Tom Brady stepped to the podium at Gillette Stadium on Sunday as a bright January sun shined down on 25,000 fans who had come to see off the Patriots. The team was about to depart for Indianapolis, where it will take on the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, and the three-time Super Bowl champion quarterback waited a beat for the fans' cheers to subside.
"Thank you all for coming out here today," Brady intoned, "but don't get too hopeful for next Sunday. I doubt we'll be able to stay in the game against the Giants, much less beat them.
"This is going to be one of the all-time memorable butt-whuppings in Super Bowl history. Something like them 77, us negative-11. We're going to get thumped, crushed, dish-ragged and demolished. I'm honestly considering retiring Wednesday, just to save face, and letting Brian Hoyer take this one.
"But, hey! Thanks for coming."
Brady didn't really say any of that, of course, but apparently the New York tabloids think that's what he should have said.
"TOM'S TAUNT: Brady tells pep rally: Come back for bigger party after Supe." — New York Post
"PART OF JIVE: Hey Giants, Brady already talking about victory bash." — New York Daily News
Good grief. It appears Brady's comments at the pep rally — which by definition is meant to "rally" fans with a little bit of "pep" — were a little too cocky for New Yorkers.
Here's what Brady actually said:
"We have the greatest fans in America. You guys have proved that year in and year out with your support. I wish I could take all you guys to Indy with us. We're going down there, and we're going down there for one reason. We're going to give it our best and hopefully we have a lot more people at our party next weekend."
OMG! GTHO! WTH? Tom wants to win the Super Bowl and have a party!!??!!??!! Stop the presses! (Has anybody actually ever yelled that?)
As far as bold predictions go, it wasn't exactly Moses Malone declaring "Fo, fo, fo."
If recent Super Bowl history between these teams is an indication, the Pats are in a good spot. Prior to Super Bowl XLII, then-Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress made a much bolder guarantee, predicting the Giants would beat the Patriots 23-17.
As everyone knows, David Tyree made a lucky catch, Asante Samuel failed to do what he was paid to do, and the Giants ended the Patriots' undefeated season.
Check out the tabloids' reaction to Brady's comments on the back covers below.
See, Brady wants to have a party, whereas the Giants just "want to make New York proud." That would probably involve winning the Super Bowl, wouldn't it?
Post cover via nypost.com
Daily News cover via nydailynews.com
"It's been a strength of their team for as long as I can remember. … It seems like they always have guys that can rush the quarterback. Justin Tuck is as good as they come. Osi [Umenyiora], week in and week out, he's a player that can ruin a game for an offense. You look at the group they have now, and they have a ton of depth at the defensive line position. There were times this year where they weren't all out there as a group but… they're out there now, and they're playing extremely hard."
– Brady talking about the Giants' defensive line in a quote that curiously did not receive as much attention in the New York tabloids as his "party" comment. Hmmm…
This spike is brought to you by the letter "G."
Whatever event was going on here, this guy loved it.