Hundreds gather in Southwest to celebrate Patriots’ win

By Jackson Cote

Students celebrate the Patriots winning the Super Bowl in Southwest Sunday night. (Katherine Mayo/Daily Collegian)

At 10 p.m. on Feb. 5, only six UMass students were walking outside Southwest Residential Area. In less than an hour, hundreds of students gathered in the same area, waving American flags, climbing trees and singing the song “Seven Nation Army,” celebrating the New England Patriots’ historic win in the 51st annual Super Bowl.

At halftime, the score was 28 to 3 in favor of the Falcons, but by 10 p.m. New England fans were beginning to see a glimmer of hope, as the Patriots began a steady comeback.

“My heart is literally racing,” said sophomore economics major Natalie Downey. “I thought they wouldn’t come back, but now I have hope.”

Sophomore political science major Will Hayes thought the same thing. “If I had a nickel for every ‘Oh my God’ moment in this game…” Hayes said.

Their prayers were answered. With 11 minutes and two seconds left on the clock, and in a surprising overtime win—the first in the history of the Super Bowl—the Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons 34 to 28. Approximately 20 minutes after their win, hundreds of UMass students rushed outside of their dorms, flocking the area between the Berkshire Dining Commons and Washington Hall in Southwest.

The crowd grew over the course of 30 minutes, stretching from Washington Hall back to Hampden Market. Most students stayed on the ground; many gathered on the sidelines too, watching from the elevation of John Adams Hall. One student flew a drone over the heads of those celebrating from the location.

Clad in jerseys with the numbers of Tom Brady and Julian Edelman—as well as a few with the number 11 to honor former Patriots quarter back Drew Bledsoe—students threw jugs of water, tossed beer cans, threw snowballs and even scaled some light posts, all in a whirl of what one might consider typical Patriots fan-fever.

Students chanted the name of Tom Brady throughout this time, as well as USA. Many also stood on each other’s shoulders.

“Magical, absolutely magical,” said sophomore Sam Silverman in describing the spectacle.

John Chambers, a sophomore marketing major, shared a similar amazement, “As crazy as this is, it unites everybody. Everybody wants the Patriots to win. And we did.”

Jackson Cote can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @jackson_k_cote.