34 Missing Patriots Shamed Team, Country, & Themselves
Pats owner Bob Kraft announced that he gave $1million to the Trump election committee before he showed up to the White House for a celebration with President Donald Trump.
Kraft will not miss a White House Rose Garden meeting in order to receive his money’s worth out of the Trump connection.
On the other hand, Tom Brady was not there. Yep, Tom is now citing personal reasons for bailing on a second presidential visit. He hopes, in a text message, to be at a future celebration. He really does expect to play until he is 50.
The stumble-bum contingent who have skipped spending an hour with President Trump just received cover from friendly fire from Tom. The shameful 34 are in his debt.
On top of avoiding a political firestorm, Tom avoided answering questions about his friendship with the late Aaron Hernandez who came to the end of his rope earlier in the day. The Patriots made no one available to the media who knew Hernandez.
We have assiduously avoided discussing the Patriot White House visit, but let’s face it: this may be the biggest watershed moment for the team in the Belichick years.
Believe it or don’t—Brady sent out hints that he was staying home with his parents on their wedding anniversary. Hunh?
However, the truth may be far more distressing: Brady chose not to go upon learning that Aaron Hernandez, a one-time California training partner, had committed suicide—and left a note to his gay prison lover (assiduously avoided topic in Boston’s sports media).
Tom dodged a subpoena with as much grace as he dodged any mention of his name in conjunction with Hernandez. The prosecutors did not want to touch the gay angle—nor the Brady angle to the murder story. If Coach Belichick could offer insights into Hernandez’s character, Brady could have offered much more.
So, President Trump hosted on the South Lawn a depleted Patriot squad. Criticism of the missing Patriots (numbering 34) made it the worst attended championship function ever hosted by a United States president in terms of personnel percentage.
When the New York Times raised the issue, the Patriots swung back with a hard tackle and insisted 40 members of the office entourage chose to remain in the audience rather than take a picture on the steps behind Mr. Trump. Hunh? That’s a most peculiar choice considering in 2015 everyone chose to be in the presidential photo.
The Times had to apologize for their story, though we cannot fathom why.
Jimmy G was the main QB featured over the right shoulder of Mr. Trump, and Julie E. was on the left shoulder, presumably in the spot where Brady would have stood. Jacoby Brissett was there, but released a letter to former President Obama almost immediately, asking for an audience with him.
Gronk was there, and interrupted an international press briefing in a strange move. Amendola was called out by the President for his contributions to the team. This error was made because Trump mentioned no one who skipped the ceremony (including Tom). Someone didn’t tell him that Amendola was at a funeral out of town.
Trump rightly praised often overlooked Patriots, but praised no one who was on the bubble with the team (like Malcolm Butler or missing James White).
All in all, it was a sour celebratory visit, though Mr. Kraft and Mr. Belichick smiled with half-hearted pleasure. The ghost of Hernandez and the ghost of political hatred marred the event.
For Pats fans, the less said, the better.