Savor the moment
BY SETH GITELL
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2002 — Today, there’s only one story that matters: the Super Bowl victory of the New England Patriots. Tom Brady, Ty Law, and Adam Vinatieri did what Steve Grogan, Russ Francis, and Stanley Morgan could not: win the world championship. For those Patriots fans who trekked down to New Orleans — some driving 30 hours through snow storms, others, like myself, flying to Pensacola and motoring across the Deep South — the team’s achievement was paramount. And less than 36 hours ago, we — I had deliberately left my press credentials behind in my travel bag — let the world know.
"Bourbon Street is Beacon Street tonight!" went the cry in New Orleans Sunday night. An army of Patriots fans marched up and down the streets of the French Quarter high-fiving, chanting and, of course, drinking. At around 11 p.m., the crew from ESPN entered Pat O’Brien’s. There was Sterling Sharpe, the former wide receiver great — who had scoffed at the Patriots’ chances — followed by Dan Patrick. Sharpe remained aloof and unimpressed by the fans celebrating around him. Patrick was more gracious. Asked to explain "the paucity of the punditry," Patrick gave the Patriots credit. In a sports culture dominated by "fantasy sports" — where teams compete on the basis of individual statistics alone — the experts found it impossible to evaluate the Patriots (a point made well in Boston Herald columnist Kevin Mannix’s mea culpa. See http://www2.bostonherald.com/sport/football/pcard02052002.htm).
This afternoon, those fans who did not get the opportunity to accompany the team to the Big Easy will converge on City Hall Plaza. Boylston — not Beacon — will take the place of Bourbon Street — sans booze. And Boston fans will be able to savor their team’s victory for just a little longer.
Issue Date: February 5, 2002
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