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Winners and losers from cathartic night for Patriots

Tom Brady Roast: Winners and losers from cathartic night for Patriots originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

It turns out the best way to heal old wounds is to open them all up in front of a live primetime audience.

“The Roast of Tom Brady,” a live Netflix special in Los Angeles on Sunday night in which the former New England Patriots quarterback subjected himself to ruthless insults from celebrities, comedians, ex-teammates and even his old boss, Bill Belichick, had the potential to get awkward in a hurry.

And while there was one awkward moment between Brady and comedian Jeff Ross, the event on the whole had a cathartic feel, with Brady, Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft gamely absorbing jokes about supposedly sensitive topics, including Brady’s divorce from Gisele Bundchen; Belichick’s split from his longtime girlfriend, Linda Holliday; whether Brady or Belichick deserves more credit for New England’s dynasty; and Deflategate.

A host of ex-Patriots players also joined in on the fun, with Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Randy Moss, Drew Bledsoe and more taking turns to roast their former quarterback.

Since Brady makes everything a competition, we’re handing out winners and losers from the three-hour chop-busting session.

Winner: Bill Belichick

The Bill Belichick Redemption Tour continues.

Expectations were low for the ex-Patriots coach, who’s best known for his grunts and one-word answers at press conferences. But Belichick came to play, dropping a one-liner right off the bat by calling out his portrayal in the Apple TV+ docuseries, “The Dynasty.”

“I’m so honored to be here for the roast of Tom Brady on Netflix. It’s not to be confused with the roast of Bill Belichick on the 10-part Apple TV series,” Belichick joked.

Belichick didn’t hold back on Brady, either, addressing their at-times-strenuous relationship by bringing up a reported sore spot: Brady’s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero.

“People have said it, Tom and I butted heads a lot,” Belichick said. “And in a way that was true. But it was hard to butt heads with Tom, because he was so far up Alex Guerrero’s ass.”

Between Sunday’s roast and his appearance on The Pat McAfee Show during the 2024 NFL Draft, Belichick is showing a much more congenial side — and perhaps making NFL fans forget that he failed to land a head coaching job this offseason.

Loser: Danny Amendola

Belichick kept his burns of former Patriots players mostly off the field, with one notable exception: ex-Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola.

“Danny joined us in 2014 and got us 200 yards that year,” Belichick said. “And in 2016, he picked up another 250. Or to put it another way, what Randy (Moss) would call a decent first half.”

Amendola was fairly critical of Belichick in the Apple TV+ docuseries — “I could’ve gotten the kid from Foxborough High School to tell you that you shouldn’t have let Tom Brady go,” Amendola said in one episode — so was Belichick’s chance for a rebuttal.

Amendola didn’t seem particularly amused by Belichick’s dig, so we’re chalking this up as a loss.

Winner: Rodney Harrison

Not only did Harrison avoid getting roasted Sunday night, he actually got an endorsement from Belichick, who made another case for the ex-Patriots safety to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“One of the greatest players I’ve ever coached,” Belichick said of Harrison. “He was a great, great football player. Great person. Great competitor. He’s not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and to me, that might be the biggest joke of the night.”

Whether Harrison eventually gets the nod is unclear — he was one of 28 semifinalists in 2023 — but there’s no doubt Belichick is in his corner.

Loser: Randy Moss

Moss is a dynamic personality — he was excellent in “The Dynasty” — but his roast of Brady fell disappointingly flat. The Hall of Fame receiver mostly lamented not winning a ring during his three seasons in New England from 2007 to 2010 and made a passing reference to Deflategate, telling Brady, “Why the f— didn’t we cheat when I was there?”

Moss’ performance certainly wasn’t the worst of the night, but expectations were higher here.

Winner: Nikki Glaser

Belichick and his former players had some pretty good material, but most of it paled in comparison to the real comedians in the house — especially Nikki Glaser.

The comedian/actress/podcast host came out swinging in her set with some vicious digs about Brady’s divorce from Gisele Bundchen and rumors that Gisele is now dating her jiu-jitsu instructor.

“The only thing dumber than you saying yes to this roast is when you said, ‘Hey babe, you should try jiu-jitsu,” Glaser quipped.

Glaser also made several more jokes we can’t repeat here, but she was undoubtedly one of the stars of the show.

Loser: Kim Kardashian

Why was Kardashian at Brady’s roast, you ask? Apparently many in attendance had the same question.

Kardashian was the only roaster who was loudly booed when she took the stage — to the point where host Kevin Hart had to tell the audience to stop — and didn’t really contribute much during her brief set.

Winners: Patriots fans

The Patriots’ dynasty ended with plenty of drama and reported infighting. But on Sunday night, the key figures finally let their guards down.

Brady and Belichick both declared their mutual respect for one another after trading good-natured barbs. Belichick and Kraft took a shot together on stage (even if Belichick didn’t look particularly thrilled to be there). Brady addressed one of the several elephants in the room with a Deflategate joke.

Several topics that many Patriots fans thought would never be discussed in public were aired out by the dynasty’s main actors, who cut out the “middle man” and addressed some of their thornier issues head-on.

In a way, Sunday night felt like closure for New England fans, who now can focus on celebrating those six Super Bowls in 20 years instead of wondering how the dynasty fell apart.