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Rob Gronkowski went psychotic at Patriots parade 02.07.17 at 2:46 pm ET
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Despite missing eight games this season and the entirety of the playoffs, Rob Gronkowski was the star of the Patriots parade Tuesday.

Gronkowski flaunted Mayor Marty Walsh’s drinking ban, guzzling down Bud Lights and spiking them to the ground. It was a repeat of his performance two years ago, which resulted in Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio calling for him to be cited for public alcohol consumption.

Gronkowski was the life of the party at the Patriots parade. (Photo by WEEI.com)

Gronkowski was the life of the party at the Patriots parade. (Photo by WEEI.com)

Never able to turn down a good time, Gronkowski also took part LeGarrette Blount’s dance party on the top of his duck boat.

While dancing and drinking is normal behavior for Gronk, things got weird while the Patriots were approaching City Hall Plaza. The tight end grabbed a Gronk Doll and started, well, you can fill in the rest.

When the duck boats stopped, Gronkowski took off his shirt and started partying with fans in freezing temperatures. Or, in other words, normalcy returned.

“To tell you the truth, I wasn’t even planning on partying,” he said to reporters. “But the fans were asking for it, and I’m giving the fans what they wanted to get. So I partied for the fans. That’s how we do it. That’s how we roll.”

Read More: New England Patriots, rob gronkowski,
Bill Belichick tried to start a cheer at Patriots parade and nobody cheered back 02.07.17 at 2:14 pm ET
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Starting an impromptu chant at a championship rally is a futile endeavor –– just ask Red Sox chairman Tom Werner. But that didn’t stop Bill Belichick from trying at the Patriots parade Tuesday.

In a rare display of charisma, Belichick took the microphone and started speaking to the fans gathered at City Hall Plaza. After thanking the crowd for coming out, he started a cheer:

“No days off!,” he shouted, to thousands of people who took the day off.

The Patriots’ “Do your job” mantra is synonymous to the franchise. It looks like “No days off” has a long way to go before it reaches those levels.

Read More: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots,
Patriots ignore Mayor Marty Walsh’s parade drinking ban 02.07.17 at 1:25 pm ET
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Mayor Marty Walsh said no public drinking would be tolerated at the Patriots parade. The Super Bowl champions ignored him.

As the duck boats made their way down Boylston Street Tuesday, linebacker Rob Ninkovich was chugging Grey Goose straight from the bottle. Defensive end Chris Long joined him in the debauchery, slamming down some Natty Light.

Not be outdone, Rob Gronkowski caught a Bud Light from somebody in the crowd and guzzled it down in roughly three seconds. Afterwards, the empty can fell victim to the Gronk Spike.

Two years ago, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wondered if Gronkowski would be cited for public consumption of alcohol after he was seen drinking throughout the parade. City officials rightfully let his antics slide, and despite the Mayor’s strong words, the same thing will likely happen this time around. Super Bowl champions are allowed to break the rules –– at least for one day.

Read More: Mayor Marty Walsh, New England Patriots, rob gronkowski,
ESPN Radio host: Tom Brady ‘should be ashamed of himself’ for not handing James White MVP Trophy 02.06.17 at 5:08 pm ET
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It’s difficult to criticize Tom Brady following his performance in the Patriots’ historic comeback win over the Falcons in Super Bow LI. But one ESPN Radio personality found a way.

Dan Le Batard’s sidekick, Jon “Stugotz” Weiner, went on a rant Monday about Brady winning his fourth Super Bowl MVP. He says James White, who scored the game-tying and game-winning touchdowns while leading all receivers with 14 catches and 114 yards, deserved the trophy. In Weiner’s mind, it was selfish of Brady to take the trophy for himself.

