The New England Patriots held their victory parade in the streets of Boston on Wednesday, and Joe Andruzzi took part in it.

Andruzzi, a former offensive guard, played for New England from 2000 to 2004, helping the Patriots to three Super Bowl wins. And the victory parade, well, it never gets old.

“It’s just an amazing feeling when you see all your fans,” Andruzzi said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Without the fans, there wouldn’t be a game. The fans are really what makes up every NFL team, so it’s just amazing to be out there. It’s an amazing thing to be out there when you win the game. And then you turn around and come home and to have the support from your fan base and everybody in the area, it’s just an amazing feeling to see everyone cheering you on coming down Boylston street – the same street that the Boston Marathon’s been running for many, many years. People hanging out of their buildings, cheering you on, making signs. It just really makes it worthwhile.”

Andruzzi, who was born in Brooklyn, has been adopted as a son of Boston. He played for the Patriots, he started the Joe Andruzzi Foundation in Massachusetts, which helps fight cancer, and he pulled a woman out of harm’s way at the Boston Marathon in 2013.

As Andruzzi can attest, the spirit of Boston is unique.

“It’s just a close-knit community,” he said. “And I think a lot of times you think of Boston, a lot of people are from this area. When you think of New York, you say Manhattan. A lot of people are going for business there. Usually a lot of times, you’re not from the New York area. Boston, a lot of times you’re from the New England area. To be part of such a community here – and I know firsthand with having my foundation. That’s why we were there at the Boston Marathon, being there on that dreadful day.

“It started out glorious,” Andruzzi continued, “and then unfortunately somebody decided to change that for many people. But for me, I was cheering on my runners out there for my foundation that were coming out there and putting their body to the test to raise money for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation to help patients with their bills. And that’s what we’re doing. For me, I turned around and I just saw there was just many more people running down Boylston street than running away. So it was a pretty amazing feeling to be a part of this great community.”

The Patriots’ Super Bowl win – their fourth in the last 14 years – was just the latest in an unbelievable championship haul for the city of Boston. The Red Sox have won three of the last 11 World Series titles, the Celtics won it all in 2008 and the Bruins won it all in 2011.

It’s just been an embarrassment of riches.

“(In) 2001, I was out there sweating and bleeding on the offensive line for the New England Patriots,” Andruzzi said. “We kicked it off. We started it off, and it’s been an unbelievable run for this city. It’s just amazing the sports atmosphere here. The fans are truly what makes up every sport out here.”


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