February 03, 2004
Another Vince, Another Big Boston Bash
BY: Bob George/BosSports.net
Bill Belichick can outcoach anyone, but he can't outdance Myra Kraft.
He couldn't even outdance Fred Flintstone.
The Ty Law Dance Theater played again at Boston City Hall on Tuesday, and about two million people took it all in. The top billed event happened to be "Super Bowl Champion Patriots Victory Rally", but Law and his troupe showed once again that it is much more fun to watch Patriots dance than it is to watch Patriots win Super Bowls.
Not. But for this one day, it sure seems that way.
They broke out the duck boats again, and all of Patriot Nation came out and saluted the Super Bowl champs. It doesn't seem all that long ago that everyone came out to celebrate the Super Bowl XXXVI champs. Given the fact that both the Patriots and the city of Boston had that party to fall back on from an experience standpoint, Tuesday's bash was so much better in every way possible, and that even includes the weather. It was overcast, but not as frigid as 2002.
From start to finish, this was a much cleaner production. It started about a half hour later than the announced noon start time, but Boylston Street was neat as a pin and ready to handle this blast, whereas the famous Boston thoroughfare seemed cluttered and gunked up in 2002. The horde of Patriot fans were nicely kept back, lined up along the street about ten deep, and everyone got a terrific view of all the Patriots and both Vinces.
Yes, we did say both. In the lead duck boat rode Bob and Myra Kraft, and the estimable Patriot owner thought to bring both Lombardi trophies along. The fact that the Patriots possess two of those trophies now is no small deal, and showing off both Vinces was symbolism at its best. Kraft showed off one trophy, while Scott Pioli and Jonathan Kraft showed off the other.
Fittingly so, the lead man in the lead boat was Tom Brady. Unshaven, wearing what FSNE's Gary Tanguay described as an "Elmer Fudd cap" and perhaps exhausted as all get out (this is once again his second parade in as many days), Brady gave the crowd lots of pearly whites and waves and pumped fists. Any single female in the crowd probably reacted similarly to how females forty years ago this month did to this quartet from Liverpool, England, coming to this country for the first time.
The route was similar to 2002: Boylston Street, Tremont Street, Beacon Street, Court Street, Congress Street, City Hall. The procession took about 45 minutes, and it proceeded at a pretty steady pace. If the Patriots waved to about a million people along the parade route, about another million people awaited them at Government Center.
This part of the rally was a huge upgrade from 2002. A huge television screen entertained the crowd, especially when it played the final 1:08 of the Super Bowl. Gillette Stadium PA announcer John Rooke warmed up the crowd as the duck boats arrived. Pretty soon, after an interminable wait, the Patriots came out, and the crowd roar could be heard all the way to Charlotte, North Carolina, which the crowd was goaded into trying to do.
Gil Santos came out, threw it to Kraft, and he kept his remarks unusually brief. He "unveiled" the newest Vince to the deafening roar of the crowd, then let Belichick have another bath of delirious ovation. It was Belichick who got the loudest and longest cheers at Gillette Stadium when the AFC Championship Trophy was presented, and it was Belichick who got the longest ovation Sunday night on the victor's platform. The incredibly humble Belichick has to feel extremely uplifted from these awesome demonstrations somewhere deep within his psyche. He has become the most revered and celebrated coach in this area since Red Auerbach.
The captains came out next, but it was less organized and more fun this year versus 2002. More players spoke, and those who spoke didn't mince words nor disgrace themselves. Brady told the mob that "one was fun, twice was nice, but I really need number three!" Larry Izzo kept his remarks solely on the Patriots, and left the Yankees out of the discussion. Tedy Bruschi thanked the Patriot fans for being there when they were needed in all sorts of weather.
Richard Seymour perhaps preached the best of all. He hollered at the crowd for a few minutes, but then pulled a "Sam Gash -- part of this is yours!" routine which struck a nerve. Rodney Harrison broke his forearm late in the Super Bowl and was unavailable for this bash due to surgery. Seymour, who became best friends with Harrison, led the crowd in two huge ovations for the prize free agent signee. Patriot players raised their fists in approval with each mention.
If Seymour was the most heartfelt, Troy Brown was the most comic. He came out right away and went United Way on the crowd, yelling "Bingo! Bingo! We win!" He then took off his shades, showed off his black eye and busted nose, and made light of his injury early in the game. Brown, who will likely have to take a pay cut to remain with this team next year, showed us all in the Super Bowl why he means so much to this club with his tough catches despite getting his nose bashed in on the first offensive series of the game.
After brief remarks by Adam Vinatieri, David Givens, Ted Johnson and Mike Vrabel, on came Law and the dancing portion of the show. Kraft and Law led off with a hot dance act that bested anything Justin Timberlake was capable of. Myra Kraft was led into the act, and she got down a ton better than Janet Jackson. Brady came in and showed off the fruits of his labours with Arthur Murray. However, Belichick remained as stiff and as wooden as ever. All the coach could manage this year was both arms flapping up and down. Willie McGinest and Pepper Johnson finished things up with a little boogieing of their own.
It was all fun, all excitement, and all celebration. You can dream and speculate about "what would this be like if this were about the Red Sox?", but you would be better advised to just shut up and wait three weeks for batteries to report to Fort Myers. This was another super wingding, much better than the last one, and hopefully, not the last.
The one thing that everyone should take with them from this bash is the fact that Kraft brought out both Vinces for everyone to see. One Super Bowl is great. Two Super Bowls put you in very select company. The Jets and Chiefs won Super Bowls III and IV respectively, neither has won one since.
Meanwhile, Belichick now heads back to his office, and will expend one hundred percent of his energy on the scouting combine and the draft, and zero percent of his energy on his dancing. C'mon, coach, you're beginning to get embarrassing.
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