FOXBORO -- The outpouring of emotion Monday night when the career of David Ortiz came to an abrupt end was a precursor to how it may feel when Tom Brady retires.
By the time he’s done, Brady will likely have been in New England for at least 20 seasons. He’ll have been a constant in the lives of some New England sports fans from the time they were children until they were married with kids of their own. He got here when none of my kids were in school. He will likely leave when one’s graduated college and the other two are halfway through.
He hasn’t just been around a while. He’s been the catalyst for countless moments of communal joy in the region.
Wednesday, I asked Brady in the Patriots locker room about Ortiz and playing in Boston.
“I had an appreciation for him from afar,” Brady said of Ortiz. “I didn’t know him super-well because the seasons overlapped, but I love watching him play.”
The mutual adoration between Ortiz and Boston was always evident.
I asked Brady, who received almost unstinting support from Patriots fans during Deflategate, whether he feels the same playing here.
“I think it’s pretty special,” he said. “It’s the best place to play in the world. It’s a small area that’s so focused on everything that we’re trying to do or accomplish. Whether it’s the Red Sox or Patriots or Bruins or Celtics, it’s everybody all in, all the time.”
A longer discussion of why the Brady outpouring will be bigger than Ortiz’ and whether Brady will announce he’s leaving or fade away is on Quick Slants The Podcast this week.