He won three Super Bowl rings and brought Boston football to prominence.
He has the most playoff wins of all time.
He’s etched his name in the record books with some of the best players to ever play the game.
He’s hated everywhere for his amazing life, his good looks, his supermodel wife and the fact that he wins all the time.
But today, Tom Brady has two things in common with me, a worthless snark-ass blogger. One, we’re both going to watch the Super Bowl rather than play in it. Two, we don’t look manly on waterslides.
Your Favorite Player is Tom Brady, and he sucks.
This will probably be the hardest YFPS I’ve ever written, because I’m arguing against a mountain of evidence to the contrary. How can Tom Brady suck? He’s got all that stuff I mentioned in the open, plus tons of other stuff most Americans don’t have, like good hair and the ability to have someone killed with just one phone call. He’s always in the playoffs, perpetually playing for the right to go to the Super Bowl, and can even will his team there on a down year, which this clearly was.
But eventually you have to start adjusting your standards over time.
It’s clear that three early Super Bowl rings will forever serve as a pillow fort that Brady can hide in when there are any potential hits to his legacy. “Oh, you haven’t won anything since 2004?” “THREE RINGS!” “Wow, you lost to the Giants? Twice?” “THREE RINGS!” “Seriously, what dude advertises for Uggs?” “WHATEVER THREE RINGS!” Everyone was talking about the impending hit Peyton Manning’s legacy would take if he lost to the Patriots on Sunday, but no one even stopped to consider that Brady’s reputation as a winner could and should suffer as well.
Since those three rings, the last of which was during George W. Bush’s first term in office, Brady has been to four conference championship games. He’s gone 2-2 in those games, and 0-2 in the resulting Super Bowls. He’s gone 9-8 in the playoffs. He threw 19 interceptions in those 17 games after throwing 3 in his first 9 playoff games. Clearly these are just a bunch of numbers that say “well, er, um, Brady hasn’t won the big one in a while.” And yeah, that’s true. But let’s look at Peyton’s numbers since the same time, shall we?
Peyton Manning is 8-6 in 14 playoff games and has been to three conference championship games since 2004, winning all three. He’s 1-1 in the two Super Bowls so far. Granted, he threw 14 interceptions in 14 games, so his turnover rate isn’t immaculate either. But for all the shit that people talk about Peyton’s career and legacy, he’s gotten it done just as much as Tom has in the past decade.
If you’re Joe (Flacco) Schmoe quarterback, Brady’s numbers are probably enough to get you by as a very good quarterback. But if you’re Tom Brady? That isn’t enough, and shouldn’t be enough. You’re supposed to keep winning because you have before. That’s the standard Brady’s play dictates, and he hasn’t lived up to it since Hoobastank’s “The Reason” was blowing up the charts.
It’s easy to say that the Patriots haven’t been good enough as a team to win recently, but one look at the 2008 team proves that’s wrong. And people were making a big deal about his losing all of his weapons this year, but this is the same guy who went 14-2 throwing half of his touchdowns to David Patten and Daniel Graham.
But Tom Brady doesn’t just suck because he hasn’t won as much as he used to. He sucks because at times this year, he actually looked like an average quarterback. And again, when you’re touted as one of the best quarterbacks of all time, you can’t be throwing balls to Julian Edelman that Calvin Johnson couldn’t reach. You can’t miss your receivers consistently by ten yards a few times a game. But this is what Brady has done this year, and particularly on Sunday against Denver. Earlier this year, we blamed rookie receivers because, well, they were terrible. But Brady still showed signs of slowing down this year. He obviously put it together enough to put up respectable stats, although his passer rating was its lowest since his early years.
Again, Brady hasn’t lived up to his own standards since that record-breaking season in 2008. And he definitely hasn’t done in this year. It’s impressive that he got this far with his limitations, but when you won as often as he did, it’s hard to be satisfied with two straight AFC Championship losses.
What baffles me is that this league is epitomized by the phrase “What Have You Done for Me Lately?” People forgot Aaron Rodgers is an amazing quarterback because he was hurt this year. People seemed surprised the Saints made the playoffs this year because they weren’t there last year, completely forgetting the reason why they weren’t. Philip Rivers might win Comeback Player of the Year in ridiculous fashion because he sucked for a couple of years and now doesn’t suck in a new system. We all care about the here and now when it comes to sports.
So why haven’t we killed Brady for his lack of continued championship success?
Maybe I’m just being bitter, expressing my jealousy over Tom’s amazing life. Maybe when you’ve won three, you don’t have to do anything ever again. Maybe he’ll ride on the success of those three rings forever, and no one else will ever question his legacy.
But let me ask you something. If you were sitting on a streetcorner, smoking a cigarette, and some dude danced by wearing a Tampa Bay Bucs Super Bowl championship shirt, crowing about Warren Sapp and Mike Alstott, wouldn’t you think he’s ridiculous? Wouldn’t you tell him to stop living in the past? Wouldn’t you put your cigarette out on his arm?
I know I would. I’d gladly take those 180 days of community service. Because I live in 2014, not in 2001, 2003, or 2004. Maybe in those days, and even in the years after it, it would be blasphemous to question Tom Brady. Some people might still feel that way; I’m preparing to brace myself for the letter coming from the city of Boston.
Tom Brady will definitely be in the Top 5 discussion of best quarterbacks of all time. His three rings will always trump any negative things you have to say. He was on top of the world in the early part of this century.
But that was then. This is 2014. And in 2014, Tom Brady sucks.