Wednesday was comedy hour for Patriots coaches and players, and the headline acts, just like on the field, were Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. New England is fresh off a Monday night offensive explosion against the Dolphins, a 38-24 victory that included Brady throwing for 517 yards and four touchdowns.
Two days later, everyone had moved on to this week's opponent, the San Diego Chargers. When asked about what the Foxboro fans could do in preparation for the season home opener, Brady got right to the point.
"Yeah, start drinking early," he said with a grin, drawing laughter from reporters at his locker on Wednesday. "It's a 4:15 (p.m.) game. They have a lot of time to get lubed up, come out here and cheer for the home team."
Apparently, jokes about consuming large quantities of alcohol are frowned upon by the organization, even in jest. Because a short while later team spokesman Stacey James clarified Brady's remarks, saying the QB “wants everyone to drink a lot of water, stay hydrated. Drink responsibly.”
ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio makes a good point: "So fans should drink water responsibly? Look, Brady said what he said. He was referring to the consumption of alcohol. So why not just say he was joking, and that he doesn’t condone drinking beyond the point of getting 'lubed up'?"
Because the NFL is a multi-billion dollar industry, that's why. Even if everybody knows Brady was kidding, if there's a single report of boorish fan behavior in the stands Sunday (and you know there will be -- it's the NFL … where they serve alcohol at the games, even if the NFL won't acknowledge it publicly), then Brady and the league will spend the next few days answering questions about it.
In less controversial comedy news, Belichick was asked about offensive lineman Dan Connolly, who filled in admirably at center after Dan Koppen left the Dolphins game with a broken ankle.
"Dan has been here for a few years, he’s been on the practice squad, he’s been on the roster, he’s played center, he’s played guard, he’s returned kickoffs, so he’s been a pretty versatile guy for us in playing all the inside positions really and playing in different roles," Belichick said.
Ah, yes, the kickoff return. In case you missed it:
You don't see that everyday.