Patriots: 'Stay hydrated'

What Tom Brady said, and what he supposedly meant to say, to Patriots fans on Sunday take on wildly...

What Tom Brady said, and what he supposedly meant to say, to Patriots fans on Sunday take on wildly different meanings after being filtered through the team's PR machine. (Getty Images)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:24 PM ET

TORONTO - Patriots ‘Glamour Boy’ Tom Brady got up some people’s noses while goofing around with reporters the other day.

When asked if he was looking forward to Sunday’s home opener against the San Diego Chargers and had any message for their fans, Brady had a hilarious reply.

“Yeah. Start drinking early,” he said with a grin. “Get nice and rowdy. It’s a 4:15 game, plenty of time to get lubed up and come out here and cheer for their home team.”

Instead of laughing it off with him, some individuals objected to his cavalier attitude of urging the fans to start boozing early and often. How shocking to condone such irresponsible and potentially dangerous activity, was their moralistic tone.

Get a grip, people!

Walk around any NFL stadium four hours before game time and what you will find is tens of thousands of fans liquored up, swilling beers and alcoholic concoctions of unknown origin. It’s called tail-gating and it happens at every home stadium for every game. It’s a tradition and is a big part of the NFL game experience.

What Brady said is something that NFL fans already do.

What is especially laughable about the whole kerfuffle is that the Patriots PR team was so horrified by St. Brady’s remarks that it went into super spin mode and came out within the hour with a statement of what Brady “meant” to say. This sanitized version stated that Brady meant that the fans should: “Stay hydrated, drink a lot of water. Be loud. Drink responsibly.”

That hooey is enough to drive you to drink.

GOOD NEWS FOR BRADFORD

It was a rough start to the St. Louis Rams’ hopeful season, what with getting hammered 31-13 by the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1.

More depressing than the outcome was the concern over the status of quarterback Sam Bradford, who suffered a bruised right index finger in that game. The fear was that he had suffered some sort of nerve damage and would not be able to make the start in Monday night’s key road game at New York against the Giants.

Bradford has been throwing the past two days in practice and it’s a case of so far, so good.

“He’s kind of over the hump with some things,” Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said the other day. “Looks like he’s going to be okay.

“I think it would be the understatement of the year to say it’s a relief.”

To quicken the healing process, Bradford, the Rams’ sophomore quarterback, was fitted with a high-tech glove that is designed to increase blood flow to the injury and reduce swelling.

“The hand feels 10 times better than it did on Sunday, and even on Monday the morning after the game,” Bradford said. “That’s encouraging. Hopefully it continues to get better, and it’ll hopefully be 100% by Monday.”

BROWNS COACH TAKES THE HIT

The Cleveland Browns are one of the teams that had to be labelled a first week disappointment following a sloppy 27-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

The play the most defined the Browns that day was the Bengals quick-snapping in the fourth quarter, which caught the Cleveland defence napping. It resulted in a 41-yard TD pass from backup Bengals quarterback Bruce Gradowski to rookie A.J. Green, for what proved to be the winning touchdown.

The Browns were leading 17-13 at the time, with less than five minutes to play.

For that screwup, Dick Jauron has gone on record and manned-up. The Browns defensive coordinator was checking his callsheets on the sidelines at the time.

“I had to pick that up and I didn’t see it,” Jauron said at practice. “I missed it.

“We’ve got to be ready to play defence. That’s my responsibility. I failed to get it done on that play.”

To make sure it doesn’t happen again, the cornerbacks will no longer join the defensive huddle and will receive hand signals.

PATRIOTS TO OCHOCINCO'S DEFENCE

New Patriots receiver Chad Ochocinco is probably blushing with embarrassment over the fact that in their victory over Miami, Tom Brady threw 48 passes but just one of them was completed to him, for 14 yards.

To hide his embarrassment, Ochocinco then gushed over the performance by Brady and the entire offence. His tweets were then blasted by former Patriots great Tedy Bruschi, now an analyst for ESPN.

Oddly enough, Ochocinco has been uncharacteristically silent after being ripped, but has to be pleased by the reaction of both Brady and coach Bill Belichick when the brouhaha was brought up.

“Everyone has an opinion on everything, and none of it really means anything,” Brady said. “The only thing that means anything are the guys in this locker room and what we do every day in practice.”

Belichick, meanwhile, also took the high road and wouldn’t debate Ochocinco’s lack of contribution.

“The only statistic really I care about is the final score,” Belichick said. “That’s what our goal is. I know everybody else wants to talk about and write about individual stats, but really I’m concerned about the team’s success.”

All parties, though, want Ochocinco to play a bigger role.


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