BOSTON, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A cheering and adoring throng of more than one million people jammed in and around Boston City Hall Plaza Tuesday to salute their improbable Super Bowl champions, their New England Patriots.
"We're all world champions," owner Robert Kraft told the proud and gleeful crowd.
"This is the most impressive thing I've ever seen in Boston," said Gil Santos, the longtime radio voice of the Patriots.
Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady threw a football into the crowd.
"We are the champions," the players sang along with recorded music.
Tight security measures included no backbacks, briefcases or other bags allowed at the City Hall rally, according to Boston police. Those seeking to enter the plaza passed through police safety checkpoints.
The Patriots were paraded through the streets of Boston to the City Hall Plaza aboard 10 authentic Ducks, open-air boats used to transport personnel and supplies from ships to shore during World War II but now used to carry tourists around Boston.
With screaming crowds sometimes 10 deep lining the parade route, the Ducks were flanked on both sides by police officers on foot and cops on motorcycles.
Kraft, praised for buying the team and keeping it here, said, "I grew up in this town and this region, and when my family bought this team eight years ago we wanted to accomplish some goals. One of the goals I wanted to see in my lifetime a world championship come to this region, and today," he said, holding the Super Bowl trophy high, "we're all world champions."
Kraft said winning the Super Bowl was a team effort, and that he was glad to see that the same attitude across the country today, all races and religions coming together. "That's what's going on in the country today. The foundations of this country are freedom, faith and spirituality, we are all Patriots, and today we are all world champions."
Coach Bill Belichick said the team began the journey a long time ago in training camp, and, "It's been a long voyage and a long journey, and I feel like our journey is complete now, this year." He said he told the team before the Super Bowl game that if the team just followed its game plan and played Patriot football, "It would be our time. It's our time. We did it."
Defensive back Lawyer Milloy noted that the team consistently was labeled as underdogs, but "We're number one."
Kraft said, "I'll give Lawyer a ring if he gives me his (fur) coat." Milloy shot back, "You paid for it."
Troy Brown, who caught a critical pass in the game-winning drive, said "Hey, this is what it's all about right here," raising the trophy. "Nobody gave us a chance of doing it. We stuck together all year." Now, he said,. "I've got my hands on the biggest prize of them all," and "I'm looking forward to doing this again next year."
Adam Vinateiri, who kicked the winning field goal, said, "There's not much more to say. We're the champions."
Defensive back Ty Law led several players in demonstrating the "end zone" dance.
"Tell everyone we're 14-point underdogs," one fan yelled derisively. "Yah, we're number one, baby."
Many students were among those who turned out for the celebration, skipping classes to attend the even.
"This is better than graduating from high school," one said. "I love it."
Brady received much attention from young ladies in the crowd, some with marriage proposals.
"Brady, I want to be your lady," read one sign.
" It's a good thing John Madden is not our coach." read another sign.
"This is historical," said one woman who came from Vermont early in the morning for the celebration.
Many of the players and family members had camcorders to record the throngs as the Ducks moved slowly along the route. Many even watched the parade and rally from rooftops under chilly but sunny skies.
About 1,000 fans welcomed home the Patriots when they arrived at Foxboro Stadium from Logan Airport on Monday night.
For New Englanders, this made up for 16 years of frustration and it came from such an unlikely source. The Patriots were 70-1 long shots to win the Super Bowl before the season began and after going 1-3, the odds looked right.
Then, with Brady at the controls, they turned things around and the Patriots from then on, followed a script right out of "Mission Impossible."
''Now do you think we'll start getting some good publicity?'' asked Patriots center Damien Woody.