At least one New England Patriots fan didn’t want Tom Brady to have a welcoming return at Gillette Stadium once the game started.
During NBC’s broadcast on Sunday — featuring Brady’s first game against the Patriots after leaving for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency last year — the network used a graphic with a quote from “Schwartzy” to capture the mixed emotions of Patriots fans entering the night.
“I’ll cheer for him when he comes out, but after that, nah. I want some sacks,” said Schwartzy, who lives in Ashland, Massachusetts according to the graphic. “I want to see our frigging linebackers just pummel them and punish him.”
Schwartzy, donning a white No. 78 New England jersey in the graphic with glasses and one hand perched on a steering wheel, then went viral for embodying the aura of a Massachusetts fan.
New England’s defense had one sack during their 19-17 loss to the Buccaneers, a defeat that ended with Nick Folk’s field goal attempt clanking off the left upright. Some pregame cheers from fans turned to boos once Brady jogged onto the field for Tampa Bay’s first drive.
The Patriots played a video before the game that coincided with Brady and his Buccaneers teammates waiting in the tunnel, honoring their former quarterback’s six Super Bowls alongside head coach Bill Belichick.
“I tried not to predict what was going to happen and how I’d feel,” Brady said. “Had a few emotional moments this week just thinking about all the people that have really meant so much to me and my life and that are a part of this community. Just very grateful for an amazing time here.”
Brady finished 22-of-43 for 269 yards, not throwing a touchdown or an interception, but led a seven-play, 45-yard drive that ended with the game-winning field goal after the two-minute warning. It marked his first game this season without a touchdown pass, but a Ronald Jones II run and four Ryan Succop field goal served as enough offense to help avoid back-to-back losses.