New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady stepped to the line of scrimmage during the third quarter of the Super Bowl on Sunday night, took one look at how the Los Angeles Rams' defense was squared up, and apparently changed the play right then and there.
Microphones picked up Brady's audible, and he apparently invoked the name of a former U.S. president — of the Republican variety.
"Reagan! Reagan!" Brady yelled.
After the snap, he handed off the football to running back Sony Michel, who ran toward the right for a 4-yard gain, SB Nation reported.
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was adding commentary to the game broadcast and noted after the play that Brady's audible meant something like "run to the right," the outlet added.
How did viewers react?
The apparent meaning behind Brady's verbal check at the line of scrimmage wasn't lost on viewers, either — and those appearing to side with conservatives enjoyed the shout-out:
- "I love it," one Twitter user noted. "Tom Brady shouted Reagan Reagan, and then they ran to the right. I officially love Tom Brady, and the Patriots are officially the team of the Republican Party."
- "Tom Brady just called 'Reagan Reagan,' which according to Tony Romo means run to the right," another added. "I now concede that Tom Brady is the GOAT."
- "CNN Breaking News: Tom Brady yells Reagan Reagan before play. 12-person panel has been assembled to discuss Brady's clear racism," another joked.
But other seemingly left-leaning Twitter users — perhaps energized by a Daily Beast writer who infamously declared the Patriots "the preferred team of white nationalists" — weren't pleased by Brady's reference to the ol' Gipper:
- "Y'all still hype up Tom Brady as if he isn't a racist trump lover???" one Twitter user asked. "Did y'all not hear the Reagan thing either??? Or are we choosing to ignore those things???"
- "OF COURSE Tom Brady would have an audible named after Ronald Reagan," another noted. "God I hate Tom Brady."
- "Ronald Reagan and Tom Brady are both pieces of s**t," yet another succinctly put it.
Sadly for the Brady-Reagan haters, the Patriots went on to win the game 13-3 — earning Brady his unprecedented sixth NFL championship.