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ESPN’s Max Kellerman: Bill Belichick will retire this season 03.14.17 at 9:18 am ET
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Last year, ESPN’s Max Kellerman predicted Tom Brady would soon “fall off a cliff.” Considering Brady led the Patriots to their fifth Super Bowl championship last season, he couldn’t have been more wrong.

But that doesn’t mean Kellerman is out of the Patriots hot take business –– no, no. The bloviating talking head now says Bill Belichick is getting ready to retire, perhaps as early as this season.

On “First Take” Monday, Kellerman said he thinks Belichick’s impending exit is the reason why the Patriots have been so aggressive in free agency. Last week, the team handed cornerback Stephon Gilmore $40 million guaranteed and traded its first-round pick to the Saints for star wideout Brandin Cooks.

“He knows that Brady’s, and his, days are numbered –– obviously. Since when do the Patriots load up by trading their highest draft picks for players?,” Kellerman asked. “When does Belichick trade his highest available draft picks for the present? You know when? Right now. He is getting ready, for his and Tom Brady’s swan song. Now, my belief is, that will be this season. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe his belief is he’s got another two seasons. But the point is, he knows the end is coming. He is absolutely loading up to win a least one more Super Bowl, because at this moment they are so clearly the odds on favorites.”

Prior to Super Bowl LI, Patriots owner Robert Kraft revealed he knows when Belichick is going to hang it up. But unfortunately for Kellerman, Kraft guaranteed it won’t be this year.

Read More: Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, Tom Brady,
Stephen A. Smith: Jimmy Garoppolo’s Instagram post wasn’t a hoax 03.10.17 at 12:40 pm ET
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Stephen A. Smith says he thinks Jimmy Garoppolo wants out of New England. (Brett Davis/USA Today Sports)

Stephen A. Smith says he thinks Jimmy Garoppolo wants out of New England. (Brett Davis/USA Today Sports)

Jimmy Garoppolo says his now-deleted Instagram post with a “peace out Boston” captain was a hoax. Stephen A. Smith ain’t buying it.

On ESPN’s First Take Friday, Smith said he thinks Garoppolo knew about the post when it appeared on his account.

“I think it’s indicative of what Garoppolo actually wants to happen. I don’t believe it was a hoax,” he explained. “I think he had everything to do with that post. I don’t care what anybody says.”

While ESPN’s Adam Schefter is adamant the Patriots will keep Garoppolo, trade rumors continue to swirl. Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot reports the Browns intend to make a strong run at the highly coveted backup, freshly armed with a 2018 second-round pick they received from the Texans in exchange for taking on Brock Osweiler’s entire salary.

If Garoppolo stays in New England, he’ll almost certainly sit behind Tom Brady in 2017. Though his rookie contract expires at the end of the season, the Patriots can franchise him, keeping Garoppolo under their control for an additional year. Smith said he thinks Garoppolo is anxious to start after spending the first three years of his career on the bench.

“Garoppolo is feeling himself a little bit. He knows that at no time the market is going to be as high as it is appears to be for him right now,” Smith said. “He senses a prime opportunity for himself to land someplace else, be a starting quarterback in the NFL and get some shine. And I think he wants to capitalize on it.”

In a statement Friday, Garoppolo’s agent Don Yee said the quarterback’s Instagram account was hacked. Hours before the cryptic post, Garoppolo took a Snapchat video from the Blackhawks game Thursday night. If he was hacked, perhaps responsibility lies with somebody who was with him.

Regardless, Garoppolo’s future with the Patriots will likely remain a major topic for the foreseeable future. Since there’s no timetable on a trade, the drama could even extend well into training camp.

Read More: Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots,
Adam Schefter is staking his reputation on the Patriots keeping Jimmy Garoppolo at 10:28 am ET
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Adam Schefter (left) is the most trusted NFL reporter in the country. (Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports)

Adam Schefter (light) is the most trusted NFL reporter in the country. (Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports)

Adam Schefter is adamant the Patriots will keep Jimmy Garoppolo. If he’s wrong, it will cost him his reputation.

This all started back in December, when Schefter said on Kirk & Callahan the Patriots expect to receive at least a first- and fourth-round pick in return for the backup quarterback. That statement prompted Trent Dilfer to call his co-worker a pawn during an appearance with Dale & Holley, which resulted in Schefter firing back.

