Pats display in East Boston draws onlookers
The display has become a familiar sight outside an East Boston auto body shop around Super Bowl time: a Ford Bronco painted in bright New England Patriots blue, paired with an old wrecker representing whatever unlucky team stands between the Patriots and another championship win.
“It’s a landmark over here now, everyone calls looking for it,” said Eric Danilchuk, who owns Danilchuk Auto Body and has been creating displays in front of his business that cheer on the Patriots ahead of their Super Bowl appearances. “It’s all in good fun.”
This year, Danilchuk’s display pairs the Patriots with the Los Angeles Rams, represented by a run-down old Dodge Ram pickup truck, parked bumper-to-bumper with the Ford.
Overlooking the scene is a mannequin dressed as Tom Brady, armed with a bow, facing another mannequin dressed as Rams quarterback Jared Goff. An arrow sticks out of Goff’s doppelganger; nearby, a sign reads “Brady’s Ram Hunting Camp.”
Danilchuk, an avid bow hunter, summed up the scene: “Let’s go ram hunting,” he said.
The display received plenty of honks from passing drivers on Sunday afternoon, including more than a dozen people who stopped to take pictures of the scene.
Anna Ruggiero, one of the admirers, said she looks forward to Danilchuk’s displays every year.
“He’s the best,” the East Boston resident said. “He puts a lot of thought into it.”
But not everyone was pleased with the display, including a Winthrop man named Julio.
“I don’t like it much,” said Julio, who declined to give his last name. “There should be a better way. This shows violence.”
Danilchuk started creating the displays back when the Patriots faced off against the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl back in 1997, and has created similar presentations for the Patriots, as well as the Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins over the years.
He said he gets calls from Patriots fans each year around playoff time, asking about when the latest display will go up along Route 1A.
And the bulk of the presentations have honored the Patriots, which have been praised for not just being one of the best teams ever in football, but in professional sports, period.
“I think it gets more exciting, it’s an incredible run,” Danilchuk said. “And it’s incredible to be part of this dynasty.”