It's no secret that New York sports fans love to hate Boston teams – especially the Patriots and Tom Brady. But for comedian Chris Distefano, the animosity towards New England is a bit complicated.
The Brooklyn comic, who performs at Laugh Boston this weekend, tells Metro that he actually has a lot of respect for Brady, even though he won't be cheering for him in the stands anytime soon. Similar to how Yankee fans treated David Ortiz or how Red Sox fans felt about Derek Jeter, Distefano believes there's some love hiding behind all the booing from New Yorkers directed at the Patriots star.
"To be honest with you, I hate Tom Brady, but I respect him and love him probably more than any other player," Distefano says. "It's kind of how I felt about David Ortiz, and I'm sure how Red Sox fans felt about Jeter. It's like you hate him and he'll get booed when he comes to New York, but when he calls it quits, I'm going clap and probably shed a tear for him."
The 33-year-old comic doesn't just respect Brady, he also believes that the five-time Super Bowl champion is one of the greatest athletes of all time.
"He is iconic and is one of the best players at a sport of all time," Distefano says. "Wayne Gretzky is the best hockey player, [Michael] Jordan is the best basketball player, and I kind of feel Brady is the best football player. He's a living legend and he's gorgeous. I hate him, but I love him."
As a Giants fan, Distefano admits he might have a softer outlook on Brady and the Patriots since his team has defeated New England twice in the Super Bowl. He might not feel the same way if he grew up as a Jets fan.
"Here's the thing, I'm a New York Giants fan, if I was a Jets fan, I think I would hate him more," Distefano says. "As a New York Giants fan, I hate the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles more than I hate the Patriots. And the Giants beat the Patriots twice, so I kind of feel like we have a little bit of an edge."
When it comes to the city of Boston and its comedy fans, though, Distefano has nothing but love for the Hub.
"I know our baseball teams hate each other," he says, "but Boston is definitely my second favorite city outside of New York."
If you go:
Dec. 15-16, Laugh Boston, 425 Summer St., Boston, $20, laughboston.com