Brady threw for the most yards in Super Bowl history Sunday. (Photo by Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

Brady threw for the most yards in Super Bowl history Sunday. (Photo by Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

“I cannot believe that Brady won the MVP, because certainly out of all of his legendary Super Bowl performances, this was not one of his best,” said Le Batard’s underling. “I mean, he was good, I just question whether or not he was great. First three quarters –– lousy. Fourth quarter –– he was Tom Brady. Legend. Classic. Brought his team back. But really, the best player on that field last night for the Patriots or the Falcons was James White.

“He did all of the scoring. He had, I don’t know, 12 catches. How Tom Brady did not hand James White the MVP after the game is beyond me. He should be ashamed of himself. You want to be a leader if you’re Tom Brady? And you want to be the guy that does all of the right things? You’ve done enough winning, you’ve got enough hardware. You’ve got five rings, you’ve got three Super Bowl MVP trophies. Now you’ve got four, one of which you don’t deserve. You should’ve handed that thing to James White. That’s doing the right thing. That’s being a leader. That’s being classy.”

Last month, Le Batard implied the Patriots prefer white wide receivers. When faced with criticism, he cowered and said it was a joke. We’ll see if his minion stands by his words.

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White nationalists Richard Spencer and David Duke celebrate Patriots’ Super Bowl win 02.06.17 at 4:30 pm ET
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Two leaders of the white nationalist movement were celebrating the Patriots’ historic Super Bowl comeback victory Sunday night.

In the closing moments of New England’s 34-28 win over the Falcons, Richard Spencer, president of the white supremacist think tank National Policy Institute, tweeted out his congratulations to the NFL’s “whitest team.” The last time Spencer appeared to be this excited, he was giving the Nazi salute and shouting “Heil Trump!” at a conference in Washington D.C. one week after the election.

Spencer, who was born in Boston and grew up in Dallas, spent most of the evening gloating in the aftermath of the Patriots’ big win.

“For the white race, it’s never over,” he tweeted alongside a GIF of Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen kissing. When a follower mentioned Bundchen is an immigrant from Brazil, Spencer brushed the correction aside.

Hailing Brady as an “Aryan Avatar,” Spencer proclaimed the Patriots “won bigly for Trump, the Alt-Right and America.” President Donald Trump was watching his pals in Super Bowl LI, but he bailed on them in the third quarter.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Spencer, who was punched in the face by a protester at Trump’s inauguration last month. It seems as if the Patriots win helped ease the pain of his embarrassment.

Neo-Nazi David Duke wasn’t as bombastic as Spencer, but he also congratulated Brady on the win.

“Can White people celebrate that the greatest football player in NFL history is White and an open Trump supporter?,” he tweeted.

One has to wonder how Spencer and Duke reacted when linebacker Dont’a Hightower forced Matt Ryan to fumble in the fourth quarter or when James White scored the game-tying and game-winning touchdowns. Their performances kind of contradict the white supremacy narrative.

Read More: New England Patriots,
Tom Brady: ‘If it was up to my wife, I’d retire today’ 02.06.17 at 2:56 pm ET
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Apparently, Gisele Bundchen wants Tom Brady to retire on top.

In an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio Monday, Brady said Bundchen urged him to hang it up last night following the Patriots’ historic come-from-behind win in Super Bowl LI.

“If it was up to my wife she’d have me retire today, she told me that last night,” he said. “I said, ‘Too bad babe.'”

After throwing for the most yards in Super Bowl history and hoisting his fifth Lombardi Trophy, it seems unlikely that Brady is going to walk away anytime soon. On Sunday, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported the Patriots are expecting him to play for another three or five more years. That timeline meshes with Brady’s wishes. He’s repeatedly said he wants to play until he’s 45.

Brady, 39, is signed through 2019.

Read More: gisele bundchen, Tom Brady,
Boston Globe early edition front page says Falcons won the Super Bowl 02.06.17 at 2:24 pm ET
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Folks who get the Boston Globe early edition delivered to their house were greeted with an alternative fact on the front-page Monday. The newspaper declared the Falcons victorious in Super Bowl LI over the Patriots, calling it a “bitter end.” The accompanying photograph shows Tom Brady on his knees while Falcons cornerback Robert Alford is returning an interception for a touchdown to put Atlanta up 21-0.

