FOXBORO (CBS) — The red, white and blue that always paints the parking lots up and down Route 1 prior to Patriots games welcomed in a new color for Thursday night’s season opener at Gillette Stadium.
That color was a distinct shade of teal, with a spot of red.
Part of what was dubbed #OperationClownFace by Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, the website distributed 70,000 towels with NFL commissioner’s face sporting a red clown nose prior to the game.
Though Barstool Sports was not allowed to officially distribute the towels inside the stadium, a network of volunteers around the stadium helped tackle the ambitious project.
It’d be hard to gauge exactly how many of those 70,000 towels made it inside the stadium, but they weren’t difficult to spot in the crowd.
“Everybody hates Goodell,” Portnoy told MassLive prior to the game. It unifies all Patriots fans. All of New England, everybody hates him equally. He’s really a hated guy.”
Portnoy originally created the image for a T-shirt sold through Barstool Sports in the midst of the two-year DeflateGate saga. The shirt’s popularity grew enough for Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to actually wear the shirt while deplaning following the Patriots’ flight home after February’s Super Bowl win. Goodell was rumored to be bothered by Patricia wearing the shirt, which gave the logo some new life.
The initial plan for the towel project was to print and distribute 30,000 towels. But that plan was short-lived, as Portnoy announced the plan for 70,000 just a few days later.
Goodell made a brief appearance on the field roughly an hour before the game, and the fans who noticed his presence let out some bellowing boos.
The towels were not as obviously visible in the stadium during the game, but they certainly drew enough attention in the buildup to the game that they served their intended purpose.