Roughly 15,000 fans from all over New England gathered inside Gillette Stadium Sunday to send the Patriots off to Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft and the New England Patriots organization made the event free to the public and gave players and coaches an opportunity to address Patriots Nation before leaving town on "business."
Perhaps different from other Super Bowl trips in recent years – five in the last 11 years to be exact – the Patriots appear to have a renewed sense of focus and are determined to do whatever necessary to win their next game.
Both Kraft and Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo said the Patriots were headed to Indianapolis to "take care of business."
That business, for many fans, will be avenging a difficult, 17-14 loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII that has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many Patriots faithful around the country. Appropriately, the Patriots will face those Giants in Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5.
With a week until the big game, fans enjoyed a day in the stadium celebrating last week's AFC Championship victory over the Baltimore Ravens and rallying around the Patriots in anticipation of Super Bowl XLVI, wishing their favorite players and team well as they head off to Indianapolis.
And ironically enough, the man that drew the loudest applause Sunday for his words was Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. The coach, true to form, uttered just two words over the microphone … two words that ignited the boisterous crowd of 15,000.
Go Pats, indeed.