BOSTON – New England Patriots fans celebrated their Super Bowl win amid relative calm throughout the city on Monday.
With a few arrests reported as of Monday morning, the fans' jubilation has so far proceeded without any of the rowdiness blamed for for two deaths last year.
Jacksonville, Fla., police officials had to use pepper spray to break up a fracas Sunday night between Philadelphia fans and New England supporters. Upset over their team's 24-21 Super Bowl loss, the Eagles' crowd started lobbing plastic beer bottles. No one apparently was injured.
At the University of Massachusetts (search) campus in Amherst, about 90 miles west of Boston, students blasted "We Are the Champions" from dormitory windows.
A group of several hundred students formed but was dispersed about 30 minutes later, and university officials said four people were arrested for disorderly conduct.
In Boston, most fans decided not to even take to the streets and those who did were scattered quickly. There were no immediate reports of injuries. Just two people were arrested, both on assault and battery charges, police spokesman John Boyle said.
The city deployed about 1,000 officers to try and prevent any deaths similar to those that occurred last year — one after the Patriots won the national championship in February, another after the Boston Red Sox (search) beat the New York Yankees (search) to advance to the World Series.
Police presence was heaviest Sunday night near Boston's universities and at Faneuil Hall (search) downtown and other spots where crowds typically gather. After last year's pepper spray death, police administrators had said no force would be used without first seeking approval from supervisors.
The mood was considerably more muted in Philadelphia. Police were assigned to areas of the city known for rowdiness after high-profile sports events — such as Northeast Philadelphia, where fans crowded the sidewalks after the game — but there were no immediate reports of serious incidents.
"I'm sick to my stomach," Eagles fan Anthony Barone said at one Philadelphia sports bar. "And I'm sick of saying 'There's always next year.'"
As expected, the fans had plenty of passion in Florida — sometimes too much. Shortly after the game ended, a small group of Eagles fans threw plastic beer bottles at a contingent of Patriots supporters celebrating at Jacksonville Landing (search), an outdoor downtown entertainment hub.
A bit of pushing and shoving ensued; it was quickly broken up with the help of pepper spray used by police officers.
Still, back in Boston, fans celebrated in the bars and honked their horns.
In the Cask 'n' Flagon sports bar across from Fenway Park (search), lifelong Patriots fan Al Wyner watched every play and broke into cheers when the Patriots clinched the win.
"You couldn't ask for anything more," he said. "It couldn't be any better."
Charles Vasco, 18, a student at Northeastern University (search), and many of his fellow students decided before the game against venturing into the streets.
"The police don't seem to be messing around this time," he said.