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Tom Brady was pretty pumped-up to take the field in front of Patriots fans

Tom Brady is so excited, and he just can’t hide it. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

It’s not like, if DeflateGate had never happened, Tom Brady would not have been excited to step onto the turf at Gillette Stadium on Thursday. After all, it was the New England Patriots’ season opener, and their first meaningful game since winning the most meaningful game of ’em all in February.

But, as we know all too well, DeflateGate did happen, and it resulted in a pretty sweet victory for Brady and his team. Instead of sitting out the first four games of the season with a suspension, the quarterback was able to lead the Patriots against the Pittsburgh Steelers before a nationally televised audience.

Of course, the game also took place before a rabid crowd of New England fans, and Brady was only too happy to jog out — with a noteworthy fist pump — onto the field before the game and bask in a rapturous ovation. Here is how that looked:

Wait, no, that’s just a familiar (and still funny) meme. HERE is how it looked:

Brady was joined by backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who had to have been experiencing mixed emotions, given that he was set to start the Pats’ first four games until the DeflateGate suspension was overturned.

Later, Brady led the full team back onto the field for the start of the game, and with that, we could all start talking about actual football.

(H/T 247 Sports)