AUGUSTA — There it was. Dent and all.

The New England Patriots’ sixth Lombardi Trophy made an appearance in Augusta Friday, put on display in the State House’s Hall of Flags from 1-4 p.m. Governor Janet Mills and Augusta-born defensive end Derek Rivers were present at the viewing, and Patriots fans were welcome to show up and pose for pictures with the team’s latest championship trophy, earned with a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII in February.

And show up they did. From all over, New England and beyond.

This is just something I’ve never been able to do and so to have that is pretty exciting,” said Kyle Rhoads, 49, of Windham, who was there with his wife, Carrie, and daughter, Ava. “That felt pretty cool. You get tingles in your spine and that warm feeling of how awesome it is.”

The Patriots have won a half-dozen of them, but fans said getting a chance to see one doesn’t get old.

This is the first time we’ve ever seen the trophy,” said Windsor’s Jennifer Richardson, 44, who brought along son Sam, 10, and nephew Bruce, 9. “We’re coming from a lacrosse game and my son was like ‘Remember, remember, the Lombardi Trophy’s at the State House, let’s go!’ So that’s why we’re here.”


And this one won’t be confused with the others. Clearly visible in back of the trophy was a sizable dent, caused when former tight end Rob Gronkowski used the trophy to bunt a ball thrown by receiver Julian Edelman before the Red Sox’s home opener.

Fan after fan going up to the trophy for photos took the time to look for the dent, which served as a sort of stamp of authenticity.

I’m actually shocked that the actual one that Gronk dented is here,” Richardson said. “Part of me was kind of skeptical, thinking it was going to be a stand-in or something. I’m really impressed right now.”

“After the situation with Gronkowski and Edelman, and the dent, it’s kind of fun,” said Frank Evans, 55, of Southwest Harbor, who said he left work at MDI Hospital early to make the trip along with his wife — and Dallas Cowboys fan — Clarice. “It’s not just about seeing the trophy now, it’s about the history of what happened to it.”

Evans had a long drive to see the trophy, but the trip paled in comparison to the ones others made to see the team’s latest contribution to its cache of sterling silver. Reagan Wood, 14, of Philadelphia was there with her parents, John and Cindy. They have a vacation place in Belgrade, and were already up there when they heard the news about the Lombardi arrival.

I had seen the five in Foxborough before, but this one had the dent in the back from Gronk, so I liked that,” Reagan said. “It’s definitely closer than when you’re in Foxborough.”


Reagan said it was easy to become a Patriots fan in the heart of Eagles country.

“I mean, (they’re the) best team in the world,” she said. “I think what really interested me was the dynamic between Belichick and Brady, and how good they were for so long.”

Even the fans who didn’t have to travel as far, however, knew the significance of a chance to see the team’s hardware up close.

I’m really grateful that they do take the opportunity,” Evans said. “Because you know, being in Maine, you’re up there in the north part of the 48. It’s easy to kind of lose sight of us. They’re the nearest major market, and I’m just grateful that they find it reasonable and worthwhile to bring it up.”

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