BOSTON (CBS) – Captain and veteran special teamer Matthew Slater took the podium with the shirt that perfectly describes the Patriots and their outlook – “New England vs. Everybody.”
A playoff slogan is nothing new for the Patriots.
In years past, the team had “One More,” “Do Your Job” and “Ignore The Noise.” This year the official team slogan is “Not Done.”
“I was given this by our equipment staff on my way in here,” Slater said about his choice in shirts for his Wednesday press conference.
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“I was told I needed to wear this to the fancy press conference today. I just follow orders. I’m a yes man,” he joked.
It looks like the marketing paid off. As of Thursday morning, the shirt is now on back order online.
But Slater’s shirt portrays a message that many New England fans feel ahead of a game where much of the country will be rooting for the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars.
Could it be a response to the recent ESPN piece about a rift between Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Robert Kraft?
A team spokesperson says there’s no meaning behind Slater’s shirt. And in all fairness, the company that makes them sells other versions.
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Either way, the slogan is already winning over Patriots fans.
“I need to wear it Sunday absolutely,” said Dominic Cucinotta, who called the pro shop after seeing Slater wearing the shirt.
One person who is embracing the hate? WBZ-TV’s David Wade.
During the 11 p.m. news, Wade proudly revealed his new purchase.
Since nearly everyone at Gillette Stadium is obviously rooting for the Patriots this weekend, WBZ-TV checked in with out-of-towners at Logan Airport for their opinion.
A brief survey at Terminal C netted a common result – the shirt may ring true.
“I’ve lived in quite a few places and, yeah, that’s the truth,” said Mark Lohrum of Ohio.
“Good team, great team. Still hate them,” added Ricki Ronallo of Pittsburgh.
Patriots fans, meanwhile, aren’t going to shy away from the truth.
“I think all the great teams have been through this. Yankees, Canadiens, and we’re having our time,” said Larry Digos of Dartmouth.