“I can tell you that nobody in New England has ever told me a certain price that they want or are expecting on Jimmy Garoppolo. I can promise you that,” he said on K&C earlier this year. “The New England brass is not using me to get a price out on Jimmy Garoppolo. That’s a fact we can dispel right there. That’s incorrect.”

Then last week, Schefter dropped another bombshell: the Patriots aren’t expected to trade Garoppolo at all. The acclaimed NFL Insider doubled-down on his assertion with OM&F later that day, saying he guaranteed Garoppolo would stay in New England.

It’s not unusual for Schefter, or any journalist, to defend their reporting. But Schefter has gone beyond that in recent days. He’s launched a full-blown PR campaign, bristling at anybody who dares to suggest the Patriots may still make Garoppolo available.

When members of an ESPN NFL panel brought up the topic Thursday, Schefter appeared agitated.

“You guys want to keep talking about this,?” he muttered.

Despite Schefter’s guarantees, there are still murmurs about Garoppolo heading elsewhere. Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot reports the Browns intend to make a strong run at Garoppolo, freshly armed with a 2018 second-round pick they received from the Texans in exchange for taking on Brock Osweiler’s entire salary. But on “SportsCenter” Friday morning, Schefter said the Patriots have no intention of trading Garoppolo to Cleveland, even if they were offered several first-round selections.

“The facts are the facts: Jimmy Garoppolo is going to be on the Patriots, but we can continue to talk about [it], he explained. One person there said, ‘If they get four [first-round picks], they wouldn’t trade him.”

That seems a tad hyperbolic, which might be why Schefter didn’t repeat the claim afterwards on K&C. But he channeled his inner-Skip Bayless once again, declaring the Patriots would be destined for futility if Tom Brady were to get hurt and Garoppolo wasn’t on the roster to take his place.

“If they traded Jimmy Garoppolo and something were to happen to Tom Brady next season, the year after, they would be the Cleveland Browns,” he said. “It would the Cleveland Browns. What would they be doing at quarterback? What was it like for that franchise before Tom Brady came along?”

To make matters even more bizarre, while Schefter was making these grand proclamations, Garoppolo’s Instagram account posted a goodbye message to New England. The reported hoax was deleted at 9:30 a.m.

There’s no doubting Schefter’s flawless reputation in NFL circles. According to a Washington Post profile, he often swaps information with teams, exchanging scoops for scoops. But his steadfast denial about the Patriots even entertaining a Garoppolo trade flies in the face of conventional wisdom, and frankly, common sense. Though quarterback is the most important position in sports, it seems unfathomable to suggest the Patriots would never consider trading Garoppolo –– even for multiple first-rounders. Every player is believed to have a price, especially considering Brady played arguably the best football of his career last season. In February, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who used to cover the Patriots for the Boston Herald, reported the team wants to extend Brady’s contract past 2019. Considering Garoppolo’s rookie deal is up after this season, it’s difficult to imagine why the Patriots would want to re-sign Brady if they’re planning on handing the reigns over to him. It’s also hard to see why Garoppolo would want to stay and back up, when he could be a starter elsewhere.

Due to his refusal to cede any ground, Schefter is at odds with many of his colleagues in the NFL media. He better be right, or else his word will no longer take precedent over theirs.

Read More: Adam Schefter, Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots,
There’s nothing funny about Rob Gronkowski’s ’69’ jokes 02.27.17 at 4:05 pm ET
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Rob Gronkowski appears ready to embark on another wild summer. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Rob Gronkowski appears ready to embark on another wild summer. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Back when Rob Gronkowski was just beginning his NFL career, there was an endearing quality to his sophomoric sense of humor. He seemed to be genuinely juvenile, such as when he told a Spanish reporter “Yo soy fiesta” in response to a question about his post-AFC championship game party plans.

But now, after years of “69” jokes, the act seems fabricated. Gronk has jumped the shark.

The latest Gronkism came over the weekend, when he attended the Daytona 500 for Monster Energy, a sponsor of the NASCAR cup series. In an interview on Fox, Gronkowski tried his damnedest to get one of the Monster Energy Girls to say “69.” It didn’t work out.

“Hey Ashley, what’s your favorite speed limit out there?,” he asked. “I hope it’s somewhere around 70 or something.”

“I am hardcore. I like to go as fast as possible,” she responded, seemingly unaware of Gronkowski’s dimwitted obsession with “69” humor –– if there is such a thing.

