The organization has made it quite clear: The New England Patriots are moving on from Aaron Hernandez.
They have released him from the team, offered a jersey exchange for fans and have even printed his face on special tickets for Patriots season tickets holders.
Wait a minute.
Yes, Patriots season ticket holders opening their 2013 ticket books will be greeted with a picture of Hernandez standing in the center background of a Patriots scrimmage.
The fluke coincidence was spotted by Rick Chandler of Sports Grid (via @DarrenRovell), and sure enough, the former Pats tight end and his screaming face is positioned smack-dab in the middle of the ticket.
Even more unfortunate, the ticket in question is to a special preseason practice—making it literally the first thing season ticket holders see after opening their books.
The image is certainly a coincidence. The tickets were likely designed months before Hernandez’s arrest and the ensuing media fallout.
The unintentional gaffe is the last thing the Patriots want right now, however, as the organization has pulled out every last stop in order to bring the media circus surrounding Hernandez to a close.
Even head coach Bill Belichick—generally tight-lipped and unwilling to speak about off the field issues—has done his part to bring closure to the Hernandez case. The head coach directly addressed the situation concerning Hernandez’s pending murder trial, even speaking the former Patriot's name—something many didn’t believe he would do.
The good news is that things can only go up from here for Patriots fans. Football season is fast approaching and the media carnival will fold up their tents (for the most part) and move onto 24-hour Tebow bench coverage.
In the meantime, hold tight and turn your preseason practice tickets upside down.
Follow me on Twitter and we'll talk non-Hernandez-related stories.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!