Wednesday, January 30, 2019


Look, the Super Bowl is on Sunday, and I know some of you are sitting it out and that’s fine. But this appeal is directed towards those of you who are going to watch the game anyway and root against the Patriots. First of all, how can you root against a team called the Patriots? ABT- anyone but Tom? Really? That’s nearly as bad as Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Secondly, don’t people like underdogs anymore? Oh sure, I know, the Patriots aren’t your classic underdog team with all of their Super Bowl trips/wins, and Tom is certainly not considered an underdog in life’s lottery anymore, but that wasn’t always the case.

Image result for tom brady youngTom Brady, 1991

In college he was an underdog quarterback – from a school that sports writers have never liked - and was still an underdog when he finally got drafted into the NFL.

Tom Brady looked nothing like an NFL quarterback at the league’s pre-draft combine in 2000. His legs were the size of toothpicks, and his college resume consisted of being a benchwarmer who struggled to keep the starting job once he finally won it.

“You wouldn’t recognize this guy,” said Gil Brandt, the longtime NFL personnel guru. “He was really chicken-chested.”

Brady was drafted by the New England Patriots in the sixth round, bulked up, and made a remarkable transformation from forgettable prospect to generational star. A brief history of his career since includes ranking near the top of nearly every all-time passing statistic, winning more playoff games than any quarterback in league history and taking home five Super Bowl wins.

So why do people hate him so? Is it because he’s rich, married a gorgeous model, has a lovely family and appears to be happy? Just like Trump.

Image result for tom brady

Or is it because of '”Deflategate,” a trumped up charge *ahem* designed to make us believe Tom is an illegitimate winner? The primary proof of this “settled science” appears to be the (winning) science fair project of a 10 year old named Ace Davis. Aside: what kind of parent names his kid “Ace” anyway?

Or is it that America has just gotten tired of winners? That seems rather petty. Especially when you consider some of the people who are Tom Brady and Bill Belichick haters. 

Image result for daniel radcliffeDaniel Radcliffe, Hogwart High’s most famous alumni

Daniel Radcliffe stopped by the Variety Studio at Sundance presented by AT&T, where he delivered a special message to Patriots quarterback and Trump supporter Tom Brady.

“Take that MAGA hat out your locker…the whole world is rooting against the Patriots,” Radcliffe quipped after explaining that though Brady shouldn’t retire, he should “stop winning things.”  - Variety

That’s rich, coming from a guy most famous for playing a graduate from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – talk about cheating! And a Brit at that, where they think soccer is football.

I don’t know, maybe America just doesn’t like winners anymore because it’s hard to argue that Brady isn’t a winner. Even though he’s older and not quite as agile as he once was he’s learned how to compensate.

Brady has adjusted his game to compensate for all the things that a quarterback loses as he ages. He makes up for decreased mobility and diminishing arm strength by throwing the ball quickly and short. He avoids injury the same way, and as a result is rarely hit.

And it seems to be working.

(Brady) completed 28.3% of his passes to running backs in 2018, the highest rate of his entire career. This came after he set career-highs in 2017, 2016 and 2015, too. He relies more and more on the player who begins the playstanding right next to him. – WSJ

Still, if you’re winning but you’re not the person others think should win there will be haters, hoards of them, out to get you. I guess that’s part of America too, everybody likes a success story, as long as you’re not too successful. Just ask our President if you don’t believe me.

Image result for tom brady

Oh and by the way, Coach Belichick holds a degree in economics. Unlike another famous econ major, he actually learned economic principles and uses them to to help him dominate the NFL.

Belichick, an economics major, is constantly looking to find market inefficiencies to exploit. He has had great success with quirky schematic innovations, but, for the most part, he takes tried and tested methods and adopts them.

The brilliance is in the timing. Belichick reintroduced the 3-4 defense to the league back in the early 2000s. When it got too popular (thanks to the Patriots’ success), he switched back to a 4-3, where he could unearth some cheap gems. He was also an early adopter (around 2011) of the up-tempo spread offense that’s become ubiquitous in 2018.

So maybe that’s why everybody hates New England: their coach outplays everyone by being unpredictable:

The head coach’s ability to zig while others zag has kept New England ahead of every team in the league for 18 years, and led to a mindboggling period of sustained success that should be impossible in a league that is designed for parity through a salary cap and draft system. Belichick’s genius lies in his refusal to wed himself to one overriding philosophy. He’s a shape-shifter, constantly evolving his team’s style – and that flexibility has been on show this season. - The Guardian

Sounds like somebody else we know.

Image result for donald trump

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s because I spent many a fall Saturday in Ann Arbor watching Tom Brady beat Michigan’s opponents on home turf but I think he’s a winner. And I think his coach is a winner too. And it somehow seems wrong to root against them.

Tom and PDJT - don’t count either of them out.

Image result for tom brady And there’s zero chance that either of them are going to go away just because a bunch of people don’t like them. That would be un-American. And neither of them are tired of winning yet.