There’s this notion that Gronkowski acts spontaneously, often blurting out the first thing that comes to his mind. But that doesn’t give him enough credit. There’s an apparent savviness to Gronkowski’s brand of inanity. At 27 years old, he’s crafted, and profited off, an amiable frat boy persona. Look no further than his line of party limos, which are supposed to bring the “the Gronk Bus experience to you in a Gronk’d up way.” Last year, roughly 800 people set sail on Gronk’s three-day party cruise, paying up to $1,100 for a balcony room.

There’s nothing harmful about Gronkowski’s schtick. But that doesn’t make it entertaining. Within the last couple of years, he’s taped No. 69 on the back of his practice jersey, worn a No. 69 jersey to a Super Bowl parade, almost keeled over in laughter after a reporter said “69” during an interview, and snickered at the podium when talking about his 69th career touchdown. Even Andrew Dice Clay’s routine had more variety.

The moment an act becomes brand-driven, it usually loses its luster. At the Daytona 500, Gronkowski was flanked by the Monster Energy Girls. Not so coincidently, the Gronk party buses are all stocked with Monster Energy drinks. Gronk’s latest “69” joke appears to be nothing more than sponsored content, designed to circulate around the blogosphere.

And that makes it lame. Very, very lame.

Read More: New England Patriots, rob, rob gronkowski,
The alt-right wants Tom Brady to run for U.S. Senate 02.24.17 at 1:44 pm ET
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Tom Brady refuses to reveal who he voted for in the presidential election. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)

Tom Brady refuses to reveal who he voted for in the presidential election. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)

Tom Brady was one of the first high-profile celebrities who expressed support for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, stuffing a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker in September 2015.

The Trump Train wasn’t very crowded back then, with most conservatives opting to support his 16 primary opponents. That is, except members of the alt-right, a loose collection of far-right ideologues that includes anti-semites, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. They were Trump’s top early political backers, sticking with him through the end.

Even though Brady has never publicly revealed his political views –– he hinted last month he may disagree with some of Trump’s policies –– the alt-right seems to feel a kinship with him. Or, at least, they want him to run for senate.

In an editorial on Breitbart, the right-wing news website formerly led by Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, one columnist says it would be exciting to see Brady challenge Elizabeth Warren for her senate seat in 2018. That is, assuming his conservative credentials check out.

“Brady over Warren is the no-brainiest of all no-brainers, and forcing the radical Warren from the Senate would be cause for much rejoicing. Still, it probably behooves most on the right to know a bit more about what Brady the politician would look like, before we arrive at that point,” Dylan Gwinn writes.

Infowars, the website run by conspiracy-theoriest and Trump advisor Alex Jones, who’s accused the U.S. government of orchestrating 9/11 and the Sandy Hook Shootings, also seems enthused about a hypothetical Brady run. In a video, one of site’s contributors talked about how exciting it would be to see Brady enter the political arena.

“I thought the notion of athletes, including Brady, to defeat some of these stalwarts like Warren might be the antidote we need,” says Owen Shroyer.

Brady, of course, almost certainly isn’t going to challenge Warren in 2018. He says he wants to play football for at least five more years, and doesn’t seem interested in entering politics.

But that doesn’t mean Warren won’t face a Boston sports legend when she’s up for reelection in two years. Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has routinely talked about his interest in running against her. A Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll shows Warren with a 58-24 edge in a theoretical matchup between the two.

Read More: New England Patriots, Tom Brady,
ESPN’s Max Kellerman rips Patriots fans, says they need to get over Deflategate at 10:17 am ET
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It seems as if Max Kellerman is trying to be the ESPN’s No. 1 Patriots troll. It’s no easy feat, but after declaring last year Tom Brady is “going to be a bum in short order,” he’s on the fast track.

The “First Take” co-host went on a rant against Patriots fans Thursday, shouting at the top of his lungs about New England’s persecution complex.

“Dear citizens of New England: I am here on behalf of a beleaguered sports nation with a message for you. No one, anywhere in this country, feels any sympathy whatsoever for you and your teams,” he said. “There are sympathetic characters, and then there are all of you. Want to know? Every single one of your major sports franchises has won a championship in the last 10 years. Yet somehow, you still play the persecution card.”

Kellerman was reacting to Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who said this week on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” he’ll remember everybody who disparaged his organization during the Deflategate saga. The Patriots went on to win their fifth Super Bowl this year after Tom Brady missed the first four games of the season.

