The lobby of the Beau Rivage looked and sounded like New England Patriots country.
One man wearing a New England uniform looked at a TV camera and reminded everybody the Patriots were, "World champs." Another guy simply said, "We're number one. Go Patriots."
A day after the Patriots last second 20-17 win, John McCann walked through Beau Rivage, hoping people could hear his Super Bowl joy. "I lost my voice on Bourbon Street celebrating the victory of the Patriots," he said.
Hundreds of New England fans had Super Bowl tickets in New Orleans. But they had airline tickets and hotel reservations in Biloxi or Gulfport. Why Biloxi? "That's where the charter brought us," McCann said. "It couldn't get into downtown. New Orleans was all booked."
Anthony DeSimone and his group drove from Rhode Island to the Gulf Coast. The 24 hour drive became a necessity because of the Patriots stunning appearance in the championship game. "We couldn't get a flight, too much money," DeSimone said. "When you do things at the last minute, that's what happens."
When his brother was asked why the guys stayed in Biloxi, John DeSimone smiled and said it was because of their last visit here. "We liked it," he said. "And they comped us. So that's why we came."
Staying in Biloxi turned out to be a second victory for fans of the newly crowned Super Bowl champs. Jonathan Dost likes Biloxi "a lot better than I do New Orleans, I tell you that much." Why? "It's just a lot cleaner. It's nicer," said Dost.
If you looked around the Biloxi resort the day after Super Bowl XXXVI, all you really saw were Patriots fans. One of the exceptions was Jeff McKay. He proudly showed off his leather jacket. On it was the logo of the St. Louis Rams.
"I feel a little disappointed," McKay said. "But they're a great team. It's just that anybody can come out on any given day and play well. And you have to give them credit."
So what will the St. Louis fan do when he leaves Biloxi with Super Bowl souvenirs, but without a Super Bowl championship? McKay said he'll "go back and root on the St. Louis Blues now. It's hockey season."