The folks who put together the Globe weren’t the only people to count the Patriots out Sunday. Marl Wahlberg left NRG Stadium early and President Donald Trump bailed on his own Super Bowl party. TV yakkers Skip Bayless and Max Kellerman delivered premature hot takes as well.

The losing team’s Super Bowl shirts are usually donated to international aid organizations. No word on what the Globe plans to do with its inaccurate newspaper covers.

Read More: Boston Globe, New England Patriots,
More people watched Lady Gaga’s halftime show than Patriots’ historic comeback win 02.06.17 at 1:19 pm ET
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The Patriots completed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history Sunday, overcoming a 25-point deficit to defeat the Falcons. But Lady Gaga upstaged them.

According to TiVo’s data, viewership for the halftime show was greater than the game itself for the seventh consecutive year. Lady Gaga’s extravagant performance generated a whopping 41,000 tweets per minute, ranking third all-time behind Madonna’s act in 2012 and Katy Perry’s and Lenny Kravitz’s show in 2015.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell took some criticism last week when he declined to comment on President Trump’s immigration order, which temporarily bars travel from seven predominately Muslim countries and indefinitely ends the Syrian refugee program. But booking Gaga for the halftime show is one of the strongest statements the NFL can make. Though she wasn’t overtly political Sunday, her message celebrates diversity and inclusivity. The first song Gaga sang, “Born this Way,” contains these lyrics:

No matter gay, straight, or bi
Lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to survive
No matter black, white or beige
Chola or orient made
I’m on the right track baby
I was born to be brave

During last year’s halftime show, Beyoncé caused a stir when she performed her hit song, “Formation,” which was released with a music video that makes reference to Hurricane Katrina and Black Lives Matter. After Coldplay singer Chris Martin’s performance was over, the audience flipped over rainbow-colored cards that read “Believe in Love,” a tacit nod to marriage equality.

Largely thanks to the Patriots, the NFL has been blessed with a litany of classic Super Bowls in recent years. But no matter how good the game is, for much of the country, the star-studded and provocative halftime performance almost always steals the show.

Read More: Lady Gaga, New England Patriots, Super Bowl LI,
Tom Brady doesn’t deserve the crap he gets 02.06.17 at 11:39 am ET
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Tom Brady (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

It’s become in vogue to dump on Tom Brady. He’s ridiculed for eating healthy, lambasted for not betraying his friend and called a cheater because his footballs lost air pressure in cold weather. The greatest quarterback ever doesn’t deserve the crap he gets.

Brady secured his place in history Sunday, completing 21-of-27 passes in the fourth quarter and overtime to lead the Patriots on a 25-point comeback win over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. It was the greatest come-from-behind victory in Super Bowl history, besting the Patriots’ work to overcome a 10-point deficit against the Seahawks just two years ago.

In the two weeks leading up to the game, Brady was skewered for his relationship with Donald Trump. Despite never formally endorsing the President, he was called a “dreadful person” and a “coward” for not disavowing him. I fed into the frenzy as well.

Brady’s relationship with Trump is a wildly appealing story. Perhaps the most famous athlete in the country is pals with the most divisive president since the Reconstruction-era. It’s an all-time convergence between two superstars, which is why it’s covered so heavily. But in the grand scheme of life, of course, the Trump-Brady friendship is inconsequential. When Brady won his first championship, Trump invited him to judge one of his beauty pageants. They also periodically play golf together –– much like Bill Clinton and Trump used to. That’s it.

Back in September 2015, after a “Make America Great Again” hat was spotted in Brady’s locker, he did say it “would be great” if Trump were elected president. But whenever that line is mentioned in somebody’s self-indulgent think-piece, the author almost always forgets to include Brady’s next sentence.

“There’d be a putting green on the White House lawn, I’m sure of that,” he said.

