The most bizarre story coming out of the New England Patriots’ historic comeback win in Super Bowl 51 was that of Tom Brady’s stolen game jersey. The jersey was found over a month after the game, in the possession of Mexican journalist Martin Mauricio Ortega; the FBI had collaborated with authorities in Mexico to solve this strange crime for New England’s #12. Now, roughly 8 months later, Brady finds himself in another minor tiff involving a Mexican journalist and a jersey.
Francisco Alanis, a reporter at Sopitas, went to the Patriots-Oakland Raiders NFL Mexico game at the Estadio Azteca this past weekend, with the intention of gifting Brady a Mexico national team jersey as a sort of country-wide apology for the initial incident. Talking to SB Nation, Alanis said that “we just want(ed) to say ‘sorry’ to Brady after his jersey was stolen, and the intention was to give, on behalf of the Mexican fans, the jersey of the national team.”
Unfortunately for Alanis, Brady–who usually leaves the field after each game following only a few handshakes with opponents–either blew him off or just didn’t register his question on the way back to the Azteca locker room. Luckily for Alanis, however, new Mexican cult hero Marshawn Lynch was around, and the Sopitas journalist decided to gift him the El Tri jersey instead as a gesture of gratitude for his pre-game protest, wherein he stood for the Mexican national anthem while sitting for the US version.
Lynch, famous as he is for speaking his mind, was asked about the gift afterwards, and his response did not disappoint, first talking about the Mexican community in the East Bay–where Lynch is from–before speaking fondly (if a bit reductive) about hanging out with his Mexican friends: “I be goin’ go fuck with them and hella shit. They be kicking it with me though! You know what I’m talking about? We hella tacos, we hella enchiladas, we hella quesadillas.”
While it does seem like Brady just had no interest in speaking to Alanis, the quarterback did have some positive words about the entire NFL Mexico experience: “To be here and play in a different country and to have everyone cheer for our team, cheer for me and cheer for my teammates is incredible. Hopefully there’s many more games here,” he said after the game.
That differs starkly from New England coach Bill Belichick’s words about Mexico, in which he awkwardly invoked the natural disasters that have struck the country in recent months: “Players did a great job dealing with all the challenges we had to deal with. I think we’re fortunate there was no volcano eruptions or earthquakes, or anything else while we were down there. You have two NFL franchises in an area that I don’t know how stable the geological plates that were below us, but nothing happened, so that was good.”
Someone tell Bill that the only nightmares that happen to Americans at Azteca are USMNT-related.