FOXBOROUGH – To diehard Patriots, Tuesday was not just a rainy March day. The sky was crying outside of Gillette Stadium.
“Oh God, I’m so upset. Twenty years, I’ve been following him since he came in after Bledsoe,” said Melanie Grandchamp, who moved to Pensacola, Fla., from North Scituate, R.I. and built a Tom Brady shrine in her bathroom.
Were those tears behind her sunglasses Tuesday morning?
“When I got the news, yes I did cry, it’s very upsetting,” she said. “I’m in denial that it’s a ploy, a business deal. I still hold out a little hope. I’d like to see him retire from here, not from somewhere else.”
She said she will still root for the Patriots.
“I will always root for the Patriots.”
But what if they are playing Tom?
“That’s going to be a hard decision,” she says.
“A real hard decision.”
Boris Senic, an insurance claim adjuster, has already processed it and is moving on.
“It’s disappointing but I’m not angry. How can you be? Twenty years, six championships. Who does that? I wished it came to an end after the Super Bowl year. I’m not mad [at coach Bill Belichick], he’s a 43 year old who is deteriorating.”
James Stamatos of Foxborough bought a Brady jersey at the team store. He did not want to blame anyone.
“It’s his choice at the end of the day,” he said.
He also felt that it was not the end of the world.
“We’ll get over it. We’ll be OK. We’ve all been through the ups and downs.”
Steve Gay, doing electrical work in a manhole outside Gillette Stadium, had a unique perspective.
“The world is ending,” he said. “I think Brady leaving is worse [than the coronavirus] for sure. How can we win another Super Bowl without him? Come back Tom.”
Gay’s theory is that Brady’s wife, Giselle Bundchen, wants to go someplace warm, like Tampa. Gay is also lukewarm about the Patriots’ backup quarterback Jarrett Stidam.
“He looked all right in preseason, but they can get somebody better than him for sure.”
Sabrina Gardener, 17, of Melrose was upset.
"It’s just devastating. I only wish there were more that we could have done to make him stay. My whole life he has been here,” she said.
Mary Hood, of Fort Myers, Fla., is a Dallas Cowboy fan, she’s says this will finally settle a two decade old question.
“Now we’ll see if it was Brady or the coach that made them winners. Now we’ll find out.”
Kostandino Agganis, 20, of Saugus showed up in a TB12 knit hat and had a “Thank You Brady” sign.
He says he started every Sunday of his life putting on a Brady jersey.
“It was a gut-wrenching feeling … I wanted to support him and show people that I care. It’s tough. A lot of my friends are aggravated and mad, but there’s no reason to be mad. It was time for him to go. But he gave us everything he had the last 20 years," he said.
Stan Grossfeld can be reached at email@example.com.