“First, your best ever quarterback did or did not cheat on the way to your fourth Super Bowl title,” Kellerman said. “Next, there was an investigation during which said incredible quarterback destroyed evidence. Then, the league commissioner suspended the quarterback. The quarterback fought the suspension, and lost. The commissioner did indeed have the power vested in him, in part by owners like Robert Kraft and also by the players’ union.

“So the 39-year-old quarterback sat the first four games of the season, the team went 3-1, and the backup quarterback increased his potential trade value to first-round pick level. The rested healthy star quarterback returned, and basically ran the table, giving a fifth chip to Mr. Kraft and all of stubbornly self-pitying New England.”

Kellerman’s thesis about Deflategate working out well for the Patriots is correct. Given Brady’s health at the end of the year and the possibility of trading Jimmy Garoppolo for a first-round pick this offseason, it may have even been a blessing in disguise.

But it’s asinine for Kellerman to question why Kraft would still be bitter about seeing his star quarterback get his reputation sullied for playing with slightly under-inflated footballs. He also, unsurprisingly, is wrong about the details of the investigation. While Brady destroyed his cell phone, he offered to help the NFL collect missing text messages. Roger Goodell declined that overture.

Facts can’t get in the way of a good rant, of course. Kellerman closed with an exclamation point, saying people aren’t jealous of Boston sports fans. They just hate their attitude.

“There’s a reason why everyone hates you guys. It’s not that your teams are so good, it’s that you handle it all so badly. Get over yourselves. Sincerely, everyone else,” he said.

Read More: ESPN, New England Patriots, Tom Brady,
Aaron Hernandez’s potential marijuana defense is ridiculous 02.23.17 at 7:35 pm ET
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Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2015. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo/USA TODAY Sports)

Aaron Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2015. (The Sun Chronicle/Pool Photo/USA TODAY Sports)

Aaron Hernandez’s lawyers are thinking about using a pot defense, saying their client’s habit of smoking marijuana may have turned him into a murderous monster. That’s insane.

According to the Boston Herald’s Bob McGovern, Hernandez’s attorneys have included two unknown marijuana experts in a list of potential witnesses for his upcoming double-murder trial. They could discuss the nature of marijuana use in the NFL and the psychological impact the drug has on its users.

“At that point, if you are using this tactic, you are probably trying to get it down to second-degree murder or manslaughter,” criminal defense attorney Phil Tracy told the Herald. “You would try to say that repeated and prolonged use of marijuana had an effect on his brain so he couldn’t form clear intent to commit first-degree murder.”

Hernandez’s marijuana use was a central theme during his first murder trial two years ago, in which he was convicted for slaying semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd in June 2013. His attorneys argued Hernandez couldn’t have killed Lloyd, because the two were smoking buddies.

But this time around, they may argue years of excessive marijuana use diminished Hernandez’s mental capacity. The former Patriots tight end is accused of killing Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu, 29, and Safiro Furtado, 28 in a drive-by shooting on a South End street in July 2012. The two victims reportedly encountered Hernandez at a club in the theatre district the night they were killed.

There’s little evidence that suggests smoking or ingesting marijuana can have a damaging long-term neurological impact. A 2003 study from the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society shows chronic marijuana users don’t experience a significant reduction in their cognitive abilities, except perhaps in their ability to remember. A 2014 study says marijuana can even be used to treat some forms of mental illness, such as PTSD and depression.

While alcohol makes its users more aggressive and violent, weed has the opposite effect. Last year, researchers in the Netherlands examined a group of 20 heavy drinkers and 21 habitual marijuana smokers, monitoring them while they got drunk or high. Through a series of tests, they found the drinkers got more aggressive as their blood alcohol content rose, whereas the smokers got less aggressive when they became impaired. Those findings coincide with a 2014 study that says couples that smoke marijuana are less likely to engage in domestic violence.

It’s possible that drug use may have ravaged Hernandez’s mind at the time of the double-murder. In a 2013 feature story, the Rolling Stone reported Hernandez was a PCP addict, with one friend saying he was “out of his mind.” During the Lloyd murder trial, Hernandez’s lawyers called a professor from Tufts University School of Medicine to testify about how PCP can cause people to become violent. Hernandez’s cousin said the tight end’s two co-defendents in that case, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, were smoking PCP the weekend Lloyd was killed.

