are looking for an excuse to bring our city down. That's just it. Best city in the world.

BEVER: For NPR News, I'm Fred Bever in Boston. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.