Giddy fans of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots chanted "Brady! Brady!" and clambered atop massive snowbanks for better views as players danced and waved their way through Boston in a Wednesday parade celebrating their fourth NFL title.
Well-wishers blew kisses, pumped their fists and screamed themselves hoarse as the team rolled through downtown aboard the World War II-style amphibious "duck boat" vehicles that have become a staple of the city's championship parades.
Some fans defied police warnings and climbed on giant piles of snow left from last week's blizzard to get a glimpse of quarterback Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick and other players as trucks blew plumes of confetti into the air.
The crowd roared as a smiling Belichick and his players snapped selfies and took turns waving the Lombardi trophy earned in a hard fought 28-24 victory over the defending champion Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
A beaming Brady held his young son, Benjamin, who grinned and waved to the crowd. Later, Brady posted a video to Facebook.
"Thank you guys. Thanks for all your support. What a year it's been. Look at this!" he said panning the camera over the roaring crowd. "Let's go!"
The convoy carrying players, their wives and girlfriends, the team mascot, cheerleaders and more rolled down Boylston Street on route to City Hall, crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon, where two bombs killed three people and wounded more than 260 others in 2013.
Fans sported No. 12 Brady jerseys, shouted the MVP's name and held "We are the CHAMPIONS" placards. One had a sign that read: "Belichick for President."
"I'm freezing, but it's been great. It's exciting," said Annie Cushing, a Quincy resident who had been standing in front of City Hall for hours before the parade started, wearing a No. 87 Rob Gronkowski jersey and a homemade Lombardi trophy hat made of tin foil and tape.
The real Gronk drew laughs with his hip-hop dance moves. At one point, he chugged a can of beer tossed up by a fan while wearing a goofy winter hat of a one-eyed "Minion" character.
Not to be outdone, wide receiver Julian Edelman stood tall on the roof of a duck boat in sunglasses and a white T-shirt, at times a waving Patriots flag and holding up signs from fans, including one taunting the Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.
By the city's colonial burial ground, where signers of the Declaration of Independence and other famous Bostonians were once laid to rest, a boy held high a sign on a wooden picket saying: "13 years old, nine championships," a nod to the city's other successful sports franchises.
Elsewhere, signs proclaimed "They hate us cause they ain't us," referencing a James Franco line in the movie "The Interview."
Carl Estrella of Cambridge wore a T-shirt saying "Deflate This," mocking allegations that the Patriots cheated with underinflated footballs in their AFC championship win against the Indianapolis Colts.
"After all that went on with the deflated balls, we are owed an apology," said Michelle Cote Moran, a Lowell resident watching the parade with her brother. "We're not going to get it, but it's all good. We did it again. We won."
Police reported four arrests, including two charged with disorderly conduct, one with underage drinking and another charged with misdemeanor assault and battery for apparently throwing a snowball at a police officer.
"It's been a while since they won. We've come close. The last two were killer," said Chris Cunningham of South Kingstown, Rhode Island, referring to the Patriots recent Super Bowl losses to the New York Giants. "But this one was great. It made up for all of them."
PHILIP MARCELO, Associated Press
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