NBC Boston at the Super Bowl

The home team - and our news team - is heading to Houston, Texas for the big game

The NBC Boston news team is in Houston, Texas as the New England Patriots prepare to take on the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl.

Team coverage began Sunday night with Phil Lipof, Raul Martinez, Susan Tran and Frank Holland.

Diablo Loco is the official Patriots bar in Houston. And on the night before the big game, Pats nation is already celebrating. 

Diablo Loco is the official Patriots bar in Houston. And the night before the big game, Pats nation is celebrating. Phil Lipof has more on the countdown to kickoff.

Friday, we met the Patriots' team magician — which they have — and he performed some tricks.

John Logan, who has the strange title of “Patriots team magician,” has a specific role at the Super Bowl.

Thursday, Patriots fans came together to make memories before what they hope will be a fifth Super Bowl win.

Members of the military and veterans already get discounts at stores, but as we pay respect to their service on Memorial Day, there are even more.

Later in the day, New England fans were out in full force, getting riled up just two days ahead of the big game.

It’s getting closer! Fans in Houston to root on the Patriots in the Super Bowl could not be more excited.

Police are warning attendees to be aware that millions of dollars worth of counterfeit merchandise is circulating, reminding people to buy from the NFL Pro Shop.

Fake tickets are also a problem.

Ahead of the biggest game of the year, criminals are selling fake tickets and merchandise, according to authorities in Houston.

NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell had his annual Super Bowl news conference on Wednesday. It wasn't long before the topic of his relationship with the Patriots came up.

The commissioner continues to maintain that the facts that lead to Tom Brady's four-game suspension remain on their side. He says his relationship with the Patriots is fine, adding they had a disagreement and they are moving on. He did say he admires the Krafts and the organization and says he's not avoiding Foxboro, even though it's been two years since he's been to Gillette Stadium.

Some fans of the Patriots are not so quick to welcome Goodell with open arms, however.

In other Wednesday news, it was announced the Raiders will host the Patriots in Mexico City at Azteca Stadium in 2017. The date and time have yet to be determined.

Throngs of New Englanders arrived Wednesday, with many taking the NFL Play 60 Challenge to test their strengths.

Norton Police Chief Brian Clark gives details of how detectives located a 6-year-old who was found in the car of a man who had picked her up. The man was detained and is being questioned.

One of the Patriots fans who got to Houston Wednesday was Don Crisman, a Mainer who has been to all 51 Super Bowls.

At 80, Crisman is excited to see Tom Brady and the Pats in the big game again.

Don Crisman, an 80-year-old Patriots fan from Kennebunk, Maine, has been to every single Super Bowl.

The storylines surrounding Brady abound, making Super Bowl history and Deflategate to name two, so it's not surprising that the throngs of media are swarming him at every media availability. On Tuesday, Brady spoke about his mother being unable to attend his games this season due to illness. He said she is feeling better and planning to attend the Super Bowl.  

Tuesday, Pats tight end Martellus Bennett, a Houston native, returned to his alma mater.

Patriots TE Martellus Bennett returned to his alma mater in Houston, where he is known as a great athlete, but an even better student.

At Alief Taylor High School, Bennett is remembered as a great athlete, but a better student. He presented some Super Bowl-influenced math equations.

Tran got a look at some of the crazy cast of characters who showed up to Super Bowl opening night on Monday. There were sports commentators as well as international media and plenty of costumed characters in attendance.

Patriots fan Terry Gajraj from Connecticut said he'd love to ask Tom Brady a question.

"I would ask Brady what are you going to do when Goodell hands you that trophy, championship tropy," Gajraj said.

Jim Mudd, a Houston talk radio host, was there to trash talk his own team and to root for the Patriots.

"Everyone knows (Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler) has played like (expletive) so we came up with trash can (expletive)weiler," Mudd said. "Tom Brady's the best of all time."

It’s hard to believe but some of the people who traveled to Houston this weekend aren’t there for the Patriots. Tran also caught up with some Taylor Swift fans from Massachusetts who won tickets to an exclusive concert.

NBC Boston’s Jackie Bruno reports on the food and drink options at Boston Calling, including barbecue, assorted sandwiches, and beer.

Martinez spoke with members of the sports media on "Opening Night" in Houston about the extensive questions players and staff would face.

NBC Boston sports reporter Raul Martinez details what the Patriots can expect from the media during Super Bowl week in Houston.

"I'm not a fan of media day," Tony Maserati of 98.5, The Sports Hub, said. "It's not really a sports night, it's more of an entertainment night."

Mostly, the questions faced by the players were pretty tame. Neither Brady nor coach Bill Belichick were really pressed on their ties to President Donald Trump.

Bennett did say he wouldn't attend the traditional White House visit if the Patriots do wind up winning the Super Bowl.

Sunday night, Martinez was live outside Houston's NRG stadium. He said the Falcons have already arrived, and the Patriots are scheduled to arrive later on Monday after their big rally outside Gillette Stadium in Foxboro earlier this morning. Players from both teams will face the media on Monday night.

Martinez has kept busy in Houston. Saturday, he caught up with former Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri. Thirteen years ago in the same city, Vinatieri kicked the field goal that clinched the Pats' win. This year, he has his old team beating the Falcons 28-24.

Sports anchor Raul Martinez chats with former Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri. The two discuss the future of the star duo Tom Brady and Bill Belichick while reminiscing about that game winning kick in Houston thirteen years ago.

On the red carpet for the NFL Honors, Martinez also spoke with former Patriots running back Curtis Martin and NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe. Sharpe had the Falcons winning 35-30, but Martin said it was too close to call.

On the red carpet for the NFL Honors, Raul Martinez spoke with former Patriots running back Curtis Martin and NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe. Sharpe had the Falcons winning 35-30, but Martin said it was too close to call.

Tran found a lively base of Patriots fans already living in Houston, or as they like to call it, "Foxboro, Texas." A huge crowd met the Patriots' "Drive for 5" bus as it arrived on Sunday night.

Plenty of Patriots fans have already made their way to Houston in preparation for Super Bowl LI.

Amanda Howe, originally from Pepperell, Massachusetts, is president of Houston's 400-member Patriots fan club.

"I did not change my loyalty with my zip code, sorry," Howe said. "We do run into a little bit of hate now and then, and we just say our team does our talking for us. They always provide the best answer to everybody."

An entire week before the Super Bowl, Pats fans’ spirits are high in Houston

Monday, Patriots fans took advantage of the merchandise available, with rows and rows of hats and jerseys.

Meteorologist Chris Gloninger is also on the road in the NBC Boston's Weather Warrior mobile weather truck (CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW ALONG), with planned stops in New York City, Baltimore, Maryland, Atlanta, Georgia, and New Orleans, Louisiana before he gets to Houston.

The Patriots are hoping to win their fifth Super Bowl title, while the Falcons are shooting for their first. The big game takes place Sunday at 6:30 p.m. 

Click here for more coverage of the Patriots' and Super Bowl LI.

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