Every year, the winners of the Super Bowl get invited to the White House to shake hands with the president, get their picture taken, and dish on the finest appetizers Washington D.C. has to offer. It’s a ritual the New England Patriots are pretty familiar with by now, having gotten the conquering hero treatment as recently as 2015, when they came out en masse for a photo op with President Barack Obama.
But while the setting for this year’s take on the ceremony was the same, the picture had a few key changes. See if you can find them for yourselves, as part of this devilishly difficult A.V. Club Spot The Difference Brain-Teaser:
Did you say “Like, half the guys weren’t there? Including Trump’s old friend, Tom Brady?” Then you win the prize: a vague sense of satisfaction at how much seeing these two photos side-by-side must be boiling Trump’s brain.
The Patriots currently list 64 players on their roster, and The New York Times reports that only 34 or so were in attendance today. The players gave a variety of reasons for missing the appointment, ranging from “family time” to “been there, done that,” to a strongly implied “fuck that guy.” Brady played the family card, for instance, while Danny Amendola—whose absence was highlighted when Trump asked him to step forward and raise a hand, only to be met by awkward silence—said he had a funeral to attend.
UPDATE: The New England Patriots responded to concerns about the under-attended event at the White House by clarifying that the reason we didn’t see more people standing on the steps behind Trump in the photo shared by The New York Times is because a lot of the players were actually seated. You can see those heads in the first photo.
As for there being only 34 players in attendance, the Patriots’ social media accounts explained that 36 players showed up in 2015 for the same White House gathering following a Super Bowl win.
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