A message from Biddeford resident and New England Patriots fan Richard Pate to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is pictured flying over Old Orchard Beach Sunday afternoon. The message was the fourth and presumably last Pate paid to have flown over Goodell’s Scarborough home.

A message from Biddeford resident and New England Patriots fan Richard Pate to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is pictured flying over Old Orchard Beach Sunday afternoon. The message was the fourth and presumably last Pate paid to have flown over Goodell’s Scarborough home.

BIDDEFORD — Over the Labor Day weekend, a Biddeford man again hired a pilot to fly taunting messages over NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s Scarborough home.

The messages came less than a week after a federal judge overturned the league’s four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for his alleged role in deflating footballs used in last year’s AFC Championship game.

According to The Associated Press, on Saturday, Richard Pate, a Biddeford resident and lifelong Patriots fan, hired pilot John Apte, owner of Screaming Eagle Aviation in Biddeford, to fly a banner reading, “Roger G. Feelin a Little Deflated?” over the approximately sevenmile stretch of coast from Biddeford to Prouts Neck in Scarborough, where Goodell reportedly owns a $6.5 million summer home.

On Sunday, Pate hired Apte to fly another banner along the coast, which read, “Finally Lets Play Football – Go Pats.”

Appearing in the skies at around noon, Sunday’s message – Pate’s fourth and presumably last to the commissioner – gave beachgoers a break from the advertisements that Apte’s company regularly flies over Old Orchard and Pine Point beaches, and many captured the moment using cell phone cameras.

Pate started sending Goodell aerial messages just over a month ago.

On July 31, Pate hired Apte to fly a banner reading, “Comm. Goodell Jet Home to N.Y.” over the commissioner’s home. Then, on Aug. 3, which was Brady’s 38th birthday, Pate hired the pilot to tow a second banner along the coast, which read, “Happy B-Day T Brady From Maine & Roger G.”

In an interview with the Journal Tribune last month, Pate said his first two messages were in part responses to reports that New York Jets fans had greeted Patriots fans with an airplane banner reading, “Cheaters Look Up!” at Gillette Stadium on the Patriots’ first day of preseason practice, as well as a playful jab at Goodell for his handling of the so-called Deflategate controversy.

“It was a way of saying, ‘Let’s get to work, let’s get this resolved,’” he said.

It is unclear whether Goodell was in Scarborough to see any of Pate’s four messages.

— Staff Writer Angelo J. Verzoni can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 329 or [email protected]


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