News Senior Sports Columnist Jerry Sullivan called from the road this morning to relay this nugget from the Patriots' morning news conference in Indianapolis:
It seems that quarterback Tom Brady (the most famous athlete in America?) took a very public shot at Buffalo's hotels this morning in front of the nation's sports press corps, gathered for the pre-Super Bowl festivities.
At the news conference, Brady talked about his father often coming to see him play -- even, if you can believe it, in Buffalo.
"I don't know if you guys have ever been to the hotels in Buffalo," Brady told the media crowd, "but they're not the nicest places in the world."
Sully told me that he caught up with Brady afterward and asked him to elaborate.
"What are you saying, Tom, are Buffalo's hotels the worst in the league?"
Brady, walking away and laughing a bit, responded: "They're fine."
And he warned Sully: "Don't write that, you'll get me in trouble."
But, as Sully noted, "If you're worried about that, you might not want to say it in front of the entire world."
Reaction came fast and furious.
“From the Mansion on Delaware Avenue, which is a member of the Historic Hotels of America and a AAA Four Diamond recipient, to the National Historic Landmark Roycroft Inn in East Aurora, Buffalo Niagara is filled with excellent hotel options to meet the needs of the most refined travelers,” Ed Healy, vice president of marketing for Visit Buffalo Niagara, said in a quickly released statement. He added this kicker: “P.S. Go, Giants!”
Meanwhile, the swipe got attention around the country, including in this Washington Post blog, and in this Wall Street Journal Online story.
Even Senator Chuck Schumer got in on the action with this tweet:
Hey Tom, why not ask @RobGronkowski how great #Buffalo is? Good luck getting him to catch your passes. #SuperBowl
Here's Sully's blog, where he tells the sorry tale himself and takes a swipe or two of his own.
Meanwhile, Buffalo Twitter users are using the hashtag #BradyonBuffalo to add their commentary.
Here's one, for example, from Washington Post writer (who is also a Canisius High School graduate and a former Buffalo News intern) Dan Zak:
Thinking of leaving Gisele for Lisa Ludwig. #BradyonBuffalo