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Fennelly: Tom Brady's jersey only thing from missing Super Bowl classic

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates with Julian Edelman #11 after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime to win Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates with Julian Edelman #11 after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime to win Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Published Feb. 7, 2017

Block all the roads out of Houston. Commence house-to-house searches.

Who stole Tom Brady's jersey?

Correction: Who stole the jersey of the President's friend?

That's right — you better run.

Hopefully this gets cleared up.

With a tearful confession by Roger Goodell.

No such thing happened.


But Tom Brady's jersey did disappear after the Super Bowl.

In other news, Brady became the first quarterback to win the Super Bowl five times, the first player to be named Super Bowl MVP four times and the first player to shake hands with the man who suspended him for four games for his alleged role in Deflategate.

Why, in a gesture of conciliation, Goodell reportedly destroyed his own cell phone, right there in front of Brady.

No hard feelings!

What a Super Bowl LI it was.

Maybe the best in history. I still vote for Super Bowl XXV, Giants-Bills right here in Tampa.

Certainly this was the greatest comeback.

And the greatest choke.

Oh, those flightless Falcons.

Pump it up for Brady.

Pressure? What pressure?

He and his munchkin receivers and mystery guest James White (only 14 catches, three touchdowns, including the overtime winner) stunned the Falcons, Goodell and everyone else.

Brady was suspended the first four games of the season.

Sunday, he suspended disbelief.

In other news, Lady Gaga jumped off the stadium roof, to big applause.

In still other news, 84 Lumber had to re-tool its moving Super Bowl commercial about a mother and daughter trying to leave what we think is Mexico and coming up against: a wall.

Never saw the wall. Fox nixed that part of the ad.

Who knows what the commander-in-tweet would have said about this so-called lumber company.

There were a lot of ads about inclusion and acceptance. Included was Morgan Freeman's pitch for: Turkish Airlines. I was so excited I checked out Tampa-Istanbul: 17 hours, $1,297. Turkish pitchers and catchers report next week.

Back to the game. Back to Brady, the greatest quarterback of them all. Back to the evil genius, Bill Belichick, the greatest coach of them all. Back to Patriots owner Bob Kraft, the greatest …

Okay. We're done here.

Throw in Julian Edelman as David Tyree.

Throw in Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan coaching so badly down the stretch — passing when he should have run — that he got Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels off the hook as worst coach of the night. Shanahan was summarily demoted to 49ers head coach.

Matt Ryan can't take that sack. Deer in headlights.

It's amazing that Brady's jersey was stolen right out from under the eyes of Patriots equipment managers. History tells us that those guys don't miss a thing.

It's just as well that the Patriots won. Imagine how nuts their fans would have gone if that final two-point conversion had been missed, knowing a Patriot dude had been wrongly penalized for jumping over the line during an Atlanta extra-point try. Would have meant one point less for the Falcons. Crisis avoided.

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Malcolm Mitchell. James White.

Who are these guys?

It's no accident that Belichick and the Patriots can plug in the nameless and keep rolling. It's a tradition. White was a third-string running back. He was a star Sunday. Just like that.

And Patriots pass rusher Chris Long (Howie's kid) happened to rush from the left side instead of the right when he was put in a choke hold on a crucial Falcons penalty? I wouldn't put it past Belichick to have seen something that told him to switch Long over. Probably worked on that penalty in practice, too.

Has anyone noticed that if you stack all the great Super Bowls, the Patriots are in most of them?

I felt bad watching the postgame video of Brady frantically searching for his jersey, rifling through his bags.

Someone beat him to it.

Houston police are on the job. The Texas Rangers also are on the case. The law enforcement guys, not the baseball team.

I'll give the Super Bowl champion Patriots this: They're never boring.

Jerseygate, here we come.

Contact Martin Fennelly at or (813) 731-8029. Follow @mjfennelly.


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