RIO DE JANEIRO — Nate Ebner is the only Super Bowl champion who ever played a game of rugby in the Olympics.

The New England Patriots’ safety and special teams ace scored a try before his late tackle led to a yellow card in the Americans’ 26-0 blowout of Brazil on Tuesday in the rugby sevens tournament.

Back home, Bill Belichick stopped practice so his players could watch their teammate compete a world away at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

They saw No. 12 – no, not in honor of Tom Brady – score just as the first half ended and then get yellow-carded in the second half for laying out Brazilian reserve Gustavo Albuquerque on a hit that would have drawn praise in Foxborough but earned him jeers and a two-minute penalty at Deodoro Stadium.

It wasn’t a football flashback, he insisted.

“Not really,” Ebner said. “You just let your natural instincts take over.”


DIVING: Green, not gold, was the color of the day at the Olympic diving venue.

Sure, China won its third consecutive gold medal on Tuesday, but the buzz was about the color of the water in the diving pool – a murky green.

That’s in stark contrast to the pool’s previous day’s color and also that of the clear blue water in the second pool used for the water polo competition.

British diver Tom Daley, who earned bronze in men’s synchronized 10-meter on Monday, tweeted a photo of the two pools next to each other and captioned it, “Ermmm…what happened?!”

Water quality has been a major issue surrounding the Rio Olympics, but in the ocean and lagoons, not the venue pools.

A statement from Rio 2016 organizers says water tests were conducted and there is no risk to athletes.


PROTEST BAN: A judge has ordered organizers of the Rio Olympics to allow peaceful protests inside venues after several fans were escorted out of stadiums for holding up anti-government signs.

As Brazil’s political crisis has deepened, with the Senate taking up impeachment proceedings against suspended President Dilma Rousseff, many are increasingly voicing their political grievances at Olympic events. Their almost universal slogan, on handwritten signs, T-shirts and social media, is “Fora Temer,” a call for the removal of interim President Michel Temer.

CLOSING CEREMONY: Pele hopes to appear at the closing ceremony after missing the opening because of poor health.

Pele tweeted Tuesday: “I am continuing my physiotherapy and focused on joining you for the closing festivities on August 21. I love you! #olympics.”

Pele was the preferred choice of organizers to light the cauldron. But he first cited sponsorship commitments and later health concerns for keeping him away.

Pele, 75, had hip surgery recently. He walks with a cane.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.