Pawtucket, Buffalo Announce Dueling Tom Brady Promotions


The unending saga of Tom Brady and Deflategate—now in its 500th day—has finally glommed its way into the world of minor league baseball. The two teams involved, Triple-A Buffalo and Pawtucket of the International League, have found a way to make Deflategate fun while perching on opposite sides of the issue.

Brady, the Patriots’ future Hall of Fame quarterback, recently had a four-game suspension assessed by the league reinstated. Patriots fans are not happy. Being in Rhode Island, Pawtucket falls squarely in Patriots territory. So the PawSox came up with Free Tom Brady Night, packed with plenty of details designed to poke fun at the saga while also supporting the Patriots.

Some of the details of the celebration, which will happen June 10:

• Box seats, normally priced at $13, will be reduced to $12 to coincide with Brady’s uniform number
• For each of those seats purchased, the team will give a quarter back (get it?) to Brady’s charity, Best Buddies
• On Monday of that week, June 6, Patriots’ defensive linemen Jabaal Sheard and Joe Vellano will throw out first pitches and sign autographs
• On Tuesday, two more Patriots, James Develin and Rufus Johnson, will do the same. All of these first pitches will be thrown with footballs instead of baseballs
• All fans named Tom or Brady will be allowed in for free

“Tom Brady is one of the region’s most beloved athletes and public figures,” PawSox general manager Dan Rea said. “This evening allows PawSox fans, so many of whom are Patriots fans, to show their support for him.”

The Buffalo Bisons, the Blue Jays’ affiliate in the IL, didn’t take this promotion lying down. Buffalo, of course, is home to the NFL’s Bills, a staunch rival of the Patriots. On Tuesday, the team announced “Keep Brady Suspended Day,” which took the shenanigans to another level.

On June 11, the day after the PawSox rally in favor of Brady, the Bisons will present their side in a doubleheader against Charlotte (White Sox affiliate). The details of their promotion include:

• Buy-one, get-one free tickets with the donation of a fully inflated football
• Toms and Bradys will be allowed entrance, but will not be allowed to watch the game’s first four innings.
• The team will accept “un-destroyed” cell phones to be donated to soldiers overseas
• A 12.5 percent discount at the team store for anyone bringing Brady jersey or T-shirt to add to the postgame fireworks show (this sounds dangerous)
• A video tribute to some of history’s greatest cheaters, including a special tribute to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick

Deflategate might never end, but the PawSox and Bisons will inject a little bit of fun into the proceedings, which to this point have been mostly hot air.

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