Tom Brady is returning to Gillette. Cue the Adele song


With the clock ticking down to the moment Brady takes the field — through the freakin’ visitors tunnel, wearing a T*a B uniform, not the silver helmet handed down from God — emotions are running so high that NBC had to turn to an Adele song, “Hello,” to capture the mood.

“The Tampa Bay game is a high school reunion when your boyfriend dumped you,” she said. “You have to go in looking and feeling good. Tom Brady has to feel like he made a mistake.”

Bill Belichick has his idea of what needs to be accomplished on Sunday — “We’re going to focus on the game here,” he said — and WROR radio host Lauren Beckham Falcone has hers.


“I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet . . .” the queen of breakup drama croons as Brady appears in a Patriots uniform, and then in Tampa Bay colors. “So hello from the other side.”

It’s been 18 months since Brady’s Instagram account confirmed the worst. He seems to be moving on with his life, but many fans are stuck in yesterday.

Wedding planner Mandy Connor likened the anticipatory stress associated with Brady’s return to the angst more typically felt by the divorced parents of the bride and groom. “But you don’t want to get caught up in the weeds of negative emotions,” she said.

So true. And yet, easier said than done, said Trenni Kusnierek, host of “Early Edition” on NBC Sports Boston.

“This is the second wife who is much prettier and younger than you,” she said, referring to Brady’s new team. “Actually, it’s worse. She’s also nice and really fun, and everyone loves her and you can’t hate her.

“How do you hate the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?” she said. “They were a laughingstock.”



Tom Brady celebrated after winning Super Bowl LV with Tampa Bay. Mike Ehrmann/Getty

In Boston, where our record this season is 1-2, this week feels like the run-up to Thanksgiving: relatives (a.k.a. fans) are preemptively angry about things that haven’t happened yet.

“Brady will be booed as he takes the field. Mark my word,” Bryan Murray wrote in response to a Globe reporter’s query in a New England Patriots Fans Facebook group. “Disgusting that a fan base would turn on someone who gave them EVERYTHING!!!”

“People need to stay classy,” said Lynn de Weck, a fan from Natick who is part of a subset who are so pro-Brady, they will be rooting for him OVER the Patriots on Sunday.

“I’ve heard people say he’s a traitor,” she said. “No he wasn’t. They kind of chased him out of town and he went and found a place to play.”

(The idea that Pats fans need to “stay classy” came up in many interviews, but that suggests that we were, at some point, you know, actually classy.)

Brady’s been gone for a long time, but even so, his return to the bosom is triggering. One fan — ”Jake in Boston”— is so desperate to taunt Belichick that he’s rented a billboard near Gillette.

A fan is making his feelings known with a billboard near Gillette Stadium. Lane Turner/Globe Staff

“The OWL is no longer wise without his GOAT!” it reads. (If you’re wondering who owl is, that’s Belichick, and plays off a reference to a “wise coach” in Julian Edelman’s children’s book, “Flying High,” the billboard’s creator, “Jake in Boston,” told


But if marinating in bitterness is uncomfortable, so is living in ambivalence — an emotional space in which a lot of people currently find themselves.

“Ambivalence is 90 percent of what people come to therapy for,” said therapist Sam Nabil, owner of Naya Clinics. “ ‘I love my husband but I hate his guts. What do I do?’

“Sometimes you really can’t pick,” he added. “Who do you love more, your mom or your wife? What happens if they fight?”

A fan wore shoes from both of Tom Brady’s teams before the last Super Bowl. Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

De Weck, the Natick fan who’s gone Team Tom, isn’t sure she can handle watching the game, and may have to peer through her fingers horror-flick style.

“Of course it doesn’t equate to a death in the family,” she said of Brady’s departure, “but it is a mourning.

“I know that sounds crazy,” she said, but when she moved to town from St. Louis, a stranger with no ties, football was a way to feel part of things.

De Weck spent some 20 years of Sundays gathered around the TV with her husband and children, enjoying a big spread and watching Brady lead the team to victory. “Tom was part of our family.”

But now her daughter has graduated from college, her son is a junior, and Tom, of course, has also left, making her an empty nester three times over. “It’s the end of an era,” she said wistfully.

As for Brady, the human being who’s thrown the earth off its rotation, at least in Boston, how does he feel about coming back?


For those who want to think that he secretly still loves only us, even though he’s with THEM, force yourself to read the copy on his TB12 website, next to the $35 “Return to Foxboro” T-shirt.

“The Patriots,” it reads ominously, “are the only remaining franchise Tom has yet to defeat in his storied NFL career.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans showed their love for Tom Brady before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on Sept. 26. Harry How/Getty

Beth Teitell can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @bethteitell.

NBC Goes All-In for Tom Brady’s Sunday Night Football ‘Return’


Adele’s searing post-breakup ballad “Hello” isn’t a song that usually makes you think about football, but it’s become the unexpected centerpiece of NBC Sports’ biggest-ever Sunday Night Football promo campaign for Sunday’s matchup between Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and his former team, the New England Patriots.

Adele 30: New Adele album speculation sparked by mysterious ‘30’ projection on Edinburgh Castle


Speculation is rife Adele could be about to release a new album after a series of mysterious ‘30’ billboards and projections appeared at landmarks around the world - including Edinburgh Castle.

The number was beamed on to the Capital’s best known attraction ​over the weekend, as well as being spotted on a giant billboard over Glasgow’s Union Street.

Billboards and projections were also spotted in other major cities, including Amsterdam, Berlin, Cardiff, Dublin, Liverpool, London, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Paris and Rome.

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They all contained the number 30, fitting the pattern of the Grammy winner’s three previous studio albums, all of which had titles corresponding to her age when she started working on the record.

The 33-year-old is famed for her break-up songs, and her 30th year marked the age she separated from ex-husband Simon Konecki.

Last October, Adele appeared as the host on US TV show Saturday Night Live.

During the show, the singer, whose biggest hits include Someone Like You, Hello, Rolling in the Deep and Skyfall, addressed rumours she was working on a new album.

She said: “I know there’s been a lot of chatter about me just being the host. Like ‘Why isn’t she the musical guest?’ and stuff like that. And there’s a couple of reasons.

“My album’s not finished, and I’m also too scared to do both… I’d rather just put on some wigs… have a glass of wine or six and just see what happens.”

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