Duck boat tradition needed time to hatch – Boston Herald

Duck boats — the amphibious vehicles now synonymous with Boston sports championships — were first part of a secret plan to celebrate the Super Bowl the Patriots didn’t win in 1997.

“It was David Balfour of the MDC,” Boston Duck Tours chief executive Cindy Brown said. “He knew the company. He knew the style of vehicle. It had the open deck in the back. Players could be seen by all the fans. It wasn’t closed in like a trolley car or bus.”

The former MDC commissioner told the Herald that in 1997 he was told by Gov. Bill Weld to draw up plans for a victory parade when the Patriots faced the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI.

The Patriots’ Jonathan Kraft was so superstitious he refused to look at Balfour’s plan.

“I took the plan to New Orleans and handed it to him in a sealed envelope,” Balfour said. “He said, ‘If we win, I’ll reach out to you.’ ”

The Patriots lost, and the plan was mothballed until the 2001 season. The duck boats didn’t roll until the Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams in February 2002.


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