Patriots

Patriots

A lot of the conversation ignited by the Tom Brady banner draped from the Gillette Stadium lighthouse has centered around whether it’s A) stirring, B) pathetic and pandering C) a shot across the NFL’s bow and/or D) unsympathetic to young Jimmy G.

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My view? It’s a little bit of all those things.

Saints coach Sean Payton chose A and C. Speaking on ESPN radio Thursday, Payton was asked why he tweeted out a photo of the lighthouse on Sunday morning.

“Well, if someone’s asking, then I don’t know if they’ve paid much attention to it all. … And there aren’t a lot of people that can understand what Tom’s going through. I’m one of them.”

Brady is serving a four-game suspension for … you all know the rest.

Payton served a season-long suspension in 2012 for the so-called Bountygate scandal in which the NFL was proven to have been carrying out an investigation determined to reach a foregone conclusion.

Bill Belichick, asked about Payton’s show of support Thursday morning, said a lot with his reply.

“It means a lot,” said Belichick. “I have a good friendship with Sean. We go back quite a ways. We have a great working relationship, a great professional relationship and a good personal relationship. Always appreciated his support. He’s had ours. We have his. Can’t say that about everybody. He’s certainly been a good friend and supporter.”

 

That “can’t say that about everybody” rejoinder slipped in there lets you know that Belichick has kept close watch on those who reveled in the Patriots get caught in the NFL’s web. And there have been a lot of them.