SCARBOROUGH — It used to be that actress Glenn Close was the part-time resident who had people talking around here.

This summer, however, the focus is on another Prouts Neck homeowner, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

But not in a good way.

Since Goodell’s decision last week to uphold the four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the coastal Maine town has buzzed with talk of the celebrity with a summer home here.

Chris Tait

Chris Tait

“Every time I go to work, people are talking about it,” said Chris Tait, an employee of Shaw’s in Scarborough. He said he has even heard his co-workers complaining about Goodell and joking about going down to his house.

Patriots fans in Maine and the rest of New England had hoped for a shorter suspension for the star QB, and were surprised that Goodell took such a hard line over the use of deflated footballs.


It was no surprise that Goodell’s decision has made him about as popular as the town tax collector. The NFL even gave the local police a call before the suspension decision was announced to let them know it wouldn’t make his neighbors happy.

First, there were the people complaining because they thought town police were providing him with private security. Town officials insisted there is no special protection.

Then there was the plane-carried banner flown over Goodell’s home and the nearby beaches Saturday and Sunday with the message: “Comm. Goodell Jet home to N.Y.”

On Monday, a second air banner appeared over the Scarborough beaches and Goodell’s house – this one included a happy birthday wish for Brady – and everyone seemed to be getting a chuckle at their neighbor’s expense.

“I think it’s sort of a great joke,” said Lucy Moorhead, who splits her time between the Prouts Neck neighborhood and Westwood, Massachusetts.

"I think it's sort of a great joke," says Lucy Moorhead, who splits her time between the Prouts Neck neighborhood and Westwood, Massachusetts.  Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer

Lucy Moorhead

She was in a water aerobics class in a private pool when the banner appeared overhead at midday Monday. It said, “Happy B-day T Brady from Maine and Roger G.”


A group of Scarborough moms watched it fly by from their folding chairs on Ferry Beach.

“We thought it was funny,” said Kate Archambault. “We’re wishing Tom Brady a happy birthday as well.”

Goodell is believed to own a $6.5 million house on Bohemia Way. He is married to Jane Skinner, a former reporter for WCSH-TV in Portland.

The home is in the exclusive Prouts Neck neighborhood, much of which sits behind a gatehouse and is surrounded by the ocean. The summer colony has a private country club and golf course, among other amenities.

Glenn Close and her husband own a home there. It’s also well known as the place where Winslow Homer lived and painted for many years.

Prouts Neck has its own dedicated police officer – members of the Prouts Neck Association pay all the costs – and Scarborough police assured angry taxpayers that Goodell was getting no special treatment.


According to Town Manager Tom Hall, there have been “no incidents whatsoever” involving Goodell or his home.

Several Scarborough residents said Monday it doesn’t bother them so much that Goodell has a home here.

“His decision bothers us more,” Archambault said.

When asked if Goodell was the most hated man in Scarborough, Archambault and Tait said, “Probably.”

Some are less amused by the talk and the high-flying banners. Bar patrons at Pat’s Pizza on Route 1 said they think the aerial banners are a waste of money and the scandal known as “Deflategate” is a distraction from real-world issues.

Richard Pate, the Biddeford man behind the banners, said he’s sure there are some people who don’t agree with him, but he assures “it was all done good-naturedly.”


Pate isn’t saying how much he has spent on the banners, but the company he hired – Screaming Eagle Aviation in Biddeford – advertises one-hour banner ad flights at $450.

He said Monday that he doesn’t have any plans to continue with the airborne jabs at the commissioner. But he isn’t ruling it out.

No one knows whether Goodell has seen the signs, or if he’s even in town. But regardless, people there are talking.

As Jim Harmon sat on Ferry Beach wondering what the next banner might say, his daughter was still laughing at the last one.

“It’s a crack about Goodell,” said Aili Desrochers. “I think it’s great.”

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