The Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrated their Super Bowl LV victory Wednesday with a boat parade amid continued concern over the coronavirus pandemic, although neither the visibly inebriated Tom Brady nor the thousands of attendees appeared worried about being infected.
Brady’s maskless face turned bright red over the course of the afternoon and he staggered giggling off his boat supported by a teammate, prompting social media users to claim that he was ‘hammered.’
‘Noting to see her…just litTle avoCado tequila,’ Brady joked in a misspelled tweet, responding to footage of his wobbly departure. The 43-year-old quarterback, who follows a strict vegan diet regimen, has previously said that he essentially only drinks alcohol to celebrate a Super Bowl win.
At one point during the parade, the seven-time Super Bowl champion actually hurled the Lombardi Trophy from one moving boat to another. Fortunately, some of the passengers on teammate Rob Gronkowski’s boat managed to haul in the hardware, which Tampa Bay captured with a 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday’s Super Bowl LV.
Brady’s antics were cheered along the Hillsborough River by thousands of fans, many of whom also neglected to wear masks.
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The Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrated their victory Wednesday with a boat parade amid continued concern over the coronavirus pandemic, although neither the visibly inebriated Tom Brady nor the thousands of attendees appeared worried about infection. Like many booze cruise passengers, Brady appeared to be a different person by the time he returned to port. Brady appeared to need help as he de-boarded at the end of the voyage, but the Bucs employee holding him upright turned out to be backup QB Ryan Griffin
Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski celebrates his two-TD performance in the Super Bowl
Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans dispensed with pandemic-era health guidelines on Wednesday
Brady prepares to launch his seventh Lombardi Trophy as daughter Vivian watches
Using an underhand technique, Brady got good air on the Lombardi trophy
The trophy was hauled in by one shirtless man on tight end Rob Gronkowski’s boat
As the parade came to a close, head coach Bruce Arians said the Buccaneers could easily repeat as champions if the team stays intact. Brady already said he’ll be back.
‘We have the best coaching staff in the NFL. And we damn sure have the best players in the NFL,’ Arians said. ‘We’re going to keep the band together.’
For the Tampa Bay players and the team’s fans, celebrating their first Super Bowl win since 2003 was the main attraction on Wednesday.
‘We just made history in all the world,’ said linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul. ‘This means so much to me, I’ll do it again. We’re gonna do it again.’
Wide receiver Chris Godwin said the team came together at the right time. After a sluggish start, the Buccaneers reeled off eight straight wins to claim the championship.
‘We fought all year. We stuck together. And now we’re world champions,’ Godwin said.
Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul enjoys a drink during Wednesday’s boat parade
Brady was more careful with daughter Vivian than he was with the Lombardi Trophy, which he tossed from one moving boat to another during Wednesday’s boat parade in Tampa
Buccaneers hold a boat parade in Tampa on Wednesday following Sunday’s Super Bowl win
Tampa nearly had three celebratory boat parades this year, but the Rays lost the World Series
Mayor Jane Castor (not pictured) emphasized that people attending the parade must wear masks outdoors, but few did so
Governor Ron DeSantis lashed out at the news media and suggested there is bias in coverage of the pandemic
Brady was a bit more careful with his daughter Vivian, whom he was seen holding at various times along the ride.
However, he clearly needed a hand as he de-boarded at the end of the voyage. In fact, Bucs backup quarterback Ryan Griffin was seen shepherding the snickering Brady past cameras and other witnesses.
The parade got started around 1 p.m. on the Hillsborough River near downtown Tampa. Thousands of fans decked out in Buccaneers gear lined the river on a sun-splashed day to cheer on stars such as Brady, Gronkowski and many others.
The team arrived by bus and boarded at least four boats.
Mayor Jane Castor again emphasized that people attending the parade must wear masks outdoors and observe social distancing rules, although that warning didn’t amount to much.
It appeared some were abiding by the mask order but many others were not. There were also dozens of people on private boats, kayaks and other watercraft crowding the river to catch a glimpse of the team. They were directed to stay at least 50 feet (15 meters) from the boats carrying players.
Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski arrives for a boat parade to celebrate victory in Super Bowl LV
Bucs fans watched from the Riverwalk as the Super Bowl champs boated down the river
Buccaneers fans and hammock enthusiasts lined the Hillsborough River on Wednesday
A general view as fans watch the Buccaneers Super Bowl boat parade on Wednesday
People are seen from a boat before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers boat parade
A general view during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl boat parade on Wednesday
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians enjoys a Bud Light during Wednesday’s boat parade in Tampa
Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski (right) and wide receiver Scott Miller during a boat parade
Some of the only masks seen on Wednesday in Tampa were worn by Bucs cheerleaders
Buccaneers linebacker Kevin Minter arrives for a boat parade to celebrate Super Bowl LV win
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans arrives for Wednesday’s boat parade
After Tampa Bay’s 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday’s title game, throngs of people gathered in the city’s entertainment districts. Many were seen maskless despite the orders requiring them.
Brian Ford, chief operating officer of the Buccaneers, said in video announcement that fans should heed the rules as they celebrate the team’s victory.
‘It’s essential we do it the right way,’ Ford said. ‘We want to do our part to ensure it’s done in a safe and responsible manner.’
Also Wednesday, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis lashed out at the news media when he suggested there is bias in coverage of the pandemic, particularly the Super Bowl in Tampa.
‘You don’t care as much when it’s a peaceful protest,’ he said at an appearance in the city of Venice, south of Tampa. ‘You don’t care as much if you’re celebrating a Biden election. You only care about if it’s people you don’t like.’
DeSantis attended the Super Bowl and was photographed at times not wearing a mask despite a requirement to do so.
The NHL-champion Tampa Bay Lightning had a similar boat parade in October after their Stanley Cup victory. And like the Bucs’ soiree, social distancing and COVID-19 precaution was at a minimum.
Tom Brady (right) poses with wide receiver Tyler Johnson (left) during a boat parade
Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans line the Tampa Riverwalk to watch the boat parade on Wednesday