It seems as if drug abuse played a role in Hernandez’s downfall. But placing the blame on marijuana is disingenuous and insulting.

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots,
Jimmy Garoppolo’s future with Patriots is currently biggest Boston sports story –– bar none 02.22.17 at 12:42 pm ET
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Jimmy Garoppolo might be the most valuable trade commodity in the NFL this offseason. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Jimmy Garoppolo might be the most valuable trade commodity in the NFL this offseason. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

The Boston Globe says baseball still owns our hearts in the Hub, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Despite the hoards of cargo shorts-wearing beat writers who have descended upon Red Sox Spring Training, the biggest Boston sports story of the season is happening more than 1,000 miles away from the confines of JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla. Somewhere in the bowels of Gillette Stadium, Patriots staffers are planning out their offseason. They’re evaluating draft prospects, free agents and, most importantly, whether to trade Jimmy Garoppolo. That’s where the action is.

It wasn’t too long ago that Red Sox hot stove talk routinely wrestled attention away from the Patriots. This most infamously happened in December 2003, when the Red Sox were on the verge of acquiring Alex Rodriguez. Excitement about the possibility of A-Rod playing in Boston dwarfed the interest surrounding Tom Brady chasing a Super Bowl title. Nowadays, trade talk about Brady’s backup dominates the airwaves. It’s been quite a turn of events.

In less than two months’ time, the Red Sox will be gearing up for Opening Day and the Celtics will be on the verge of beginning what could be their longest playoff run since 2012. But the daily drama, the kind that fuels talk radio and draws website traffic, will likely be Garoppolo’s status with the Patriots. It’s already sparked endless rumors, and even a feud between ESPN colleagues.

In December, Adam Schefter told Kirk & Callahan the Patriots expect to receive at least a first-round and fourth-round pick in return for Garoppolo. This statement prompted Trent Dilfer to call his co-worker a pawn during an appearance with Dale & Holley later that day.

“I can promise you nobody is trading a first and a fourth for Jimmy. Now, it’s smart that the brass in New England is using Adam [Schefter] to get that headline out there because now they are starting the market there,” he said.

Schefter fired back the following week, which prompted Dilfer to apologize. But that will probably be far from the last media squabble centered around Garoppolo’s availability or status. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport insists the Patriots are open to dealing Garoppolo, much like Schefter. The MMQB’s Peter King and ESPN’s Ed Werder, meanwhile, think he’s staying put. On Wednesday, Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman poured kerosene on the fire, reporting several teams are preparing to make blockbuster offers for Garoppolo.

The Garoppolo story has it all: mystery, debate and big stakes. Since the Patriots are perhaps the most tight-lipped and unpredictable organization in sports, it’s a genuine question about how they’ll proceed. There’s a real argument, to be had, too. With Tom Brady still at the top of his game, it seems prudent to trade Garoppolo for a haul this offseason. He’s entering the final year of his contract and is fresh off the glow from playing one-and-a-half sterling games in Brady’s absence. If the Patriots want to cash in, this will probably be their best chance to do it.

Then again, Brady will be 40 years old in August. He says he wants to play five more years, but his football mortality will eventually catch up to him. Assuming Garoppolo will be a successful NFL starter, maybe the Patriots should try to sign him to an extension. They would be tying up a lot of money in the quarterback position, but that’s a short-term hit. The security of having their next QB under contract may be worth it.

In this case, one single personnel decision could alter the course of the franchise for the next decade. If the Patriots trade Garoppolo and Brady falters over the next two years, Bill Belichick would have difficulty defending the move. It would be maybe the biggest blemish on his resume, the one time in which he lacked foresight.

But if Brady continues to defy age, and the Patriots recoup their lost first-round pick in a Garoppolo trade, then the move would be heralded as Belichick’s greatest coup. The future of the organization is on the line.

With all due respect to the Red Sox, there’s no decision they can make in sleepy Fort Myers that carries the same kind of importance. Even the Celtics, barring a blockbuster deadline trade, seem to be engaging in little more than a fun sideshow. Yes, they’re only three games behind the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference. But if the two teams were to meet in the postseason, the Celtics’ defeat seems inevitable.

From September-February, the Patriots were the best story in town. That won’t change this spring, as long as Garoppolo trade rumors continue to swirl.

