The only time the New England Patriots ever see a Waffle House is when they're on the road. (AP Photo/Ric Feld, File)AP
There are some positives and negatives when it comes to playing for the New England Patriots.
The positive: You play for one of the NFL’s most successful franchises and have a really good shot at making the playoffs in any given year.
The negative: Your new home lies well north of the IHOP-Waffle House line in America.
It’s an unfortunate development for many players who grew up in the South, where the famed 24-hour breakfast joint is a cultural mainstay. It’s a greasy spoon institution for affordable breakfast foods at any hour. It’s so reliable that the Waffle House Index is informally used by FEMA to track the scale of natural disasters.
So, when presented with the idea of a Waffle House coming to Boston, it’s not surprising to see someone like David Andrews jumping at it.
I’m not here to analyze the Patriots game this Sunday. That sounds like actual work Chris Mason or Matt Vautour would do (suckers). Instead, I’m here to point out 5-10 observations and general tidbits that have at least a tangential connection to Sunday’s game.
1. David Andrews volunteers to run a Waffle House in Boston
Waffle House was born in Georgia — as was Andrews, who went on to play high school and college ball there.
So when the topic of a Waffle House in Boston came up on social media, it naturally came to the longtime Patriots captain’s attention.
It all started when the Twitter account Only In Boston tweeted that the closest Waffle House location to Boston was 300 miles away in Pennsylvania.
This caught the attention of the official Waffle House account, which responded, “Boston wants a Waffle House?”
Boston wants a Waffle House?
This exchange eventually made its way to Andrews, who had some fun with it on his Instagram account.
“I’ll run the franchise,” Andrews wrote on his Instagram story atop a screenshot of the Twitter exchange.
Andrews has long been a fan of the franchise. Talking to the Athens Banner-Herald earlier this year, he said that his usual “light” breakfast involves a stop there.
“Breakfast is usually light. I’ll go to Waffle House and get a biscuit,” Andrews said to the Banner-Herald. “I’m not really too concerned with my diet.”
Back in March, Andrews was at the griddle flipping pancakes at Abby’s House, a Worcester non-profit that offers support and advocacy for women in need.
Andrews was glad at the time to give back to the community. However, he did take the chance to emphasize that, while pancakes are good, it’s no Waffle House.
“I really don’t discriminate on my breakfast cards, but the undefeated champion is a Waffle House waffle,” he said, via CBS News.
2. Patriots practiced at a D-II field next to an airport, and had to MacGyver their own goal posts
It was a different week of practice for the Patriots as Bill Belichick brought his team down to Miami a few days early to adjust to the early-September climate in Florida. The team wound up practicing at Palm Beach Atlantic University this week ahead of the game.
The Division II school lies an hour north of the Dolphins’ home at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. When asked why the team didn’t pick a spot closer to Miami, Belichick was about as verbose as one would expect him to be on the topic.
“It just worked out. We looked at several options. This is the best one,” Belichick said.
The Patriots coach added that the facilities “should be good” for the team’s preparations this week. However, there were some adjustments that had to be made.
As The Athletic’s Chad Graff pointed out, the Patriots had to bring in makeshift field goalposts to put up at the practice fields — and hold them up with sandbags and rope.
The practices and press conferences have had an interesting backdrop this week — with Palm Beach International Airport a stone’s throw away from the fields. So watch out for clips this week that are drowned out by the sounds of planes taking off.
3. This week in weird Tom Brady stories: Brady never runs out of toilet paper
This one comes via Jason McCourty early on in his tenure as co-host of “NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football:”
“I couldn’t imagine being Tom Brady. I remember one of the guys in New England asked him, ‘Hey Tom. It’s 10 o’clock at night. Someone in the house goes to use the restroom and there’s no toilet paper. Like, what do you do?’ Tom can’t just roll into Walgreens or another fast pharmacy to grab it. He was like, ‘Babe, I never run out of toilet paper.’ It never happens. It’s just so hard to be him. He can’t just walk down — can’t be a normal guy.”
The idea of Brady running out of toilet paper is a wild one, especially when you consider how many bathrooms his houses have. According to Sarasota Magazine, Brady’s mansion in Tampa Bay has nine of them.
That’s if Brady even uses toilet paper.
“The joke is that Brady has bidets,” co-host Kyle Brandt said.
4. The Bill Belichick non-answer on the week
When asked if there are any similarities between DT Christian Barmore and retired DT Vince Wilfork:
“Yeah, they both play defensive tackle.”
5. Nick Folk has some incredible lineage from Massachusetts
The Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan put out a cool feature this week diving into Folk’s journey to becoming the most accurate kicker in Patriots franchise history.
Folk was born in California and now lives in Texas. However, his family has roots in Massachusetts.
According to Callahan, Folk took a trip with his brother to Plymouth in his first season with the Patriots. Their goal: To visit the grave of William Bradford, the first governor of Plymouth County in 1621, and one of their ancestors.
Folk’s family had roots in New England. According to Callahan, the family didn’t move west until Folk’s maternal grandparents moved to California — after graduating from Harvard Medical School.
6. The “He Plays For That Team Now?” Player of the Week: ST Justin Bethel
Bethel was one of the surprise cuts at the end of camp for the Patriots. He won’t be away for long as he takes on his former team in his first game with the Dolphins.
7. Name of the Week: CB Trill Williams
Trill, of course, is short for Williams’ full birth name: Atrilleon.
8. Belichick loves him some Chris Berman
The Patriots had a notable guest at last week’s press conference when ESPN legend Chris Berman swung by as part of some preseason stops to check up on teams.
Belichick was pleasantly surprised to see Berman enter the press conference.
“Boomer, we are graced,” Belichick said with a smile. “You’re looking good. Nice to have you. Honored, honored.”
“Haven’t been to one of these in a couple of years,” Berman responded.
Belichick wasn’t going to let Berman be a fly on the wall for the day, and was insistent that Boomer ask the first question — and last question of the press conference.
Berman’s question: “Still fun?”
Belichick’s response: “Love it, love it. Training camp. Another week of camp here. Good opportunity for us to continue to get better. Obviously, no game this week but a lot of things for us to work on. Then we’ll start our preparations for Miami next week. We can get a head start on a few things there but there’s just some things that we need to cover this week, situationally, and clean up some things that through the course of the preseason we haven’t got to yet. But looking forward to it.”
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David Andrews volunteers to run a Waffle House in Boston (sort of) | Anti-analysis – MassLive.com