Tom Brady Got Mercilessly Booed at Super Bowl 50

The Super Bowl proved there's little doubt Brady is the most hated athlete in the country.

Image via AP

Image via AP

The lasting damage of Deflategate was on display for all to see Sunday in Santa Clara, Calif. Prior to kick-off, the NFL honored every past Super Bowl MVP. Most received tepid applause and some garnered a thunderous ovation. Except Tom Brady, that is. He got mercilessly booed.

There was some question as to whether Brady would attend the MVP ceremony, given his ongoing litigation against the league. The two sides are due back in court early next month, when the NFL will argue a federal judge’s decision to vacate Brady’s four-game suspension was wrong. But Brady, a Bay Area native, decided to take part in the pre-game festivities.

It probably didn’t help Brady’s case that the crowd at Levi’s Stadium was overrun with Broncos fans, but there’s little doubt the overwhelming animosity against the Patriots contributed to his rancorous reception. Public Policy Polling released the results of its annual football survey Friday, which shows the Patriots have overtaken the Dallas Cowboys as the most hated team in the country.

Last week, in an interview with the Globe‘s Chris Gasper, Tom Brady Sr. said it will be difficult for him to ever get over how the NFL attempted to damage his son’s reputation over deflated footballs.

“When your kid suffers you suffer with your kid, when your kid breaks his leg, you hurt, when your kid is getting destroyed because he is a liar and a cheat ostensibly, it hurts,” Brady Sr. said. “As a Christian, it is eating me up inside. It ate my wife up. It’s hard to do. It’s easy to be bitter.”

Brady’s decision to attend the proceedings likely speaks to one of his core life philosophies, outlined in his favorite book, The Four Agreements. One of the central mantras to the book is to “not take things personally,” which Brady says helped him through the Deflategate saga.

But after receiving an acrimonious welcome in his hometown, one has to wonder whether Brady is ever tempted to stray from that line of thinking. The reception he got Sunday makes a convincing case.