Read More: Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots,
Tom Brady movie will be terrible 02.17.17 at 1:04 pm ET
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Tom Brady's season was good enough without the Hollywood ending. (Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports)

Tom Brady’s season was good enough without the Hollywood ending. (Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports)

The worst movies are cheesy and predictable. The feature film project about Tom Brady’s historic comeback in Super Bowl LI will be both of those things.

According to Deadline Hollywood, Oscar-nominated screenwriters Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson are teaming up with New York Times best-selling author Casey Sherman to produce a book and movie about the Patriots’ improbable victory over the Falcons. Dave Wedge, who co-authored “Boston Strong” with Sherman, will be a part of the project as well.

Tamasy’s and Johnson’s involvement in the film is worrisome. Though they were up for an Oscar for their screenplay in “The Fighter,” they also were writers for “Patriots Day” –– perhaps the corniest Boston movie ever made. Every scene with dialogue was cringeworthy, from Mark Wahlberg’s hero cop character calling someone a “CHOWDAHEAD!!!” in the opening scene to his vomit-inducing speech about “good vs. evil” after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured.

Deadline Hollywood’s write-up doesn’t make it seem like the Brady movie will be any better. The article’s author, Anita Busch, says the film chronicles Brady’s “fall from grace and then his triumphant return to lead the Patriots to their fifth Super Bowl championship.” Brady was victimized in Deflategate, but painting him as an underdog who battled back against all odds –– like Micky Ward –– is silly. During his four-game suspension, he sun-bathed nude on the Italian coast and went on a publicity tour for UGG slippers. He wasn’t exactly sent to the gulags.

That ties into the central problem with creating a Hollywood-produced retelling of the Patriots’ 2016 season: it was dramatic enough on its own. Additional angles or storylines, such as giving slain MIT police officer Sean Collier a fake girlfriend in “Patriots Day,” is tawdry and cheap.

The real-life drama of the Patriots storming back from a 25-point deficit in Super Bowl LI, and then accepting the Lombardi Trophy from Roger Goodell, was enough on its own. Replacing Brady with Wahlberg would be an easy way to turn the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all-time into a laughingstock.

There’s still a lot that can be gleamed from Deflategate, and the impact it had on this Patriots season. That’s why director Julie Marron is producing a documentary about it, due to be released this summer. The entire saga is a lesson in the corporate power dynamics of a multibillion-dollar organization, media manipulation and, frankly, the art of revenge. It’s best to address those themes in interviews with people who were there first-hand, not by turning Brady into a Tommy Saunders-inspired hero.

In this case, the reality is better than fiction ever could be. The retelling of Super Bowl LI should never be put in the hands of Hollywood.

Read More: New England Patriots, Tom Brady,
Chris Long tears into rubes who are criticizing him for skipping White House visit at 11:08 am ET
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Chris Long is a free agent this offseason. (John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Long is a free agent this offseason. (John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports)

Last week, Chris Long shredded a New York Daily News columnist for writing him a dopey open letter about skipping the Patriots’ upcoming White House visit. On Thursday, he set his sights on folks who are bashing him for his plan to boycott the proceedings.

Long is one of six Patriots players who say they won’t be heading to the White House for a photo-op with President Donald Trump later this year. Though not all of the players said their decisions are political –– Dont’a Hightower also skipped in 2015 when Barack Obama was in office –– it’s fair to assume Long isn’t Trump’s biggest fan.

“I’m just not doing it,” he said recently on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon my Take” podcast when asked why he doesn’t want to go. “I’ve got plenty of serious political reasons that probably don’t belong on this show, but I’m just not doing it. America’s an awesome country, man. Everybody knows that. That’s why I have this choice.”

Since sportswriting is now a primarily liberal profession, Long didn’t hear a lot of disapproval about his decision in the media. But on Twitter, he decided to lash out at those who have been critical of him. Ironically, this shows Long is just as sensitive as our whiner-in-chief, whom he presumably loathes. (That doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining, however. It’s always nice to see rubes get put in their place.)

The primary focus of Long’s charity is to provide clean drinking water to communities in East Africa, for what it’s worth.

Despite that tweet storm, Long’s best moment on social media remains when he issued a biting rebuttal to Roger Goodell’s ludicrous analogy about couch sitting being just as dangerous as playing football.

“I am #blessed to survive a night on the couch. But I knew the risks,” he wrote after Super Bowl 50.

Read More: Chris Long, Donald Trump, New England Patriots,