Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Worth a Thousand Words

I have never understood the hatred for Tom Brady.  I hear the arguments. 

None of which hold much weight or water when at all looked at objectively, to me.

In one of my favorite responses of all time, when asked by a reporter why people hated him, he said (with a sarcastic smile) "Because I'm good looking, I'm successful and I have a hot wife."

Hilarious and also much of the reason.

To me Tom Brady is THE interesting figure in football.  And the one I root for more than any other, save maybe Tim Tebow.

Tebow is famous for his "pose" of praying during a game.  Something some people never seemed to get and made into a sort of joke.

This picture from the last Super Bowl is also getting attention.  It is Brady just after a heart breaking moment.  And again, people don't get it.  They seem to revel in it.  They even are now calling this pose Bradying as opposed to Tebowing to have some more fun with their most hated QB in defeat.

It is a picture that makes me like the guy even more.

The man cares.  A LOT.  How would you not want that in an athlete?  Think about it.  Brady has multiple MVP awards, multiple Super Bowl MVPS, records, (he set one even this last game)

Only 4 quarterbacks have 3 super bowl titles or more.  He is one.  He has made it to 5 Super Bowls, tied for the most ever.  But its a case of what have you done for me lately.  Well lately he just took a not very strong team all the way to the Super bowl and came within a whisker of beating a superior team. 

Not a bad year really.

I don't care their regular season records. I have eyes. They won games with mirrors all year long.  And that biggest magician was their quarterback.

If he had never gotten to the game, his reputation would be more intact in many peoples eyes.  This is media stupidity at its highest level.

Brady makes a lot of money.  He has accomplished about all there is to accomplish in his profession.  And he still wants more.  His drive and desire to win is more than most people can understand.  And that's why this picture of a man defeated to me shows strong character.  Character I would want on my team.

The thing is, there are only a few like him now.  Used to be, many athletes seemed this driven.  Not true and definitely not anymore.  How did many of the losing Patriots react after losing?  Some went out and partied after.  I'm not saying that's a wrong reaction, but often after a huge game look closely to the players.  They are smiling and laughing and  cutting up with the players that just defeated them.  Right on the field.  Fact is, they make a ton of money playing a game, and so what if they lost a huge game.  No big deal.

But Brady doesn't have that switch.  His new teammate, Chad Ochocincho said he was "worried" about Brady when the playoffs started because he takes it all so seriously.  Taking ones job seriously?  Hmm.

The true greats that possess this drive are almost OCD with their goals.  Maybe they are exactly OCD.

I will never forget Larry Bird, as a head coach, being interviewed in the hallway immediately after his Pacers lost the Championship to the Bulls.  They got so close.  Closer to winning than anyone thought possible.  Bird was Coach of the Year that year.  He only increased his legend.  A man that had accomplished almost everything in his sport.  And the interviewer said "how long will it take to get over this loss?"  Bird's answer; "Never.  I will never be over this."  You could tell he meant it.

How do we not respect the people that give us so much joy, that we wish we could do their job, and yet they leave nothing on the field.  They can't be criticized for not giving it their all.  They give you as a fan everything they have.  Brady does that time and again, to the point it seems like you want him to stop.

Some athletes like Brady will tell you they remember the defeats more so than the victories.  The footage of Brady in disbelief at what he had just accomplished after his first Super Bowl win, is incredibly touching to see.  It can only be a very powerful drug to desire that feeling again.  To put your body through surgery and rehab just for the chance.   

I will never forget another interview I saw once.  A few years back, Tom Brady had just won his 3rd Super Bowl and was on top of the world.  And he told the interviewer there was something missing in his life, he just wasn't sure what it was. 

My mouth probably hit the floor.

This is some kind of Greek Warrior character worthy of great literature.  He fascinates me.  I hope he finds or has now found what was missing.  There is only one player I'd want to build my team around in the NFL.  And he just lost the Super Bowl.  And to me his legend grew larger.
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