By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — For the most part, Patriots fans managed to deal with Tom Brady playing for another team … and winning another Super Bowl last season.
But can they stand Brady pumping up the Tampa Bay Lightning?
Loyalties in Boston are surely being pushed to the limit, as Brady recorded a quick little hype video for the Tampa Bay Lightning as they take on the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The video itself — which played inside Amalie Arena on Saturday afternoon — is nothing remarkable. Brady merely flipped his phone to selfie mode and said, “All of the Tampa Bay Lightning fans, let’s do this again, Lightning. Let’s go. Let’s go for two, people! Let’s keep Lord Stanley in the bay, right where he belongs. Let’s get that Cup again. Go Bolts! Let’s go!”
"Let's keep Lord Stanley in the Bay, right where he belongs." ⚡️
— NHL on NBC Sports (@NHLonNBCSports) June 5, 2021
Athletes obviously pull for the local teams in the cities that they are playing. That support comes in various levels of sincerity; certainly, more than a few Patriots players had spent zero moments of their lives supporting the Boston Bruins before donning spoked-B hats on the way to practice the other day.
Reppin’ the home team. pic.twitter.com/2yxFke3egF
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) June 4, 2021
Such is the way of life with athletes in a sports-crazed city.
Brady did it for the Bruins a few years ago, in his own Brady way:
So on the surface, Brady going rah-rah for the Lightning is nothing out of the ordinary. Many folks will see it as nothing more than standard business.
But seemingly everything with Tom Brady is at least a little bit different, and the cheerleading of the Lightning — who eliminated the Bruins last summer en route to winning the Cup — is something that is sure to nevertheless rankle Bruins fans who simply do not want to see and hear that noise.
And of course, the real test for Brady and Boston fans will come if both the Lightning and the Bruins advance to the next round. The format of this year’s postseason is such that if the Bruins and Lightning reach the third round of the playoffs, they’ll be playing each other, with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line. (The Lightning have a 3-1 lead in their series now, too.)
Even if Brady doesn’t record another video, the Lightning folks might want to save that footage and play it during a potential series against the Bruins. If Bruins fans feel slightly uncomfortable watching that video now, they’re sure to feel a bit more bothered if it pops up a week or two from now.
And if Brady records another video specifically to support the Lightning against the Bruins. Oh, boy. Some sports fan’s basements throughout New England are sure to undergo some temporary — or perhaps permanent — redecorating.