I know I’m not the only one out there, a week before Super Bowl LV, lamenting the fact I have to watch Tom Brady play again.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers were supposed to take care of business and send Brady and his Buccaneers packing in the NFC Championship Game a weekend ago. I was convinced for a whole lotta reasons—almost as many as why I’m sick of Brady’s brilliance—why the GOAT wasn’t going to reach his 10th Super Bowl. And I, a certified Tom Brady Hater, was going to revel in his defeat.
But I should’ve known better. Because here I am, ranting and raving like a sore loser about another nauseating Brady milestone—he will become the oldest quarterback in NFL history to start a Super Bowl two Sundays from now—when so many others are celebrating his incredible accomplishments or marveling at the sustained excellence of the 43-year-old QB.
I can’t do it. And I’m not going to hide it. As a card-carrying member of the Tom Brady Haters Association, I can’t stand that I have to watch Brady AGAIN on the game’s biggest stage. And I have no idea how he’s still doing it. What I’d really love to know is when his deal with the Devil expires. Or where I can sign up for one that offers the most charmed professional sports existence, possibly ever, because, Jesus Fucking Christ, how does one guy playing the ultimate team sport always come out on top? I don’t know how much more of it I can take.
For the record, there are a lot of great reasons why I’ve been sick of TB12 and why seeing him excel at his absurd age grates me. Let’s start with the fact I’m—sadly, embarrassingly, deplorably—a forever frustrated Jets fan who suffered for 20 seasons watching Brady and the former “HC of the NYJ,” Bill Belichick, team up to dominate a division, a conference, and an entire league like no other coach-quarterback combo in history. Brady clowned the Jets more times than I can reasonably count and, other than one playoff game in 2010, his sustained excellence meant the Jets never had a chance in the division or the AFC. If Belichick is Public Enemy No. 1A to the Gang Green faithful, Brady’s 1B.
But Brady’s forever annoyed me in other ways. Even if I wasn’t a Jets fan, I mean, who likes a guy who always wins? That ain’t natural. He takes a bad L roughly once every five years and has emerged victorious so consistently it almost feels like the NFL’s rigged in his favor. Does he have dirt on Roger Goodell that we don’t know about?
All I’m asking for is a little variety from a league that’s supposed to pride itself on parity unlike the other major North American professional sports.
Some of his most high profile wins, it should be noted, can reasonably be traced to alleged instances of cheating, such as Spygate and Deflategate. Or dumb fucking luck. How absurdly fortunate was he back in 2002 when we all were introduced to the Tuck Rule out of nowhere? Or when an offsides call in the AFC Championship Game a few seasons back negated a game-ending pick? Or Sunday’s NFC Championship Game where Brady threw three second-half interceptions, yet the Buccaneers still won on the road—special shoutout to the cowardly Matt LeFleur. TB12 is actually 3-1(!?!?!) when he throws three picks in a playoff game. Luck like that would make a leprechaun puke.
Who can stand a guy who barks at the referee every time he gets touched—not even thrown down to the ground, or tackled, I’m talking touched—by a defensive player? Or what about all the tantrums he's thrown on the sidelines directed at his coaches or teammates? Brady gets deified for it while others get vilified. And how is the guy batting 1.000 on QB sneaks for his career when he’s less mobile than some nursing home residents?
Listen, don’t want to get it twisted—I respect the hell outta Brady because he is unequivocally the greatest quarterback of all time, despite all the above bullshit. Yeah, he may have an Uggs sponsorship, but the man has sartorial swagger and I’ve never heard anyone say he’s a bad guy away from the football field. While Boston beat writers can tell me otherwise, he’s generally very gracious and affable with the media and he's almost always conducted himself in exemplary fashion off the field. Assuming he’s changed his mind about supporting our former Cheetos dusted commander-in-chief, I can’t really criticize Brady.
I really just want new blood playing under the bright lights and getting some shine instead of Brady. I don’t want to see the same character in the Super Bowl basically every other year. Brady’s had three lifetimes worth of success and accolades. He’s great. He’s an all-timer. He’s a living legend. We’ve known that. I want the guys who haven’t been there or barely been there—Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, even Russell Wilson and Rodgers again—to get some turns.
Soon enough I’m sure I’ll get sick of Patrick Mahomes because as much fun as he is to watch now, I absolutely do not want to see him in 10 big games over the course of what’s likely going to be a record-breaking career. Only 25, Mahomes is awesome, and he’s genuinely a guy you can root for. Plus, he's pretty good in all the commercials he stars in. But if I keep seeing him year in and year out dominating, you know what’s coming.
All I’m asking for is a little variety from a league that’s supposed to pride itself on parity unlike the other major North American professional sports. The more I watch the NFL, the more I hate it with all the replays, the inconsistent officiating, how the game’s rules overwhelmingly favor the offense, and how I long ago lost an appetite for the violence that is no longer glorified yet still remains part of the game. Processing all of that and then watching the same guy win ALL THE TIME gets old real quick. Unlike, unfortunately, Tom Brady.