It Is What It Is
NEED TO KNOW
Follow WEEI.com football writer Ryan Hannable at twitter.com/RyanHannable. In addition, get the latest WEEI.com updates at twitter.com/WEEI.
A WEEI.com Patriots Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network
Posts related to ‘Super Bowl LI’
Man who stole Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jersey will likely never go to jail 04.11.17 at 2:48 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Man who stole Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jersey will likely never go to jail
Tom Brady finally received his recovered Super Bowl jersey at the end of March.  (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady finally received his recovered Super Bowl jersey at the end of March. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

The man who stole Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jersey will likely never spend one day in jail. Meaning, he’s probably going to get away with the crime.

Journalists Robert Klemko and Jenny Vrentas published a long-form article on the MMQB Tuesday detailing the FBI investigation into Brady’s missing jersey. According to the piece, it took law-enforcement less than two weeks to identify the culprit, Mexican newspaper director Mauricio Ortega. Officials in Mexico City were surprised the NFL allowed Ortega to obtain a press credential, considering his paper, La Prensa, is a poorly respected tabloid.

As it turns out, recognizing Ortega was the easy part, thanks to extensive locker room videotape and a tip from a Patriots fan who bought an item from him on eBay. Ortega sent Dylan Wagner, the 19-year-old Boston-born informant, a photograph of his memorabilia collection in December. In it, Brady’s missing jersey from Super Bowl XLIX was prominently featured. In addition to Brady’s uniform tops from Super Bowls XLIX and LI, Ortega also acquired Von Miller’s helmet from Super Bowl 50.

Though U.S. authorities first flew to Mexico Feb. 21, officials didn’t seek to reclaim the jerseys until mid-March. An anonymous U.S. investigator told the MMQB it was challenging to navigate the increasingly divisive political climate between the two nations.

“We had [Ortega] identified –– that wasn’t the point,” the investigator said. “It was now the point of walking that political minefield as delicately as we could to appease everybody. We didn’t want to upset the Mexican authorities, we didn’t want to upset the Mexican people, we didn’t want to upset the U.S. embassy.”

Finally, on March 12, Mexican law-enforcement officials approached Ortega’s residence with a search warrant, which they didn’t execute. Instead, they asked him to hand over the stolen property. When he complied, they left.

In Mexico, the minimum penalty for theft of an item worth more than 35,000 pesos ($1,800 U.S.) is four years in prison. But even though Brady’s Super Bowl jersey is worth a lot of money in the U.S. –– the Houston Police Department says it’s valued at $500,000 –– that isn’t necessarily the case below the border. Samuel González, the former head of the organized crime unit in Mexico’s federal prosecutors office, says Ortega’s attorney should insist the value of the jersey in Mexico is merely $200 –– far below the threshold for mandated prison time. It would be difficult to prove otherwise.

Further complicating matters, only those charged with serious crimes, such as murder or drug dealing, are extradited from Mexico to the U.S. Jersey theft doesn’t appear to make the list.

Ortega will almost certainly never be allowed to enter an NFL locker room again. But barring unforeseen circumstances, he won’t pay a legal price for his Super Bowl heists.

 

Read More: Super Bowl LI, Tom Brady,
Robert Kraft calls Patriots’ Super Bowl LI win ‘a great moment of vindication for our whole team’ 03.28.17 at 1:58 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Robert Kraft calls Patriots’ Super Bowl LI win ‘a great moment of vindication for our whole team’
Robert Kraft discussed the Super Bowl win on ESPN's "First Take" on Tuesday. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

Robert Kraft discussed the Super Bowl win on ESPN’s “First Take” on Tuesday. (Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

It’s been roughly seven weeks since the Patriots overcame a 25-point deficit to beat the Falcons, 34-28 in Super Bowl LI, but that doesn’t mean the organization isn’t still talking about the game.

Owner Robert Kraft appeared on Tuesday’s edition of “First Take” on ESPN where he discussed the game and what it was like to overcome such a large deficit in the second half.

“With three minutes to go in the third quarter, we had a 99.6 percent chance to lose, .04 to win,” Kraft said. “Our guys believed in one another, and it’s a great lesson to young people never to give up, hang with people who are good character, who put their ego at the door and come together as a team.

“It was just a great moment of vindication for our whole team. It was pretty cool for our fans. Our fans have been behind us unbelievable.”

The “vindication” Kraft could be referring to is all of the extra things the Patriots needed to deal with over the course of the season, which included Tom Brady being suspended the first four games for his role in Deflategate.

For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Robert Kraft, Super Bowl LI,
Tom Brady’s stolen Super Bowl jerseys are a major embarrassment for NFL 03.20.17 at 4:23 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Tom Brady’s stolen Super Bowl jerseys are a major embarrassment for NFL
Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jerseys are back in Boston. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

Tom Brady’s missing Super Bowl jerseys are back in Boston. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports)

A man who was posing as an international journalist was able to get credentialed for Super Bowl LI and make off with Tom Brady’s jersey after the game. The NFL has some explaining to do.

