Opening night of the NFL season traditionally sees the Super Bowl champions of the most recent campaign unveil a banner honoring that achievement.
That tradition will continue on Thursday night when the New England Patriots welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers to open the 2015 NFL season. But, according to Patriots president Jonathan Kraft, the team had plans for a very different banner had Tom Brady's suspension now been overturned yesterday.
According to Jonathan, son of the franchise owner Robert Kraft, the team were planning to unveil a Tom Brady inspired banner that would certainly have caused a reaction throughout the league.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
"We may have been raising a banner, it just might not have been our championship banner," Kraft told radio show, WBZ-FM, exactly one week before the regular season kicks off:
The franchise president then suggested that, rather than the banner proclaiming the 2014 victory in Arizona, it would have been Brady-themed design that dropped from the rafters in Foxboro.
Such a move, and even the idea that the Patriots had such a back up plan, would have been seen as a direct criticism of the NFL in light of Tom Brady's four-game deflategate suspension.
Change of plans
Fortunately for the franchise and Brady however, plans can revert to the usually format after the dramatic turnaround over the past 24 hours.
With the courts having repealed the four-game ban imposed by Roger Goodell and the NFL, New England will now be able to begin their defence of the Super Bowl crown with their veteran quarterback on the gridiron.
Jonathan Kraft wouldn't have had it any other way:
"He needed to be there the first game that that banner existed in the stadium," he explained.
Patriots fans: Can Roger Goodell stay on as NFL commissioner after the change of events? Have your say in the comments below...