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Do the right thing, fans advise Brady

Shock over paternity claim

Tom Brady has not publicly responded to the baby news. Tom Brady has not publicly responded to the baby news.

FOXBOROUGH -- It's not like Tom Brady is the first football player to find himself the object of a paternity claim , but Brady is not seen as an ordinary football player.

Not in Boston, where he is not quite deity, maybe, but certainly more than mortal. That smile, the impeccable posture, the straight-ahead gaze . . . all that may be why, in an age when celebrity relationship entanglements are common, Brady's situation evoked gasps -- of empathy, disbelief, and moral concern.

You didn't have to go far yesterday to hear talk about the statement by the star quarterback's former girlfriend that she is carrying his child.

At Gillette Stadium's Pro Shop in Foxborough , where a stream of devout fans came in an off-season pilgrimage for jerseys, hats, and other souvenirs, which happened to be on sale, there was both shock and nonchalance.

Some said the baby might not be Brady's. But if it is, most were emphatic in saying Brady must now do the right thing.

Shelley Fusco, a fan from Cranston, R.I., was unequivocal: "Buy her the ring and go back" to Bridget Moynahan, the 36-year-old actress whom Brady dated for three years before the relationship came to an end late last year.

But some saw "the right thing" as something different.

"I think winning a championship would be a good cure for this," said Tarique Perera, 37, of New Fairfield, Conn.

Brady has not publicly responded to his former girlfriend's assertion and this week is in France with his new girlfriend, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, a fact that troubled Donna Macomber, 52, of East Freetown. Still, she said she has faith in her man.

"I don't know if he'll get back with Bridget or not, but I don't think this baby will ever want for anything," Macomber said. "I think he's kind of a stand-up guy, he'll do the right thing. At least, I hope so."