FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — It didn’t take long for the booing to begin when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell set foot on the Gillette Stadium field Thursday night.
Maybe five or six seconds.
Goodell was on the sideline chatting with Chiefs owner Clark Hunt about an hour before Kansas City and New England kicked off the 2017 regular season. When they were shown on the videoboard, the crescendo of boos grew louder and louder.
Goodell simply went on with his conversation with Hunt.
Patriots fans, of course, have a deep dislike for Goodell, who suspended quarterback Tom Brady for four games for his role in the “Deflategate” saga.
Roger Goodell stands on the field before the game and hears chants of “Roger! Roger! Roger!”
Goodell, once a frequent guest of Patriots owner Robert Kraft at games, avoided coming to Foxborough during the Brady case, though he was at the stadium this summer for a preseason game.
The highlight of the Patriots’ pregame, on-field ceremony came when injured receiver Julian Edelman was introduced and held the Lombardi trophy from the team’s victory in Super Bowl XLIX.
Edelman walked without the aid of crutches and the crowd erupted. He was one of four players to represent the team’s Super Bowl success, joined by offensive lineman Matt Light (2001-11), receiver Deion Branch (2002-05, 2010-12) and running back Kevin Faulk (1999-2011). The ceremony ended with Kraft being introduced and walking onto the field while holding the Lombardi trophy from Super Bowl LI.
It was a ceremony that had a Super Bowl feel, including fireworks, a two-song performance by rapper Flo Rida, and a celebrity appearance by Boston actor Mark Wahlberg.
By the time the game kicked off, the crowd was in a frenzy, and again began chanting “Roger! Roger! Roger!”
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN’s Mike Reiss was used in this report.