New England Patriots Gameday: What Brady learned from Nick Stevens


If you give Tom Brady The Business, be prepared for what comes back at you.

In the third quarter of Sunday’s rout of the Buffalo Bills, Brady took a shotgun snap at the Bills’ 4 yard line, looked for a receiver, ate a Turkey club with hand-cut fries, tweeted that it was yummy, had a few sips of coffee, then decided he’d go for a stroll.

Keep in mind, Brady runs about as fast as James Whitmore crossing the street in The Shawshank Redemption, and with all of the associated geriatric style.  But his line had been giving him so much time in the pocket, he could afford the little respite.  There was no juking,  just a head-first dive/slide toward the end zone, of which it appeared, on first glance, that he came up a little short.

Old friends Wes Welker and Deion Branch couldn’t resist giving him some grief about it.

He jumped up off the turf, laughing.  Not because he knows he runs like Whitmore (he does), nor because his run had just given the Patriots a 21-all tie after being down by 14 just five minutes earlier (it had), but because he knew in that one instant that the Patriots’ offense was back.  It was the laugh of a man who knew he had survived the best the Bills could throw at him, and was saying, “Now, it’s our turn” (it was).

He jogged  to the sideline, ball still tucked under his arm, and sat on the bench, when both Welker and Branch approached him, specifically to give him The Business  “What are you doing on the bench”, Welker recanted this morning on a radio interview, “your knee was down.  You gotta get back out there.”

The referee had signaled touchdown and the scoreboard operator had put up the 6 points.  And these were the the real refs, not the ones filling in from the lingerie football league.  Surely these refs had the keen eye of a Bald Eagle, if not the ugly nature.  Surely, his old friends were in jest.

In truth, on the replay it did appear as though Brady’s knee hit the turf before the ball crossed the plane of the goal line and, as with all scoring plays in the NFL, the replay official was looking it over up in the booth – and since the network was contractually obligated to show the slo-motion replay at least 23 times, they alternately panned to Brady in between replays, who appeared to be progressively slipping in some sort of food coma – perhaps an effect from the tryptophan-laced turkey club – very relaxed, as if his hunger was satiated and he was waiting for the server to bring him his bill…hoping to slip away from the two annoying temmates that were jabbering at him from both sides, perhaps get a quick nap.

Finally, the referee confirmed that there was not enough indisputable evidence to overturn the call of touchdown on the field, and that Brady’s 4 yard run was indeed good enough for the score.  Naturally, the camera panned on Brady just as he told Welker and Branch to go do something to themselves that would have made Nick Stevens very proud…

Stevens is an actor and a comedian.  He lives in New York, of all places, but is generally known to his legions as perhaps the most recognizable Patriots’ fan in existence.  His web videos for are not only hilarious, but also rude and point-specific, quick to tell fans of the Patriots’ opponents to “GFY” (it’s not hard to figure out), his signature sign off.

Sep 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) scores a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills on a run during the third quarter at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Patriots beat the Bills 52-28. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Known to millions as Paul “Fitzy” Fitzgerald, Stevens’ alter-ego embodies all that is right about the typical Patriots’ fan – passionate, knowledgeable and with the ability to belch the name of every receiver that Brady has ever thrown a pass to – in alphabetical order.  His impassioned eulogy of the Patriots loss to the Giants in February’s Super Bowl (watch here) is a living testimonial to how Patriots’ fans feel about the hometown team.  And Eli Manning.

He refers to Brady as “TFB” and the Patriots are the “Hoodie Regime” and they play in the “AFFC”.  He refers to Ravens’ safety Bernard Pollard as “that ACL tearin’, season stealing mother (insert a variation of Brady’s remark here) and actually tried to “Gronk spike” a small dog that he found wandering around on the streets.

So, he’s basically the guy sitting next to you in any New England bar, and when he drops an F-Bomb, you don’t think much of it.  But when squeaky clean Tom Brady does so in front of 300 million lip readers, it becomes a viral sensation.  So when Welker was asked during a radio interview who the dysphymistic remark was intended for, the football world collectively held it’s breath.

Welker chuckled nervously, “I think he was directing it at me and Deion”.

Earlier in the day, Brady himself was asked about the incident, and he assured his interviewer that the remark was not directed towards the fans, and not towards the refs, “I was just fired up.” he said, and deferred all further questions to anybody but him.

Welker started laughing like a hyena, and the millions of sports fans who thought thought Brady was saying those words under his breath to the Bills’ fans in the stands at Ralph Wilson Stadium were left without any drama at all – just a couple of old friends punkin’ each other.

That’s Welker’s official version of how that all went down.  Brady’s too.  That is, after all, the Patriot Way.  Belichick’s probably getting a good sneer out of it, and I’m sure that somewhere in the bowels of Gotham, Fitzy is concocting another webcast , with Brady as his guest “GFY” guy.

It’s only fair that Brady agree to the guest shot after all that Fitzy has taught him.