Tom Brady is better than this.
Or maybe he isn’t. Maybe, just like the rest of us, Tom Brady is petty and vindictive. Maybe he needs to embellish and/or fabricate “haters” in order to continue to work as hard as he does, to deny himself hamburgers and fries and ice cream made with the usual ingredients and beer and bourbon and tequila and schnapps.
Whatever the reason, Brady posted a one-minute video on Wednesday that compiled various criticisms of his performance and his age. The words (from folks like Cam Jordan, Shannon Sharpe, Chris Simms, Max Kellerman) combine with video clips from Super Bowl LV, headlines from newspapers and website, and tweets from random users.
To make it not only about Brady, he included tweets and headlines criticizing Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, and Leonard Fournette. Brady said in the tweet accompanying the video, “I love talk radio.”
Generally speaking, Brady should. Talk radio constantly promotes him, his team, and his sport. Talking about actual performances from past games and speculating on expected performances in future games makes the listener more likely to watch the games, which in turn helps the sport generate more money.
That said, anyone can find a minute’s worth of criticism from a full year of football. Anyone. Because everyone eventually has a down performance. Brady had some. His teammates had some. Everyone had some. (The video makes no reference to Brady’s “Isn’t it fourth down now?” moment against the Bears.)
The one-minute of criticism becomes counterbalanced by the hours of praise. Incessant praise. Over-the-top praise. Unwarranted praise.
Although Brady played very well in the Super Bowl, the Bucs didn’t win because they scored 31 points. They won because the Chiefs scored only nine points. If a shootout had happened, Kansas City would have been more likely to win.
Moreover, if Brady and Patrick Mahomes had flipped teams, the Bucs still would have won — and possibly by more than 22 points. Then there’s the reality that, if the Tampa Bay defense hadn’t stepped on a rake in Week 12, the Tampa Bay defense would have walked into a buzzsaw in the Super Bowl.
Yes, Brady is the best quarterback of all time. Yes, he’s the greatest player of all time, at any position. Yes, it’s entirely possible that he’ll eventually have as many Super Bowl rings as he has fingers. Amazingly, some are actually suggesting (albeit incorrectly) that the spongy guy in boxer shorts from the 2000 Scouting Combine could be the greatest athlete of all time.
That, along with the supermodel wife and hundreds of millions in joint assets, should be enough for Brady. Apparently, it’s not. Apparently, he’s just like the rest of us. Apparently, he still needs actual or perceived slights from those whose opinions don’t matter to light his fire.