You Don’t Hate Brady’s Game…

Let’s get a few things straight about Tom Brady. He’s really good looking. I don’t mean attractive, I mean that he’s good looking enough that your eyes don’t naturally “bounce off” of him after spotting him.

Aside from having a square jaw and a noble forehead, Brady also has straight teeth and a head of hair thick enough to make a Baldwin look like a Bolton. He’s also 6’4″, and has the forearms of a pipe fitter.

He’s so handsome that you can photograph him with a goat and still sell the pictures for money.

That’s not to say that he’s often photographed with unattractive creatures. Generally he’s photographed alongside his ridiculously good looking wife, who just happens to be celebrated internationally for helping Victoria become the world’s worst kept secret.

They are both successful, wealthy, and powerful in their own right. Together they are an empire of fashion, beauty, and fortune. They are the American equivalent of David and Victoria Beckham.

Which is why it’s interesting that much of America is not thrilled with the prospect that Tom Brady might win his fourth Super Bowl today. In fact, the pairing of Brady’s New England Patriots versus the New York Giants in Super Bowl 46 has been met with nearly 2 weeks of underwhelming malaise.

Not many wanted to see this rematch and when you ask them why, they’ll usually invoke their “distaste” for Tom Brady and the Patriots.

In fact, the only real excitement about today’s game has been the odd groundswell of support for the previously ignored or reviled Giant Quarterback, Eli Manning.

While he isn’t ugly, Eli doesn’t pass the “bounce test” in the way Brady does. He is also married to a beautiful woman, but he doesn’t quite have the charm of his nemesis.

He has no poker face, and often looks like a petulant chimpanzee.

He has been successful, but until last week no one thought of him as a winner.

People are embracing him because “he’s not Tom Brady.”

Tom Brady is the NFL’s most successful Quarterback since Joe Montana. He’s the only quarterback since Troy Aikman to win 3 Super Bowls, and he is statistically far superior. He holds the NFL record for touchdown passes in a season, a mark most people still think is Peyton Manning’s.

So why do we hate him so much?

There are really only a handful of actual criticisms that can be lobbed his direction:

-He Fumbled against the Raiders in the 2001 AFC championship game, only to be bailed out by some wonky rules that have since been changed.

-His coach, Bill Bellichek, is a known rule breaker AND WORSE; his irascible and curmudgeonly attitude make him a bad celebrity.

-He’s a “System Quarterback” who’s success is largely due to the offense that he plays in- as opposed to his athleticism or skill.

-He broke up with a pregnant Bridget Moynahan and their 2 year relationship ended acrimoniously.

Examining these arguments reveals evidence that hating Tom Brady isn’t something that “should” or “must” be done, but rather is “chosen” because of a less socially acceptable motive.

Brady’s rise to success didn’t happen because the officials blew a call. It happened because Brady was successful during the plays immediately following the reversed fumble. The blown call didn’t give him the win. Brady’s play after the call did that. The mistake belonged to the officials, not Brady.

Bill Bellichek doesn’t have to be nice, and therefore isn’t nice to the public. Tom Brady also doesn’t have to be nice to the public, but is. The error here belongs to Bellichek, not Brady.

Every successful quarterback who has ever played, plays in a “system” that accentuates what they do best. What people are trying to say when they say “system quarterback” is that they believe the Bellichek/Brady system is illegitimate because it’s not traditional.

This was also true of the Walsh/Montana “West Coast system” that brought 4 Championships to San Francisco during the 1980’s, and has become standard in the NFL.

While it’s true that neither Brady or Montana are the athletes that John Elway was, their success is no less legitimate because they had better coaches.

Brady and Moynahan chose to break up because THEY didn’t want to be together anymore despite the pregnancy. Tom didn’t tie her to the railroad tracks and run off twisting his moustache. People who are angry CHOOSE to leave one another.

So why do we hate him?

I’d suggest that is has more to do with an envious feeling that Brady “has it all” than him being a lothario. I suggest that people hate Brady because he has everything they want to have, but lack.

He’s too successful for us to relate to.

That’s why we want him to stop winning now, but celebrated his unlikely Super Bowl win 12 years ago.

Attention Haters:
Tom isn’t the best looking Quarterback to play the game. That award goes to Jesse Palmer, a man so handsome that it hurts your eyes to look at him. He isn’t the richest either, that’s Peyton Manning. He doesn’t even have the most Super Bowl wins – Charles Haley with 5. We don’t hate these men, and we don’t have to hate Tom Brady.

Win or lose today, we are watching the best NFL Quarterback since Joe Montana. We can enjoy watching his play for what it is, not what WE don’t have, and if you need a Brady to hate on…

…hate on Bobby Brady, the school “safety monitor” and family tattle-tale.

Bobby was a prankster who lived in a fantasy world where he was a race car driver and an astronaut.

Plus he got to play catch with actual Quarterback lothario Joe Namath… or maybe I’m just envious.

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