Moments after their championship parade ended, the New England Patriots took to the stage in a quick, raucous ceremony at City Hall Plaza, where they seemed to announce that the next season – and the drive for a sixth Super Bowl title – had already begun.
Coach Bill Belichick, who said this team had worked harder than any he’d coached, whipped the crowd into a frenzy with chants of “No days off! No days off! No days off!”
Rob Gronkowski, the star tight end who was injured for this year’s Super Bowl, asked the crowd, “Who’s getting wild tonight?” then declared, “When we get six, your boy right here is going to be a part of it.”
And superstar quarterback Tom Brady, the only player on the team to be a part of all five Lombardi trophies, joined in a chant of “We want six! We want six!”
Such talk is likely to be the opposite of music to the ears of other NFL teams, who have watched the Patriots become a dynasty, winning five rings since 2002.
Oddsmakers in Vegas already have the Patriots as the favorite to win the next Super Bowl.
As of Tuesday afternoon, one sports betting website, Bovada, put the Patriots odds at 4 to 1, ahead of the Dallas Cowboys (7.5 to 1) followed by the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Atlanta Falcons (all tied at 12 to 1).
Six Super Bowls is perhaps the last box to check on Brady’s record-breaking career. He is already the winningest quarterback in Super Bowl history, alone at the top with five titles, but he is tied with Charles Haley of the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers for most Super Bowl rings for a player.
The ceremony kicked off with Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh declaring that we have the best football team and coach on the planet, before handing it off to the man he called “the best owner on the planet,” Patriots boss Robert Kraft.
Kraft then seconded Walsh’s emotions, calling Brady the “GOAT” when it comes to players – Greatest of All Time – and Belichick the GOAT of coaches.
“I want all of you to know that our family and our organization feels we have the GOAT of fans on the planet. And you prove that,” Kraft said before being drowned out by the cheers of the crowds.