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Mayor's comment about Tom Brady at coronavirus news conference goes viral

Pandemic or not, what Tom Brady does is a topic of conversation in Buffalo.

And that includes for Mayor Byron W. Brown, even during a news conference on the city's response to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

What Brown said Tuesday about the now former-New England Patriots quarterback taking up with a new team became contagious among national news outlets.

Here's what the mayor said:

"Just a reminder: bars and restaurants are open for takeout and delivery only. So for those of you that want to celebrate Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots and hopefully leaving the AFC East, there are no mass gatherings.

"Celebrate responsibly. Celebrate at home and with less than 10 people present," he said with a smile.

Brady announced Tuesday he was leaving the Patriots, and later in the day it was reported he has agreed in principle to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

National sports outlets picked up the story.

"Buffalo fans celebrating Tom Brady leaving Patriots urged to do so with caution, mayor says," ran the headline posted Wednesday morning on Fox News' website.

Yahoo News, USA Today, the Sporting News and many others reported on what the mayor said.

[Related: Vic Carucci: Tom Brady's exit from Patriots opens door for Bills to win AFC East]

The moment was highlighted Tuesday night on ESPN.

"It's come to this," host Scott Van Pelt told viewers. "Bills Mafia, stand up. Buffalo, never change. We love you."

In response to the attention his comment received, the mayor on Wednesday morning issued the following statement through a spokesman:

"Buffalo is a strong, resilient city," the mayor said. "We work closely together in tough times like we are experiencing now, while always maintaining our sense of humor."

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