Super Bowl Notes: Mother's Illness Has Weighed on Tom Brady All Season

HOUSTON - Tom Brady's eyes moistened Monday night when asked who is his hero. "My Dad," Brady replied.

Asked on Tuesday what elicited that emotion, Brady acknowledged, "It's been a challenging year for my family, just for some personal reasons. It'll just be nice having everyone here watching us this weekend. That's my mom and dad. They've been so supportive my entire life, it's nice to be able to show them … to try to make them proud … My mom hasn't been to a game this season. My dad has been to [only] one. It's very atypical."

A Brady family source told me Tuesday that Brady's mother, Galynn, has been dealing with health issues for the past 18 months. She's been doing much better recently, but her illness has been a major source of concern for the family, including Tom Brady Sr., and Brady's sisters, Julie, Maureen and Nancy (see full story).


Falcons: Sanu wants focus on football, not his religion
HOUSTON - Everyone knew Tom Brady wasn't going to talk about Donald Trump's travel ban, but staying away from the subject proved to be a strategy for players regardless of their relationship with the President. 

While Martellus Bennett said he most likely would not go to the White House if the Patriots won the Super Bowl because he doesn't like Donald Trump, players generally shied away from the ban. 

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Included in that group was Falcons receiver Mohamed Sanu, who is Muslim. Asked about Trump's executive order, which keeps refugees from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia from entering the States, Sanu expressed disappointment but tried to keep the discussion on Super Bowl LI. 

"It's a very tough situation and I just pray that us as a country and a world can be united as one," Sanu said. "It's really hard for me to talk about this right now. It would take a lot of time so I just want to focus on the game and focus on football" (see full story).


Patriots: Chung's stint with Eagles a lesson
HOUSTON - The perks of playing for the Patriots seem pretty solid: A typical season brings the playoffs, a good season brings the AFC Championship and a very good season brings the Super Bowl. 

Like any organization, there are going to be cases where leaving better suits the player's career. That can be scheme-related, usage-related or just a personal fit. 

Patrick Chung spent his first four seasons with the Patriots, a span that saw New England reach two AFC Championships and one Super Bowl. After perhaps being misused in an underwhelming secondary for the 2011 and 2012 seasons, Chung left to take a three-year deal in Philadelphia and play for his college coach, Chip Kelly (see full story).


Falcons: Media meets team at mall skating rink
HOUSTON - The Atlanta Falcons' media availability Tuesday is not being held at a stadium or arena or even in a hotel ballroom.

Try a skating rink inside a Houston mall.

No, the ice isn't down at The Square at Memorial City. And only a handful of players are scheduled to meet with reporters.

Still, it's an unusual setting for a Super Bowl event, held by an Old Navy and a Cheesecake Factory (see full story).

- Associated Press

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