SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Tom Brady grew up in nearby San Mateo and is usually revered in the Bay Area.
Just not when Broncos fans take over Levi’s Stadium.
Brady attended Sunday’s Super Bowl 50 pregame ceremony, in which 40 of the 43 men to be named Super Bowl MVP were honored. Brady has been named Super Bowl MVP three times — XXXVI against the Rams, XXXVIII against the Panthers, and XLIX against the Seahawks.
But while most players were politely applauded as they were introduced to the 70,000 fans, Brady earned a hearty round of boos from the pro-Broncos crowd. Former Patriots receiver Deion Branch, the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX against the Eagles, also was booed. Meanwhile, 49ers legends Joe Montana, Steve Young, and Jerry Rice received mild applause, while ex-Broncos quarterback and current football boss John Elway received the biggest cheers.
Brady posted last April the letter he received inviting him to the ceremony, calling it an “honor” and crediting his MVP awards to a team effort.
There was some thought that Brady wouldn’t attend the ceremony after his legal battle with the NFL over the last year, in which Brady successfully sued the NFL over his four-game suspension for Deflategate and had the penalty wiped out by a federal judge (the NFL is appealing the decision).
But Brady was all smiles on Sunday, looking dapper in a navy suit and sunglasses. He attended the game with his wife, Gisele Bundchen.
But Brady’s parents decided not to partake in the festivities at Levi’s Stadium, located about 25 miles from their San Mateo home. They instead watched the game at their daughter’s house in Los Gatos.
Two leftover disciplinary matters:
Two Broncos were slapped with heavy fines for illegal hits in their 20-18 win over the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. Safety T.J. Ward was fined $23,152 for spearing Brandon Bolden in the first quarter, and safety Shiloh Keo was fined $23,152 for a hit on a defenseless player (Julian Edelman in the fourth quarter).
Patriots center Bryan Stork avoided a fine for his late hit that drew an unsportsmanlike penalty in the first quarter.
And the Colts won’t be penalized for not including Andrew Luck’s rib injury on the team’s injury report earlier this season, according to the NFL Network. Luck missed nine games with what was described as a shoulder injury, and it was later reported that he also dealt with a rib injury.
During CBS’s pregame show, Bill Belichick narrated a brief piece honoring Ed and Steve Sabol, the founders and brains behind NFL Films for six decades.
Ed Sabol died last February at age 98. Steve Sabol died of brain cancer in 2012 at 69.
“What I remember the most growing up about the NFL is NFL Films,” Belichick said in the piece. “That’s what I always wanted to watch. I was always just as excited to see those presentations as I was the actual game.
“I think Ed and Steve Sabol should be remembered for what they did, for the blueprint that they left for all the people that followed them, and the way they captured and presented the game, their vision for being creative, for being innovative, for finding a better way to present the game to entertain the fans, to celebrate the game, and to capture the history of the National Football League for future generations.”
The NFL combined with several law enforcement agencies to provide extra security at Levi’s Stadium, particularly in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.
While the NFL declined to provide details of the security measures, the league worked with local and state police, the FBI, the National Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the Department of Homeland Security, among others.
The Air Force deployed an F-15 Eagle and Cessna 182 to provide air cover, according to CNN. The Federal Aviation Administration also banned all drones from flying within 32 miles of Levi’s Stadium between 2 p.m. and midnight.
Fans were required to pass through two metal detectors and a wand screening upon entering the stadium. Bomb-sniffing dogs were not used at the media security checkpoint, as they have in previous Super Bowls and in many regular-season games this season.
Gronk at game
Rob Gronkowski was at the game. Gronkowski’s friend posted a photo of the Patriots tight end with Papa John’s founder John Schnatter and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones . . . Golden State Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry, a Charlotte native, banged the Panthers’ “Keep Pounding” drum as the team ran onto the field for pregame introductions . . . Game-time temperature was 74 degrees under clear blue skies. Lady Gaga’s rendition of the national anthem was unofficially clocked at 2 minutes 21 seconds.