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The Dark Brady Rises

“You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

That’s a quote from The Dark Knight, my favorite movie ever, spoken by Harvey Dent. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this quote could be used to describe Tom Brady. Do I think he’s a villain? Quite the opposite. Ask anyone about me and they’ll say that I am the biggest Tom Brady fan there is. The scary thing is that there is a segment out there, a small segment, of media personalities and Patriot fans that do think that Tom Brady has become the villain. And villain not in the sense that the 31 other fan bases hate him but villain in the sense that Patriot fans are sick of him. Villain might be too strong but there has been a very vocal negative reaction to Brady that has been going on the past year.

We all know Brady’s credentials. Five time Super Bowl champion. Four time Super Bowl MVP. Three time NFL MVP. The Greatest Quarterback of All Time. You would think that would grant an athlete total immunity in this town but, somehow, it hasn’t. I know it’s small segment that has become anti Brady but the things these whack jobs say on the radio are just to crazy. Tony Massarotti is Public Enemy Number One in my eyes as he’s screaming on that radio that he’s “lost respect” for Brady. Really? Because he missed a few days of spring practice? Because he  wrote a book? Because he did a Facebook reality show? Because he did an interview with Oprah? We saw on the Facebook series that Brady is a workout machine. The days he wasn’t at spring practice I don’t think he was sitting on his couch and eating donuts. Granted he was out the country but I’m sure he found time to workout. Give me a break, Mazz.

There has been certain disease going around for the past few years that I thought was only contracted by the Patriots haters who honestly think Brady cheated during DeflateGate. I call it “Brady Derangement Syndrome”. It means that anything Brady does causes the person to act irrationally. To go on twitter or the radio and say you lost respect for Brady or always accuse Brady of being a cheater because he beats your favorite team every week. But now this disease has seeped into Boston. Fans have gone nuts because he did a Facebook reality show. Fans have gone nuts over the TB12 Method. Brady has always put the team in front of himself his entire career and the first time he does a couple things to promote his brand and do something for himself, a portion of the fan base rips him for it. He wrote a book and did a Facebook reality show, doesn’t seem like it affected him one bit. If the Pats had gone 10-6 and Brady looked his age, than maybe I’d say these things have been a distraction but they didn’t. They went 13-3, Brady won MVP, went back to the Super Bowl, and if not for a horrific defensive performance, (which still gives me nightmares), they win the Super Bowl. Oh, and he threw for 505 yards in the Super Bowl.

Trust me, I’m one of the biggest Patriots homers on the planet and I’ll admit that things were weird with them this year. From the whole Alex Guerrero drama, which has led to reported tension between Brady and Bill Belichick, to the trade of Jimmy Garoppolo for a second round pick, to decision to not play Malcom Butler at in the Super Bowl. With all that going, they still came within a few minutes of winning the Super Bowl. Let’s address these issues one at a time.

In my perfect fantasy world, Brady and Belichick are best friends and they will go off into the sunset together. Reality is a different story. I don’t think it’s as bad as everyone makes it out to be. I don’t think they hate each other but they clearly don’t love one another. It’s very much a boss and employee relationship. I think they agree on a lot of stuff and probably disagree on a lot of stuff. Obviously they disagree on the importance of Alex Guerrero. He’s Brady’s guru but he probably stepped on the toes of the team trainers, Bill’s guys, so Belichick regulated it where he can only work Brady at Gillette and if any other players need to see him, they have to go to the TB12 clinic at Patriot Place. They probably still meet once a week, as we saw in Belichick’s A Football Life documentary, but outside of that they don’t speak much. Brady is close with Josh McDaniels and he acts as the buffer between coach and quarterback. I think that they both know that they need each other. Brady needed Belichick to be the best ever and Belichick needed Brady to reach the heights that he’s gotten to.

A lot of this drama is centered around one man who only started two games for the Patriots. The apple of everyone’s eye. Jimmy G. The original plan when Jimmy was drafted before the 2014 season was for him to be the successor. No one knew, however, that Brady would end up playing the best football of career when Jimmy showed up. Jimmy being here gave Brady an extra motivational boost at that point in his career. The idea that Brady had something to do with Jimmy getting traded is laughable. That Brady went to Robert Kraft and said he wanted him gone is laughable. Brady, who went from fifth on the depth chart to starter at Michigan, who beat out Drew Bledsoe his second year in the league, who is one of the most competitive athletes of all time, is scared of Jimmy G and demanded he be traded? Again, give me a break. Brady ruined the plan by being so good and we’ll never know why Belichick only got a second round pick from San Francisco. Personally, I thought they would’ve held onto to him and franchise him and try to trade him this off season but all the leverage would be out window because teams know Belichick has to trade him. Maybe that was the best deal out there but we’ll never know cause Belichick sure ain’t gonna talk about it.

Another thing we’ll never know is why Malcom Butler didn’t play in the Super Bowl. Malcom admitted that he had an awful week of practice before the game so that makes sense why he didn’t play in the first half. HOWEVER (Stephen A voice), what doesn’t make sense is why Malcom didn’t play in the second half. My take- Bill Belichick can be stubborn and he said “screw it. Things usually workout for me in the end”. And they usually do. Brady almost saved his ass but fell just short. That adds to the Brady/Belichick drama. The idea that not playing their second best corner cost them their sixth championship together. You’d be mad too if you were Brady.

Does this mean the dynasty is over and the Patriots won’t compete for Super Bowls anymore? In a word- no. As long as Brady and Belichick are standing, the Pats will be in the mix for championships. Let’s knock it off with the Brady hate though. He’s the greatest quarterback ever, the greatest NFL player ever, and, in my opinion, the greatest Boston athlete ever. I want more Instagram videos and Facebook shows. We all want to see our favorite players off the field and he’s my favorite player. In the 80s people would’ve killed for clips of Larry Bird off the court. It’s not going to hurt his play. He won MVP last year. Just sit back and enjoy the ride because it’s never going to be this good ever again. Because he’s the hero we deserve and the hero we need.

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