Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports

Why Tom Brady is apologizing to referee Clete Blakeman 4 years later

Ryan Hannable
September 27, 2017 - 8:28 pm

FOXBORO -- When the Patriots last played the Panthers -- Nov. 18, 2013 -- Tom Brady did not leave the field a happy camper.

The Patriots lost 24-20 after Rob Gronkowski appeared to be interfered with in the end zone in the closing seconds. Referee Clete Blakeman's crew threw a flag on the play, but picked it up and there was no penalty against Luke Kuechly.

Brady was seen yelling at Blakeman as he ran off the field. The quarterback desperately wanted a penalty on the play.

Four years later, reminded of what happened before the two teams meet again Sunday, Brady said he needs to apologize.

"I wasn’t very positive. I don’t think I said very nice things to him, so I’d like to apologize to him," Brady said. "But yeah, that was a little unfortunate. I wish we had gotten that call. That would’ve been a good call. That would have been a fun next play; I’ll tell you that. With one play left in the game, but oh well."

Brady was told earlier in the day Kuechly admitted on a conference call he may have got away with one in that game.

"Oh man, let’s replay that one, too, and see what happens," he said with a smile. "I wish we could do that. Yeah, that was a tough game. I think that speaks a lot to their team, that particular game. It was a hard-nosed, hard-fought game. We had to earn every yard and it came down to the end."

Bill Belichick was asked by the Carolina media on a conference call for his thoughts on that game and he wasn't as open as Brady was.

"It came down to a controversial play on the last play of the game. We had a flag. We didn’t have a flag. The game was over," he said.