Patriots

Patriots marvel at Boston sports excellence as Bruins prepare for Stanley Cup Final

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Nick Goss/NBC Sports Boston

Patriots marvel at Boston sports excellence as Bruins prepare for Stanley Cup Final

FOXBORO -- The New England Patriots received a ton of support from the other local teams during their march to a sixth Super Bowl title back in January and February, and now they're doing the same for the Boston Bruins during the NHL team's own championship quest.

The Patriots held OTAs Thursday at Gillette Stadium, and several players and coaches showed their support for the Bruins by wearing B's hats, including cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

"Just trying to show our support," Gilmore said. "They have a big couple of games coming up. We're just trying to support them. They support us all the time, so we're showing our respect back."

The Bruins will take on the St. Louis Blues in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final beginning Monday night at TD Garden. Boston teams competing for championships is nothing new, and the Bruins are hoping to become the city's 13th champion since the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI in the 2001 NFL season.

Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson got a taste of how special Boston is as a sports town from when New England drafted him in 2004 until his departure in 2009. The 38-year-old veteran is now back with the Patriots after signing a one-year contract earlier this month, and the atmosphere around Boston sports is the same as it was during his first stint in New England.

"It's what makes this place special, honestly," Watson. "It's crazy over the last 10 years how many championships have been won. I remember being here and thinking it was a lot of championships then. And then to look and see what's happened, not only with the Patriots, but with the Bruins and the Celtics, even college hockey, it's just unbelievable the excellence in sports here.

"And I think it is important the support these teams and organizations have with each other. It's not only for the organizations but the fanbases as well. You have people in this area that support all the major teams as well as the colleges. To see the players who, some of these kids we're their heroes, to see us supporting as well, I think it's really important when you talk about building a community and just showing support. Most of us aren't from here. Most of us have learned what it means to be in New England from (the media) and people in our neighborhoods. It's great. I saw the clip of back around the Super Bowl the Bruins wearing the hats, so it's kind of returning the favor."

The Bruins hosted the Patriots in February to celebrate their Super Bowl LIII win with a ceremonial puck drop before a game against the New York Islanders, and you can bet the Pats will return the favor this fall if the B's are able to bring another Stanley Cup to Boston.

Bruins, Blues players with most at stake in Stanley Cup Final>>>

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Julian Edelman puts percentage on chance Rob Gronkowski returns to Patriots

Julian Edelman puts percentage on chance Rob Gronkowski returns to Patriots

Rob Gronkowski says he's done with football, but his pal Julian Edelman isn't 100-percent convinced.

Edelman discussed Gronk's retirement on Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take" podcast and was asked to give a percentage on the former tight end returning to the Patriots somewhere down the line.

"I’d say, maybe, an 11 percent chance,” Edelman answered.

Sure, that may be a cop-out response considering 11 happens to be Edelman's jersey number, but Patriots fans can at least find solace in the fact he didn't say "zero."

Edelman also says while he hasn't had a conversation with Gronkowski about the injuries taking a toll on the 30-year-old throughout his career, he could tell Gronk was banged up last season.

”When you’re banged up, football’s not always fun," Edelman said. "I can speak for myself on that. When you’re dealing with things — ankle, foot, back … Football is amazing when you feel great. … But it’s not easy, especially when you get older and have accumulated a lot of injury. So, you started seeing that it was tougher [for Gronkowski]. It gets tougher for everyone."

Gronkowski seems adamant he's staying retired, but he's certainly gotten a kick out of trolling those who believe he'll eventually return to the gridiron.

Time will tell whether the future Hall-of-Famer will change his mind. Until then, you can bet Gronk will continue living every moment of retired life to the fullest.

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Tom Brady posts selfie with rival Peyton Manning: 'We were friends this whole time'

Tom Brady posts selfie with rival Peyton Manning: 'We were friends this whole time'

The NFL might never again see a quarterback rivalry as awesome as the one between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

Brady's New England Patriots and Manning's Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos teams squared off in many classic regular season and playoff battles, including a few AFC Championship Game matchups.

Despite the intense on-field rivalry, these legendary NFL QBs are friends off the field, as Brady reiterated in a tweet posted Wednesday featuring a selfie of him and Manning.

It's not often you see arguably the two-best quarterbacks in NFL history in one photo. 

Brady is coming off his sixth Super Bowl title, and oddsmakers like the Patriots' chances of winning a record seventh championship next season. Manning didn't enjoy the same postseason success as Brady, but he did win one Super Bowl each with the Colts and Broncos, in addition to many regular-season records that still haven't been broken.

The Brady-Manning rivalry was similar to the Larry Bird-Magic Johnson rivalry for the NBA in the 1980s -- both players pushed each other to new heights, and made their respective sports more exciting in the process.

Edelman reveals when he earned Brady's trust>>>

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