Many Patriots fans have expressed their views on quarterback Tom Brady’s future, but only one has carved his wishes into the snow atop the lagoon in Boston Public Garden in 20-foot letters.
“Stay Tom,” the message pleads.
George Li, 51, who lives in Boston’s Leather District, said the idea struck him early Sunday morning after he cleared a section of the ice for his 9-year-old son and his friends to play hockey.
“I took a leaf blower and cleaned that all out Saturday night, like around midnight, after the storm stopped . . . and then I had a shovel and I was like, eh, I’ll write something funny,” he said in an interview Monday evening on the bridge over the lagoon, as he admired his handiwork.
“Once you clean off the ice, it’s black on top of white,” he explained — a perfect background for writing.
Li was wearing a Bruins hoodie as he visited the Public Garden Monday to check on the ice, but he’s a big Pats fan too, and he’s in no hurry for the GOAT to retire.
Brady has “had a great run so far,” Li said, and he hopes he will play with the Patriots for another couple of years.
Li, an engineer by trade, said he took inspiration for his message on the ice from Banksy, the anonymous British street artist known for his cheeky social commentary and ability to leave prominent graffiti in cities around the world without being identified.
Li has been hearing so much speculation and advice for the Patriots quarterback on sports talk radio, he said, that he felt compelled to add his two cents.
“There’s so many theories going around and so many rumors going around,” he said. “No one knows the truth, but I might as well send that message out there. If he sees it, he sees it. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t.”
Either way, the quarterback has etched himself indelibly into Li’s memory.
“I saw his first game, when [Drew] Bledsoe got hurt,” he said. “He looked like a guy that was on a mission. He was fearless out there his first time out. . . . He was just throwing and driving the ball, and I was like, ‘This guy’s got heart. This guy can really play.’ ”