In a statement Monday, the league announced the more than six-week hunt for the missing piece of memorabilia is over. According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the alleged thief is Mauricio Ortega, a former Mexican newspaper executive. He was found in Mexico, thanks to an effort spearheaded by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, who was the first person to report the jersey had been recovered, released a video of Ortega seemingly leaving the Patriots’ locker room with Brady’s uniform top tucked underneath his arm.

This doesn’t appear to be one-time incident with Ortega. He also reportedly swiped Brady’s jersey after Super Bowl XLIX and may have taken Broncos linebacker Von Miller’s cleats following Super Bowl 50. Both items were found Monday.

In a press conference, Houston police chief Art Acevedo blasted the NFL’s security protocols.

“I just hope the NFL security takes a look because they are the one’s responsible for securing the locker rooms,” he said. They really need to check their protocols and their efforts because there are these two jerseys we are aware of and required a response from the Houston Police Department and other partners to recover them,” he told reporters. “Quite frankly, they are going to end up in the hands that they belong as in Mr. Brady and his family.”

At this point, it’s unclear how Ortega was credentialed for Super Bowl LI. He may have legally obtained press passes, or more troublingly, falsified documents in an effort to pose as a working member of the media. Either way, the NFL must reassess its credentialing policy. It’s an embarrassment for a $14 billion business to experience a security lapse of this magnitude at its biggest event of the year. This episode makes the league look like a Mickey Mouse operation.

While it’s amusing to think about the FBI dedicating resources to find a missing jersey, the item has been valued at $500,000. Last month, Patriots owner Robert Kraft compared the heist to to the robbery of a “great Chagall or Picasso.” And it happened moments after the Super Bowl, where a finite number of people, such as players’ friends and family members, are allowed to be in the locker room.

It appears as if Ortega was able to steal valuable Super Bowl memorabilia from the winning team for three straight years. In a world of near constant surveillance, that seems to be impossible.

The NFL is wearing egg on its face. Big time.

Read More: New England Patriots, Super Bowl LI, Tom Brady,
Chris Long on Super Bowl LI, the 2016 Pats being ‘toughest team of all time,’ and what his future holds 02.11.17 at 8:33 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Chris Long on Super Bowl LI, the 2016 Pats being ‘toughest team of all time,’ and what his future holds
Chris Long said the 2016 Patriots were the "toughest team of all time." (Bob Donnan/USA Today Sports)

Chris Long believes the 2016 Patriots were the “toughest team of all time.” (Bob Donnan/USA Today Sports)

Chris Long believes the 2016-17 Patriots were the “toughest team of all time.”

The veteran defensive end, a guest on the “Pardon My Take” podcast, said this year’s New England team proved its bonafides in that department with the 25-point comeback in Super Bowl LI.

“I really do think I just played on the toughest team of all time,” he said.

“The guys in that locker room, like, literally did not flinch,” Long said of the sizable deficit the Patriots faced at halftime. “I knew I was like, I’m a human being, I was like, ‘Golly, like I got some doubts right now. We’ve got to play way better in the second half.’

“Duron Harmon, who’s a safety for us, walked in and goes, ‘We’re about to make the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.’ I was like, ‘Dude, can we get a stop? Can we just like do one good thing? Maybe put one foot in front of the other?’”

The 31-year-old Long, who had never made the playoffs prior to arriving in New England prior to the 2016 season, said he had to operate on some level of faith.

“But like if it wasn’t for guys like Duron who had no doubt … I’m not used to this winning thing. Maybe to guys that have been around there for a while, they’re like, ‘Well, [expletive] will just work out. You know?’ I didn’t have that instinct, for whatever reason.

“But yeah, it wasn’t like a big speech. We just went back out and did it.”

Long said there were a lot of things that went into the comeback, but in the end, it’s about coaching.

“Bill [Belichick] does a great job of throwing curveballs at us. He did all year. Everything he does is by design,” he said. “I do think he’s the greatest coach of all time.”

“Any curveball you get on Super Bowl Sunday, you might think the hill is too steep. But guys were just conditioned to be able to go out there, hit the curveball, keep rolling. We got a break or two, that’s all it took, and then you can feel once you get that break or two, the momentum it turns into like, ‘Oh [expletive]’ on the other sideline.

“And on our sideline, we’re trying to go win a football game. You know what I mean? It turned fast. But I do think it’s because we’re mentally very tough.”

Long also added that he’s not retiring.

“I’m not retiring,” Long said. “But I don’t know what I’m doing.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Chris Long, Super Bowl LI,
Falcons CB Robert Alford posts tweet celebrating intercepting Tom Brady in Super Bowl, but then deletes it 02.09.17 at 10:40 am ET
By   |  Comments Off on Falcons CB Robert Alford posts tweet celebrating intercepting Tom Brady in Super Bowl, but then deletes it

Atlanta cornerback Robert Alford picked Tom Brady off and returned it 82 yards for a pick-6, which gave the Falcons a 21-0 lead over the Patriots late in the second quarter.

It was a huge play in the game, but in the end it really didn’t matter because the Patriots came back from 25 points down to win the game, 34-28 in overtime.

