Shutdown Corner - NFL

Tom Brady tells fans to drink early, Pats claim he meant water

When asked at a Wednesday press conference about the notoriously quiet crowd at Gillette Stadium, Tom Brady(notes) issued a tongue-in-cheek message to fans who will be in attendance at this weekend's home opener:

"Yeah, start drinking early. [...] Get nice and rowdy. 4:15 game, lot of time to get lubed up. Come out here, and cheer for the home team."

In other words, Brady was telling thousands of people to do exactly what they've been planning on doing for months: go to the Patriots home opener, drink some alcoholic beverages in the parking lot and then go inside to cheer the team. This was an apparent no-no, as the Patriots later issued a statement censoring clarifying Brady's comments. "He meant 'stay hydrated, drink a lot of water,'" the team said unconvincingly.

Good work, Patriots PR flacks. Way to draw attention to a comment that was thoroughly noncontroversial. People drink in the parking lots. Unless they're wearing an Under Armour shirt, Uggs on their feet and have their hair feathered like David Cassidy, not one of them is going to have more or less because Tom Brady told them to.

[Related: Patriots legend takes swipe at Chad Ochocinco]

It's fine for the team to promote responsible tailgating. They can do without naively and sanctimoniously acting like the parking lot at Gillette Stadium doubles as a church picnic.

Still, it will be important to stay hydrated on Sunday. Gametime temperature at Foxboro is expected to be a stifling 63 degrees.

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