Welcome to August, it's a month the Patriots probably would like to forget, at least when it comes to their officially licensed 2013 calendar.
The Patriots, the University of Florida and others have done their best to try and eliminate as many references to Aaron Hernandez as possible. The Patriots held a mass jersey exchange in July and the Florida Gators removed all photos of Hernandez in the school's football facility and even ripped out his official All-American brick in front of the football stadium in Gainesville.
But sometimes, you can't erase the past, or even the present.
The 2013 official Patriots wall and mini calendars, which were produced by Perfect Timing, Inc., in partnership with Turner Licensing, feature many of your favorite players, including Tom Brady as Mr. January.
But Hernandez is the featured player for the month of August, which begins today. The former tight end was arrested in the death of Odin Lloyd in June and is being investigated in connection with a pair of fatal shootings in Dorchester last year.
For fans who bought the calendar, seeing Hernandez as Mr. August will be a 31-day reminder of both what could have been on the field and what should not have been off the field.
Twitter user Anthony Mahn (@AMahn7) posted the above image of the August page, posing the question about a potential swap. Suppose Patriots fans could cut and paste Brady as a replacement. He turns 36 on Aug. 3, which is Saturday.
It would be interesting if the team did offer 2014 exchanges for the 2013 models, However, some of the few copies available on Amazon were selling for more than the $15.95 original retail price of the calendar when it went on sale last September.
According to the calendar's on-line description, it's "specially designed for the die-hard New England Patriots fan ... Your favorite players are displayed in vivid action-packed images along with player bios, NFL trivia and noteworthy historical dates every month."
Perhaps the calendar was jinxed from the start. Tight end Rob Gronkowski is the 2013 calendar cover boy and he sits on the Physically Unable to Perform list due to off-season arm and back surgery. That inability to perform, presumably, is linked only to his on-field activities.
In case you were wondering, the 2014 is set to be printed today, at least according to this listing on Target.Com, and that calendar, at least as it was originally posted for sale, was to feature Hernandez (see No. 81 above) as the featured player for February. Expect that to be already have been changed.
The only calendars currently for sale on the team's official site are those featuring the cheerleaders.
For football fans in New England, September can't come soon enough.
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