Does that sound like a serious answer to you?

Brady’s worst offense throughout the Trump saga came in October, when he ended a press conference after being asked about the President’s lewd Access Hollywood tape. Though it’s apparent Brady thought that was the best way to avoid controversy, it seemed as if he was afraid to condemn sexual assault. His response looked especially weak when compared to LeBron James, who called Trump’s words “trash talk.”

But two weeks later on Kirk & Callahan, when asked about former Giants kicker Josh Brown’s lenient one-game suspension for domestic abuse, Brady opened up on the topic of violence against women. He denounced it in sharp terms.

“I grew up with three sisters, I was very fortunate to learn from a loving father and a loving mother how to treat and respect women,” he said. “I have a daughter of my own and domestic violence is a horrible issue. It’s a tragedy when it happens. Any type of abuse or bullying of people who can’t defend or fight for themselves, I have no respect for that. Like I said, the NFL, they claim to take tough stances and this is their situation. This is their situation to deal with. I’ll let them deal with it. Like I said, I was very fortunate to grow up with sisters, a mother — I condone no part of that. That is absolutely something I would never be apart of or do. It’s a terrible tragedy.”

For those of us who are political, it’s difficult to imagine someone with Brady’s bully pulpit opting to stay silent on the issues of the day. But athletes don’t have a responsibility to speak out. In fact, they’re often revered for not making waves. Derek Jeter, who’s never said anything even remotely interesting to a reporter in his life, is often praised as the gold standard when it comes to how athletes should conduct themselves. How hypocritical.

To state the obvious, it’s impossible to tell from afar whether Brady is truly a good person. But by all accounts, from stories about his outreach to a grieving family to his work with Best Buddies International, he seems to be a good guy. It’s apparent he loves his family, given his outcry of emotion when talking about his father and ailing mother in the lead-up and aftermath of Super Bowl LI.

When Brady talks about his parents, his guard drops down. But in the face of controversy, whether it’s his friendship with Trump or a nonsensical scandal about deflated footballs, he tries to stay above the fray. Throughout the entirety of Deflategate, Brady never spoke ill of the league. While Roger Goodell was destroying his reputation for nearly 18 months, he talked about the importance of staying positive.

“If I hold a grudge it bothers me more than it bothers the person,” he said earlier this year.

In today’s age, where fourth walls are routinely broken down, there’s a certain phoniness to Brady’s air of serenity. When he says he’s unaware of what’s going on in the world, it’s difficult to not roll your eyes.

But a man shouldn’t be vilified for his restraint. In fact, it might be one of the reasons for Brady’s greatness. He appeared to be in state of tranquility when he was leading the Patriots on their historic comeback Sunday. There were no delay of games or unorthodox exchanges. Brady may not be able to operate so smoothly if he were worried about responding to every slight.

Maybe he could teach his buddy in the Oval Office a thing or two about that.

Read More: New England Patriots, Tom Brady,
Donald Trump, after bailing on the Patriots, congratulates them on Super Bowl win 02.06.17 at 12:17 am ET
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Donald Trump congratulated his good friends Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft on their fifth Super Bowl championship. But the truth is, he bailed on them.

At 8:57 p.m., with the Patriots trailing the Falcons 28-3, the President left his own Super Bowl party. Trump was watching the game at his Florida golf club, flanked by his chief of staff Reince Preibus and wife Melania –– both of whom looked despondent.

In his pregame interview with Bill O’Reilly, Trump predicted the Patriots would win by eight points. He also intimated he was rooting for the Pats, saying it’s important to “stick up for your friends.”

That’s what Brady, Belichick and Kraft have done for Trump over the last 18 months. All three of them, and Brady in particular, have stuck up for him in the face of incessant criticism. But that apparently didn’t matter to Trump Sunday. When the Patriots fell behind, he hopped into his motorcade. Brady went on to complete 21-of-27 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Donald Trump, New England Patriots, Robert Kraft