FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots are the next Boston team with a chance at a championship, and the latest winners paid them a visit Sunday night.
That would be the World Series champion Red Sox, who rolled onto the field at Gillette Stadium via duck boat ahead of the Patriots-Packers tilt.
The contingent included manager Alex Cora, assistant hitting coach Andy Barkett, pitchers Joe Kelly and Ryan Brasier, infielders Steve Pearce and Brock Holt, designated hitter J.D. Martinez, and owner John Henry.
They entered about 15 minutes before kickoff through the tunnel at the closed end of the stadium to the tune of “Dirty Water.’’ They were aboard “Red Sox Nathan,’’ one of the duck boats that pulled them around Boston on Wednesday during their championship parade.
The group disembarked and walked to the middle of the field, where they pulled off their Red Sox jerseys to reveal customized Patriots jerseys. They were predictably well received by the crowd at Gillette and, after waving to the fans, snapped selfies with players and fans. The moment must have been especially fun for the World Series MVP Pearce, who grew up a diehard Patriots fan.
“I love the Patriots,’’ Pearce said from Los Angeles the day of the World Series-winning Game 5. “My family is from up there, so I was brainwashed as a kid, and I’ve been following them my whole life. And it’s pretty cool to be in the same city and the town and seeing the love for the Patriots. Where I’m from in Florida, you don’t really see that. So it’s pretty cool.’’
Pearce also held the honor of opening the locker room door for the Patriots as they took the field.
“It feels great. It feels great. I’m excited about the game. I can’t wait to see both quarterbacks play,’’ Pearce said from the hallway just before the ceremony.
Was this the kind of thing he dreamed of as a kid? Probably not, considering Pearce was born in 1983 and was a kid long before this high renaissance of Boston sports, but still pretty good.
“It’s a great night, the fans coming out at night,’’ Pearce said. “I’m very excited to be here. And go Pats!’’