Don’t tell that to Alford, who posted pictures of the play on Twitter Wednesday night with the caption: 2nd longest interception return of all time in Super Bowl history. Tom Brady’s first postseason interception for a TD in his career. #TAT

It was deleted shortly after it was posted, for obvious reasons, but thankfully a few screenshots captured the post.

Read More: Robert Alford, Super Bowl LI,
Sound FX highlights: Julian Edelman’s heartwarming message to Tom Brady before OT touchdown drive 02.08.17 at 9:35 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Sound FX highlights: Julian Edelman’s heartwarming message to Tom Brady before OT touchdown drive
Julian Edelman and Tom Brady shared some special moments in Super Bowl LI. (Dan Powers/USA Today Sports)

Julian Edelman and Tom Brady shared some special moments in Super Bowl LI. (Dan Powers/USA Today Sports)

On NFL Network each week is “Sound FX,” a show that captures the sounds from the field each week.

With there only being one game this past week, the hour-long program was strictly devoted to Super Bowl LI.

There were a few players and coaches mic’d up including Julian Edelman, Dont’a Hightower, Dan Quinn and Mohamed Sanu.

Here are some of the highlights.

— Before the game, Tom Brady was telling referee Carl Cheffers not to get mad if he yelled at him during the game.

“If I yell at you, nothing personal,” Brady said. “You know me, I’m an [expletive].”

“I know you’re competitive. We’re competitive,” Cheffers responded. “I don’t take anything personally. Don’t worry about it.”

— The Patriots settled for a field goal before the end of the half to make it a 21-3 game. Sanu seemed surprised by what was taking place, and also pretty confident in the Atlanta offense.

“I know. I’m never comfortable,” he said. “We’re about to put up 40-something on their ass. But I’m saying, they’ve never seen anything like this.”

— Before the second half, Josh McDaniels did a great job speaking to the running backs, giving off the vibe he believed they could come back.

“Do you believe we’re going to win? I do, too,” McDaniels said. “Let’s just play our best half. I don’t want anyone to do anything you can’t do. Don’t try to make it all up in one play. Just play each play by itself.”

— Also, Brady and Edelman had a moment on the sidelines before the third quarter.

“Let’s go, baby. It’s going to be one hell of a story,” Edelman said.

“Hell yeah,” Brady responded.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bill Belichick, Julian Edelman, Super Bowl LI, Tom Brady
Interpreting Martellus Bennett: Super Bowl joy, a fond farewell or just Marty being Marty at 12:49 pm ET
By   |  Comments Off on Interpreting Martellus Bennett: Super Bowl joy, a fond farewell or just Marty being Marty

It’s always difficult interpreting the words of a star athlete at the end of his contract.

Throw in a Super Bowl victory parade, fans screaming and showering them with love, it becomes that much more of a challenge.

Add in the boundless energy, spirit and personality of Martellus Bennett, and the task is just about impossible.

But it’s hard not to wonder if the Patriots dynamic and outspoken tight end was making a farewell address of sorts at the end of Tuesday’s rolling rally, just moments before joining his Super Bowl LI champion teammates at Boston City Hall Plaza for an address to the fans.

“We already knew we had the best fans in the country,” Bennett told reporters as he held his daughter Jett. “Super excited. There was a lot of energy, a lot of love. I’m happy.”

Does he actually believe the comeback happened on Sunday?

“Do I believe it?! [Shoot], I won the Super Bowl. What do you mean I believe it? It happened. I was there,” Bennett said.

What was it like?

“It’s cool. Awesome. It’s amaze-balls,” Bennett said. “I felt like for a couple of hours, [being] with these guys on this team again, one more time we were kings. We were kings for a couple of hours.”

Amaze-balls. Just another part of the lexicon that has made Bennett one of a kind in New England, as Chris Price documented in great detail. Bennett was the star of Super Bowl opening night, carrying on an in-depth conversation with J.B. Smoove about black unicorns and life in general at the Super Bowl.

Then Bennett, who enters free agency for the third time, began to wax very philosophical.

“I’m a champion. You can’t take that from me. I’m a champion today, I’ll be a champion tomorrow,” he said. “I’ll be a champion for the rest of my life. And the 2016 Patriots will always be champions. It’s pretty cool. I had to change my bio: ‘Super Bowl champion, NSA.” It’s pretty awesome. I’m super-excited.”

NSA is an acronym for “no strings attached” and indeed he is once again. But listening to Bennett, this felt different, and not just because he had just earned his first Super Bowl ring. Bennett, who turns 30 on March 10, is in line for likely the last big deal of his career. He has said all along this season that he’s not worried about the money because he’s been smart and diversified in his investments. Still, a lot of teams could come calling, and with Rob Gronkowski’s future clouded by injuries and uncertainty over a contract extension, Bennett is in a position of power.
Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: free agency, Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots, nfl

2017 PATRIOTS DRAFT PICKS

2017 NFL DRAFT

Player News
2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Patriots Headlines
NFL Headlines
Tips & Feedback

Verify