Patriots

Gillette Stadium ranked among best, Yankee Stadium among worst, for food safety

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Gillette Stadium ranked among best, Yankee Stadium among worst, for food safety

On Thursday, ESPN Outside The Lines released a comprehensive review of the food-safety inspections for all 107 North American pro sports venues, with some favorable findings for Boston's three major sports venues.

Of the 107 venues, Foxborough's Gillette Stadium ranked as the fifth-best overall, while Boston's TD Garden (25) and Fenway Park (31) came in pretty favorably. NBA venues took up three of the top five spots, led by Oakland's Oracle Arena at No. 1.

For some of New York's most pristine venues, however, the results are not flattering. Queens' Citi Field (home of the Mets) and Brooklyn's Barclays Center (home of the Nets and Islanders) ranked Nos. 86 and 93, respectively, on the list. But most indicting of all, perhaps, was Yankee Stadium, which the report ranked as sixth-worst of all North American sports venues.

Among the most alarming findings, this one about the Legends level of seating -- some of the most expensive seats in the park -- sticks out:

Inspectors found hot food at improper temperatures (below 140 degrees) and "filth, flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated flies" in food and/or non-food areas at a Legends level location on July 25, 2017.

Imagine shelling out a couple thousand bucks for seats after reading that?

This all made for some spirited debate on Arbella Early Edition, where hosts Rich Keefe, Gary Tanguay and Trenni Kusnierek talked about their best and worst ballpark food experiences -- and, well, are we really going to the games for the food anyways?

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Next Pats Podcast: Will Patriots go mobile at QB if Tom Brady leaves?

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Next Pats Podcast: Will Patriots go mobile at QB if Tom Brady leaves?

There's one big question that New England Patriots are facing this offseason. Who is going to be their starting quarterback in 2020?

For the past 20 seasons, the team hasn't really had questions at the position. It has always been Tom Brady's job. But with the 42-year-old set to hit free agency, the Patriots can't necessarily count on him returning unless they want to pay him what he's worth.

So, now the question for the Patriots becomes, what will life look like if Brady departs?

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On the latest episode of The Next Pats Podcast, which returns for its first episode of the 2020 offseason, Phil Perry is here to explore that question. And really what it all boils down to is what the Patriots are looking for in a potential successor.

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As Perry notes, it's likely to be one of two types of quarterback: The traditional pocket passer or a more mobile athlete in the mold of some of the recent success stories at the position.

Do the Patriots look for the next Brady? Uber-accurate, somebody who's going to sit in the pocket and absolutely dissect every little aspect of the defense that he is looking at. Or, do they go a different route? Do they go with an athlete? Do they get more mobile? Because talking to people this offseason, I'm getting a whiff -- I'm getting a scent that people believe the pocket passer might be dead.

Perry is joined by guests including Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo, Greg Cosell of ESPN and NFL Films, and NFL Network's Kurt Warner to answer questions about Brady's future and what his game has looked like in recent seasons.

For more thoughts about the Patriots offseason, check out the latest episode of the Next Pats Podcast, available as part of the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network.

David Ortiz says leaving Patriots wouldn't impact Tom Brady's legacy

David Ortiz says leaving Patriots wouldn't impact Tom Brady's legacy

Over the past 20 years, Tom Brady has established himself as one of the greatest and most beloved athletes in Boston sports history.

But if Brady leaves New England for a new team in free agency this offseason, would that leave a stain on his Patriots legacy? Fellow Boston sports legend David Ortiz doesn't believe so.

The former Red Sox slugger recently spoke with Rob Bradford of WEEI.com about Brady's impending free agency. According to Ortiz, leaving Foxboro behind ahead of his age-43 season won't take away from anything Brady has accomplished with the Pats in the past two decades.

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"His legacy has already been built. It’s always there," Ortiz told Bradford. "That’s not the problem. His problem is not going to be legacy. He could go and play somewhere else for the next 10 years when he returns to New England his legacy is going to be there.

"It’s a good thing to do but you also have to look at your options. I hope he stays with the Patriots, but it’s not up to what I say. It’s his decision. Sometimes an offer at home might be a couple of million less than what you could get on the road. It’s up to you whether you think it’s worth it."

Brady will officially become an unrestricted free agent if he and Patriots don't agree to a contract extension by March 18. Several teams are expected to be in the mix to sign the six-time Super Bowl champion, with the Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders as two of the most likely destinations.

Listen and subscribe to Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast here: