Tom Brady, quarterback for the New England Patriots, inexplicably finds himself in hot water this morning for a seemingly harmless comment he made during a press conference yesterday. When asked about playing in front of the home crowd (a home crowd he has rightly criticized in the past for being too quiet during games), he said the following:
Nothing wrong with that right? After all, tailgating and drinking before the game is a staple at every single football stadium across the country. It’s a pregame tradition to cook on the grill and pop a few beers in the parking lot prior to football. And a damn good tradition at that.
Yet somehow this has become a national story. And idiotic writers like Greg Couch at FOX News have stepped up on their righteous sober soapboxes in a moronic attempt to villify Brady and blame him for all rowdy fan behavior.
Folks, this is a fucking football game. These people who tailgate pay $50 to park, hundreds of dollars for game tickets and have been planning their trips for months. They were going to come to Gillette Stadium on Sunday and drink, regardless of what Tom Brady said. Anyone who fails to realize this deserves a Louisville Slugger to the temple.
But as I listened to the callers who phoned in to Boston talk shows about this, I couldn’t believe some of what I was hearing. People complaining about drunk fans at Gillette. Then they started complaining about fans who swear at Gillette and use vulgarity. And, of course, they used the all-too-familiar excuse of “children are harmed when they see drunk people and hear people swear.” And that, in a nutshell, is the problem with the “fans” of my favorite hometown football team.
Gillette Stadium is a white collar place filled with a wine and cheese crowd. They are lame, they are quiet and they have no idea what it’s like to be a real fan. They “shush” people and they yell at them for standing during the game (the horror!!). They notify security guards when someone swears. And because Gillette is now part of Patriot Place, it is now this half football stadium half mall hybrid. For God’s sake, they place movie times during the game!
Is it any wonder Tom Brady and the Patriots criticize the fans for being too quiet? The fans are conducting business deals during a crucial third down and talking about what SUV they’re going to buy for their next car.
Look, I’m not advocating for chaos. Fans should always feel safe and be in control of themselves. If someone is picking fights, they should be thrown out. If they are actively threatening someone, they should be thrown out. But standing up to root on your team is good. And while I won’t swear if there are kids around, there is NOTHING wrong with dropping a few F-bombs during the game. It’s fucking football for shit’s sake. If you take your kid to a place where there are 60,000 people, some of them are going to be drunk. Others will swear. And if you can’t handle that, don’t come to the game. Plain and simple.
But to blame Tom Brady or somehow hold him responsible should some idiot drink too much and pick a fight on Sunday, is just dumb. In fact, I think he’s right. The fans should get nice and lubed up. Maybe then they’ll actually pay attention to the game and cheer a little louder. Maybe then we won’t have the least formidable homefield advantage in the NFL. Maybe then we can return to being football fans, instead of waiting to see what time I Don’t Know How She Does It is playing.
In a hysterical display of idiocy, the Patriots PR staff tried to spin this story by releasing a statement that said Brady was only trying to advise fans to “stay hydrated, drink a lot of water, be loud, drink responsibly.” Suuuuuuuure. Because staying hydrated is essential when the expected temperature is a whopping 66 degrees. And we all know how important it is to get lubed up on water, right?
The Patriots are so hypocritical. Without these tailgaters paying $50 a pop to park their cars, they lose money. And without them paying $9 per beer once inside the stadium, they lose money. They know this, yet they feel the need to pathetically disguise Brady’s comments. It’s just sad.
It’s important not to drink and drive or get so drunk you lose control. But drinking at a football game is fun, it’s not against the law and Tom Brady did nothing wrong by encouraging it. Yet these yuppie, do-gooder morons can’t help but tell us that drinking and swearing at a professional sporting event built on violence and brute strength will somehow irrevocably harm our nation’s youth. And Tom Brady is responsible because he’s a role model and he told adults to do something completely legal that they were already going to do anyways? Give me a break!
While I urge everyone to be safe and responsible on Sunday, I hope fans are boozed up and ready to go by game time. I hope that—for once—the fans at Gillette Stadium remember that they are at a football game and it’s OK to be loud. And I hope reporters like Greg Cloud relax and have a beer.
It’s football people. Stop being such pussies.