The health of New England quarterback Tom Brady has been the single biggest story in the week before the week before the Super Bowl.
Here's the inside scoop: Brady sprained his ankle in practice before the AFC title game and the record-breaking stud not only played the game with a lame hoof, he was battling a 101-degree temperature. At least that's what Brady's parents told a bartender in Boston who told a CHFF troll who e-mailed us.
We love e-mails like this. They remind us of that 1980s classic REO Speedwagon tune "Take it on the Run."
"I heard it from a friend whoooo ... heard it from a friend whooo ... heard it from another you've been ... " (Watch the video here if you're younger than 35 and need a little refresher in the magic of REO Speedwagon, and then read the whole story below.)
show video here.
Here's the email as it was sent to us:
"I do most of my drinking at a Boston bar called Bukowski Tavern, which is on Dalton Street by the Summer Shack next to the Hynes Convention Center. Buk's is a favorite late-night destination for bartenders and waiters from the other surrounding joints that close by 1 a.m.
"One such bartender is a friend of mine who works at Sonsie on Newbury Street, and she serves Brady's parents regularly when they're around to visit their son (who lives a couple of blocks down the street in Boston's Back Bay).
"According to (this bartender friend), Brady's parents were in a couple of days ago, and she asked them how Brady was doing. According to them, Brady sprained that ankle in practice, and was also running a 101-degree temperature all through the AFC championship game.
"So. Jaws and the rest of those ESPN boners can look at film all they want. I've got the real dope from Brady's parent's bartender. He was hurt before the game, and had a fever during the game.
"So much for sports reporting."
CHFF responds:
We hear stuff like this all the time but normally don't report it. But we're just putting it out there as it was told to us, with the veracity of the source for you to judge. 
We will submit, however, that mainstream media take lesser incidents and more unreliable sources than this and routinely pass it off as cutting-edge reportage, usually citing "anonymous sources" that are "close to the family."
This dude may be right. Who knows. It certainly wouldn't surprise us. Spraining an ankle in football, even in practice, is hardly shocking. Hell, Brady suffered an ankle injury six years ago the very same weekend, in the 2001-02 AFC title game at Pittsburgh. Remember, the big story before Super Bowl XXXVI was who would get the start for the Patriots, wounded but productive young upstart Brady, or healthy but unproductive warhorse Drew Bledsoe.
A Brady fever wouldn't be shocking, either. Don't forget, it was the very same weekend, right before the 2004-05 championship game between New England and Pittsburgh, that Brady suffered a fever so severe that it necessitated an IV drip the night before the game. Millions of people tend to get sick around the same time each year. Maybe Brady tends to get sick around the third week of January.
In any case, the story is plausible.
The source?
Well, you judge for yourself.
And, while you do, don't forget our friends from REO Speedwagon:
"I know the neighborhood, and talk is cheap when the story is good."