FOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady didn’t suit up for the New England Patriots on Sunday, but there still was plenty of star power at Gillette Stadium.
Another iconic Boston athlete, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, was in the house Sunday as the Patriots honored him in a pregame ceremony ahead of the their Week 2 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
And as is Ortiz’s custom, Big Papi rolled into the stadium in style, rocking a custom No. 34 Patriots jersey with “Big Papi” written on the back while flanked by Patriots owner Robert Kraft and former running back and recent Patriots Hall of Fame inductee Kevin Faulk.
Ortiz then showed solidarity for his fellow superstar athlete, changing into a No. 12 Brady jersey on New England’s sideline.
Patriots fans returned the love for Ortiz, as the Gillette Stadium crowd gave him a huge standing ovation while fireworks went off during his introduction to the crowd. The Red Sox slugger then changed back into his custom “Big Papi” jersey.
Ortiz, who is enjoying a terrific final season for Boston, also served as an honorary captain for the Patriots and participated in the coin toss.
Big Papi didn’t stick around for long after that, but he had a good excuse: The Red Sox are battling the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on Sunday night in the rivals’ series finale.
“David was kind enough, when the Yankee game got moved to this evening, agreed to come down so the Patriots crowd would hopefully have a chance to honor him,” Patriots president Jonathan Kraft said in a pregame interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
“He’s obviously right up on that pantheon of the greatest in Boston sports,” Kraft added. “Much like our quarterback is beating back (Father Time), age doesn’t matter. When you’ve got the drive and ability, it’s all about yourself as a competitor.”
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images