Monday, February 5, 2018
You'd think a guy who has five Super Bowl rings wouldn't be so hard on himself after a loss, but Tom Brady was downright morose after the Eagles pulled off their first Super Bowl victory. I suppose he wanted to cap off a great season in which he won MVP for the third time, but it was not to be. The "journeyman" Nick Foles beat him at his own game, driving his Eagles the length of the field for the winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
The shame of it is that for all his accomplishments Tom Brady doesn't get the respect he thinks he deserves. Three years ago he had to suffer through the ignominy of "Deflategate." Not even a victory over Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX was able to wipe away the criticism over his under-inflated footballs. He appealed the charges against him, only to serve a four-game suspension at the start of the 2016 season.
Then came the "MAGA" cap incident, where Brady was caught with a Trump campaign hat in his locker. He tried hard to distance himself from this too, but to no avail, Brady became inextricably linked to Trump even when he chose not to attend a reception for the Patriots at the Trump White House after staging one of the most improbable comebacks in Super Bowl history, erasing a 25 point deficit against Atlanta.
Even 2017 was not without incident, as news spread that Brady wasn't happy at New England. For years he had foregone a massive contract extension so that Belichick could afford the supporting players he needed. News spread that Brady wanted to pull a Michael Jordan, demanding a one-year contract worthy of his spectacular accomplishments. Brady himself dismissed such talks, being the team player that he is. Still you had to wonder if it stung a little bit to see guys like Mathew Stafford, Derek Carr and Andrew Luck pulling in 25 mil per year while you had to settle for 20.5 million.
Brady is worth more than all those quarterbacks put together, but this time he couldn't overcome the controversy that was generated around him, losing the Super Bowl in the most ignominious of ways by having the ball stripped from him in what should have been his game-winning drive. He still had time to pull the game out, but his Hail Mary on the last play was batted away. This time the Patriots had to settle for second best.
His wife Giselle explained the loss to their heartbroken kids by saying, "Their whole life they never won a Super Bowl. You have to let someone else win sometimes." I'm sure that didn't go over too well with Eagles' fans.
Meanwhile, poor Tom struggled through his post-game interview as if he was the one who was always coming up short in life. You have to wonder what he is going to do with himself after he is eventually forced to retire, relive these losses?
Come on, Tom, any person would kill to be where you are in life. No quarterback has accomplished what you have in the NFL or probably ever will. Five Super Bowl rings is not something that is going to be matched by anyone in the foreseeable future. Nor, are they blessed with a supermodel wife and three lovely kids. Even if you are getting paid less than you are worth, you will be in demand for decades to come because everyone loves a winner. So, smile for god's sake!