Mike ReissESPN Staff WriterClose
- Covered Patriots since 1997
- Joined ESPN in 2009
An estimated crowd of 35,000 turned out at Gillette Stadium for the New England Patriots‘ Super Bowl rally Sunday morning, giving the team an emotional lift before boarding its flight to Atlanta.
“This is an awesome crowd. Just tremendous. This is the biggest sendoff we’ve ever had,” coach Bill Belichick told those in attendance.
Belichick, dressed in a suit and tie, then thanked the crowd that filled the entire playing field and lower section of the stadium.
The team’s decision to depart Sunday contributed to the large turnout. Last year, the Patriots departed for the Super Bowl on Monday.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 27, 2019
Owners Robert and Jonathan Kraft also addressed the crowd, and they briefly reflected on the 25th anniversary of their purchase of the team. They credited fans for their support throughout the years.
Chung told the crowd, “We’re gonna go out there and kick their ass, baby!”
His words were heard by the Rams, as former Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks responded at Los Angeles’ sendoff, telling those in attendance, “Hey Chung, we heard you talking that talk back there in Foxborough … let’s get straight,” before dropping the mic on the stage.
Brady closed it out by imploring the crowd to chant, “We’re still here!” multiple times, which has been one of the team’s rallying cries.
The Patriots then boarded team buses for T.F. Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island. They were scheduled to arrive in Atlanta at 4:25 p.m. ET.