It was the moment everyone had anticipated since the moment Tom Brady gave up the legal fight over his four-game Deflategate suspension last summer.
What would happen if Brady led the Patriots to a Super Bowl victory and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was forced to congratulate the owner, coach and quarterback of the team he punished over the scandal? On Sunday night, we found out, and the answer was that there were awkward handshakes, a few veiled comments and deafening boos from a predominantly pro-Patriots crowd.
This championship, the fifth for Brady, Coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft, was, Kraft said, “unequivocally the sweetest.” And Goodell, who has avoided going to New England for two full regular seasons now, was drowned out by boos as he spoke and handed the trophy to Kraft.
After taking the Lombardi Trophy, Kraft said: “A lot has transpired over the last two years and I don’t think that needs any explanation.”
Goodell will get the chance to have a public moment with Brady and Belichick on Monday morning, when he presents Brady with the MVP trophy.
Plenty of people noticed how awkward the whole thing was.
Roger Goodell to Robert Kraft, the handoff heard across New England pic.twitter.com/XFRp3LSNvs
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) February 6, 2017
— Brian J. Haddad (@BrianJHaddad) February 6, 2017
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Couch Slouch: Patriots’ comeback darkens a nation’s already dark hour