Patriots fan Menounos an enduring Media Day presence

INDIANAPOLIS — Maria Menounos is an authentic New Englander.

TV host Maria Menounos (left) shows her Patriots pride during Media Day on Tuesday. (Ben Liebenberg/NFL)

She was born a stone’s throw from Boston Garden in Medford, Mass. She was Miss Massachusetts Teen USA 1996. She worked at Dunkin’ Donuts, for crying out loud. She’s the real deal.

This explains why Menounos is walking around the field at Media Day in a signed Tom Brady jersey. She’s here with “Entertainment Tonight,” but she’s been coming to this event since 2001.

“There are more girls running around with Patriots jerseys than there were back then,” she said. “I remember being hissed at by the media for taking sides.”

Maria Menounos: Journalistic trailblazer.

Menounos is in the Matt Damon stratosphere of celebrities with legit Boston sports roots. I asked her if she’s met another entertainer who equals her fervent Patriots fandom.

“It’s not like we’re all next to each other trying to find out what someone knows and how much someone doesn’t,” she said with a chuckle, “but I love my team and I’m so excited to be with them again this year.”

With that, she touched my arm and said goodbye. It’s pathetic how much this made my day.

— Dan Hanzus

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