In the battle of Tom vs. Time, I’m cheering for the clock.
Here’s hoping it strikes midnight before I have to watch New England’s Little Prince Perfect celebrate a sixth Super Bowl championship.
And while I’ll cop to the fact that I’m not exactly unbiased in my dislike of Tom Brady and his team, you’ve got to admit that the guy is becoming objectively insufferable.
Or did you miss the stupid Facebook ad that played at some point during the Patriots’ most recent demonstration that they are an unholy entity which can not be killed. At least not by something called Blake Bortles.
This is so incredibly lame on so many levels, the first being that the best football player of this generation – heck the best quarterback in history – has become the annoying dude who captions pictures #blessed when documenting examples of just how fabulous his life is.
The second thing is that Brady hasn’t just bought into the myths that have been created around him, he’s now actively perpetuating and profiting from them. This guy thinks that he’s the most successful because he’s sacrificed more than other players. Seriously. He says that in the clip.
“If you’re going to compete against me,” he says, “you better be willing to give up your life because I’m giving up mine.”
What a load of absolute hooey. He’s talking about giving up his life IN A VIDEO THAT INCLUDES HIS SUPERMODEL WIFE and what appear to be a pair of beautiful, healthy children.
He gave all of that up? Because if he did, I’d wonder first about his priorities.
But in reality, he’s just one more rich guy who thinks spending more time than he’d prefer at work – like 95 percent of the working men and women of this world – constitutes some biblical sacrifice that explains why he is better than everyone else.
Did he have to work unbelievably hard to achieve this? No doubt.
Does he work harder than most people would be willing to? Sure.
But there are plenty of people who’ve worked as hard as Brady – if not harder – and given up more than the guy who by all appearances has a truly great life and turned out to be lesser players.
It’s one thing to see him don the trappings of a self-help guru, hawking TB12 at your local bookstore and through the app store. That’s just being a businessman.
This Facebook video or reality TV show or whatever you want to call it is much more loathsome.
I’ll admit that I’ve never really liked Brady, which used to say way more about me than it did about him.
To start with, I’ve never cheered for the Patriots, and I don’t know exactly why. It’s just the way I felt. I was happy when the Bears stomped them back in the 1980s. Then there’s the fact that in spite of being a Husky, I always kind of sympathized with Drew Bledsoe. He was a really good quarterback – a borderline Hall of Famer – who got aced out of his job by the man who became the greatest of all-time. That’s kind of rough.
Not only that, but I’m the guy who likes a band more if I was listening to it first, and I was embarrassingly late to recognize Brady’s greatness. He had three Super Bowl rings before I realized that he was significantly more than just a good quarterback playing for a great coach who happened to have a penchant for fourth-quarter heroics.
But I never actively disliked Brady. At least not for the first 10 years of his career, and this was primarily for two reasons:
• Elwood Reid, a former Michigan football player and a fiction author I greatly admire, was Brady’s professor in an English 125 class at Michigan, and he spoke glowingly of the quarterback.
• A 2005 GQ story in which Brady chafed at the idea he was some special breed of human:
“I hate that golden-boy image!” he interjects. “I don’t look at myself like that at all! For me to believe I can’t do anything wrong, I think that’s all (expletive). I’m 27 years old, I go do the same (expletive) every 27-year-old guy does, I mean, I drink, I—”
– Search the Internet for porn?
“Everything,” he says. “I am no different.”
— “The Best There Ever Was?” GQ, Aug. 9, 2005
Now, this actually became a thing for about 5 minutes that year with people getting hung up on the tacit endorsement of pornography and what that might mean. But the point here wasn’t any specific vice so much as Brady’s resistance to the idea that he was better, more noble, than his peers because of his success on the field.
Contrast that to the absolutely insufferable message of that Facebook ad, and the underlying premise that people have any interest in hearing about how much he’s sacrificed even as he’s surrounded by the material spoils of an absolutely incredible life.
Maybe it was just a matter of time. That you can’t be as good as Brady is at football for as long as Brady has been this good at football without letting some of that success go to your head.
And on Sunday, he added another chapter as he played a game after suffering a cut on his throwing hand, completing two-thirds of his pass attempts and throwing for a pair of touchdowns as the Patriots came back from a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit yet again.
Afterward, Brady was asked if the cut bothered him.
His answer: “I think it kind of sounds arrogant to say, ‘Oh, yeah, it bothered me,’ when you have a pretty good game. So I won’t say it.”
No, Tom. Saying you were bothered by an injury during what was a pretty good game isn’t what makes you sound arrogant. The advertisement for your Facebook show was a much clearer demonstration of that.