Sometimes - MOST of the time, in fact - honesty is the best policy, the rare exceptions to the rule including such loaded questions as "Do these jeans make me look fat?" and "Have you ever fantasized about sleeping with my sister?" This week was one of those times for the New England Patriots, but the spin doctors in the team's front office decided to go with another tried and true rule of thumb: never overstimate the intelligence of the American public.
In a remarkable lapse of judgement Tuesday, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady - responding to a reporter's question about what message he had for New England fans ahead of this Sunday's game with the visiting San Diego Chargers - said "Start drinking early. Get nice and rowdy - 4:15 game, lots of time to get lubed up." Not a smart thing to say in the prevailing social climate of political correctness, but in the final analysis, it was a bad joke that would have gone away, except that the Patriots vice-president of media relations went into damage control mode and released a statement saying that what Brady meant was "stay hydrated, drink a lot of water, be loud, drink responsibly."
Do they really think we're that dumb? Actually, yes, they do, because when people move out of the real world and into the corporate hierarchy, it's all about perception, even at the expense of common sense. Frankly, I'm more offended that anyone would think I'm that stupid than I am by Brady's bad joke. And so is your sister. (And by that, of course, I mean your sister's intellectual integrity has been compromised by the assumption that she's not sufficiently intuitive to see through a lame exercise in public relations absurdity.)