This is sort of a tough question. The other day I was talking with a few friends about the whole Brady/Patriots saga that has reared its head since the end of last years’ Super Bowl. I don’t like to talk about that Super Bowl but it is what it is. More painful than the game, however, has been listening to every talking head or radio host skewer and shit pump every morsel of news coming out of Gillette and turn it into a “story.”
That’s just the media though. I’ve lived in New England my entire life so I should be used to this sort of behavior by now but every now and then you fall victim to it. This is currently verging on one of those times.
During the off-season, I’ve found myself hating the Patriots and/or Brady at points. Belichick’s Malcolm Butler call is unforgivable in my opinion and I actually committed a pretty good blog to it. Furthermore, Belichick is unlikable. If the guy wasn’t so God damn successful, people around here wouldn’t put up with him. That’s why when he royally screws something up on the biggest stage in American sports like this, I feel it’s completely warranted to overreact.
On the other hand, I’ve never really questioned Brady. He’s always been a “good dog.” He went through that whole phase from 2006-around 2011 where I understood why people outside New England hated him. The hair, the clothes, the bitchy attitude, the screaming at refs whenever a D-lineman sneezed in his area code. I got that.
Outside of that span, however, I can’t honor that train of thought. The whole “cheating” narrative is such a fucking cop out. Everyone fucking cheats. The only difference is he never technically got caught. He wasn’t juicing like the rest of the league. He may have deflated footballs. Shove it up your ass…
That said, I’m in a weird spot with Brady right now and I shouldn’t be. The guy did everything he could’ve and more in that last Super Bowl. That offense was burning oil that game. Brady was intoxicating and you literally CANNOT expect more from a 40-year-old athlete.
Still, something’s just weird. I’ve always knew Brady was a weirdo, but he’s our weirdo. That kiss from the Tom Vs. Time documentary was just something I had to eat. There’s absolutely no reasonably justification for the length of that kiss with his son. Cringe-worthy stuff, but not necessarily why I’m worried.
The reason I’m worried is the fact he still hasn’t attended OTA’s and he’s currently throwing footballs off yachts in Monaco. If any other athlete—especially one that’s pushing 41 years of age—did this, I’d be fine. But not Brady.
Say what you want but that IS Brady’s brand. His whole narrative has revolved around that first one in/last one out mantra. He’s glided on that for the last two decades. It’s what sets him apart from other guys, both from a character, as well as a production standpoint. It’s why I think he’s so God damn valuable. Having a guy with that attitude as the face of your roster diminishes a coach’s responsibilities significantly.
Between taking pay cuts and busting ass in September, there’s just too much for a coach to love there. Normally, a coach has to set that precedent. They need to reinforce effort, commitment, and obedience on the rookies. When you first show up to practice at Gillette, that precedent is already set. And it just so happens to be set by the guy who pulls the strings under center on Sunday.
So yeah, I’m worried. That said, I’m worried every year. This is different, but while things constantly shift in New England, a divisional title and trip to the Super Bowl remains the expectation. Expectations have a lot of pull around here and I’d be foolish to assume otherwise. My trust’s with 12…