Tampa mayor Jane Castor issued a light-hearted apology to Tom Brady as she welcomed the superstar quarterback and Rob Gronkowski to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brady, who swapped the New England Patriots for the Buccaneers via NFL free agency, was ejected from a Tampa park amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The six-time Super Bowl champion was spotted working out on Monday and Castor tried to make amends in a letter to Brady and Gronkowski after the former Patriots team-mates reunited in Tampa.
"Dear Tom and Gronk, I want to personally welcome you both to Tampa! We are all very excited to have you here in our beautiful city," Castor wrote in a letter posted via social media.
"You will quickly find that Tampa has a lot to offer. For starters, you can leave your winter clothes behind, all you need here are shorts and sunscreen. A popular misconception is that there are no seasons here in the Sunshine State, however, you will find that we have endless summers, three or four cold days in winter, and of course allergy season.
"Tom, my apologies for the miscommunication when you arrived -- not the best first impression. But given my law enforcement background, I couldn't help but have someone investigate the sighting of a G.O.A.T running wild in one of our beautiful city parks. No harm - no foul, and thanks for being a good sport.
She continued: "There are so many wonderful activities for your family to enjoy, including Busch Gardens, The Florida Aquarium, Zoo Tampa, musuems, and world class beaches, just to name a few. We also have parades for just about every occasion, but our signature event is the Gasparilla Pirate Invasion and Parade [falls into to the 'have to see it to believe it' category]. This third largest parade in the nation is always big fun, s you must be ready to pARRRGHTy… but not too hard [I'm talking to you Gronk], as Super Bowl LV is the following weekend and we need to keep an eye on the prize – a dent free Lombardi trophy!
"There is plenty for you to do as well Gronk. Although we have to socially distance right now, in no time you will be able to enjoy our nightlife and eclectic neighbourhoods. Places like SoHo, Armature Works, Sparkman Wharf and Ybor City, which is home to the Cuban Sandwich, the cigar industry and wild chickens [seriously]. Just remember 'No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service' is still in affect around here.
"We are so glad to have you here. While most people retire and come to Florida, you came out of retirement to head our way. That shows the competitive mindset we are used to, while sticking to the AARP at the same time. Looking forward to growing use to the Gronk Spike! So let's get serious now, how can we help you win the Lombardi trophy in Super Bowl LV? It is our aim to be the first team to win a Super Bowl in our own backyard. We dream big and set the bar high around here, most important, we get things done.
"Thanks against for choosing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and, in tour, our beloved city. This is a very exciting time and we look forward to welcoming you with [virtual] open arms. A proper Tampa Bay welcome will have to wait for a while. Tampa is the greatest city in the nation and it is my sincere hope that you will both be proud to call it home."