The New England Patriots landed in a gusty Indianapolis airport yesterday in preparation for Super Bowl XLVI but, along with the wind, Tom Brady got a little controversy swirling around the team as well.
After saying goodbye to 25,000 fans at a Gillette Stadium send-off, the confident Patriots quarterback— and New York Giants No. 1 target— Brady took it upon himself to predict a victory party celebration back home after his team faces the Giants next Sunday.
Brady's huffing and puffing also fanned the New York media's flames.
"We're going down there for one reason," said Brady before the team boarded their charter flight to Indianapolis and the showdown with the Giants. "We're going to give it our best and hopefully we'll have a lot more people at our party next weekend."
Talk about putting a bigger bull's eye on your back.
Brady's words whipped the Foxborough crowd into a frenzy and high hopes against a team that beat them, 17-14, in Super Bowl XLII four years ago.
The Pat's QB later toned down his comments after he realized they had become bulletin board material for the Giants— especially their defense.
"Well, it was a pep rally," Brady said. "People were pretty excited. Certainly the players were excited. I know the 25,000 fans who were there were excited as well."
Brady wasn't the first Giants opponent to send out victory party invites before a victory.
Vernon Davis, the San Francisco 49ers tight end had his fans ready to party before the Giants beat his team, 20-17, in overtime in the NFC Championship Game last Sunday.
The Patriots Wes Welker was asked by a reporter if his quarterback's remarks meant the Patriots were already planning a party?
"No. No, not at all," Brady's favorite target said. "We're planning on this game. And putting a game plan together and getting ourselves ready to play is kind of objective number one."
Later, an even more subdued Brady lavished praise on the the four guys who will be in his face all day next Sunday— the Big Blue pass rush.
"It's been a strength of the their team for as long as I can remember... Michael Strahan, as great a player as he was... and I think we played them in '03 and they were still harassing the quarterback so... it seems like they always have guys that rush the quarterback," said Brady. "Justin Tuck is as good as they come. Osi [Umenyiora], week in and week out, he's a player that can ruin a game for an offense."
It sounds like Brady has put the party hats and Sam Adams beer on hold.