Some writers prefer grinding axes when it comes to Tom Brady. These writers all command considerably more per word than a freelancer like me. For some odd reason, they can also focus their features on elements that are, IMHO, totally irrelevant when it comes to TB12.
Writers like Chuck Klosterman don’t care to deal in honest representations of other people—especially NFL quarterbacks. Instead, they fill their pieces with throwaway lines, in discussing arguably, the greatest player to ever play the position. What is he talking about when he writes, “It’s [the quarterback position] the only position in sports that racists still worry about.”?
To be fair, Klosterman leads with the admission that he considers Brady as “the greatest quarterback in NFL history,” but then he immediately backpedals, makes a number of insinuations, and then generally tries to carry out the same kind of “hit” on Brady that much of the rest of NFL Nation fans has been carrying out most of the summer and can’t let go of—basically, that he’s a “cheater.”
WEEI regular Kirk Minihane and Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com were speculating last week that Klosterman was paid $7,500 to $10,000 for the GQ feature that was more about him than it was about breaking new ground on Brady. There are other Boston media types that took issue with the Klosterman piece, also.
But I don’t really give two shits about what Klosterman got paid by GQ or even that he didn’t get his agreed upon time with Brady. That’s never been where my interest lies when considering the 16-year veteran of the New England Patriots, and why I decided to jump back into following the Patriots and their all-world QB.
As I’ve detailed, I’m late to the party on Brady, Belichick, and the Patriots. That doesn’t mean I’ve been living in a remote cave outside Kandahar, either—what it means is that I haven’t followed all the minutia that fans of any sport know intuitively and often take for granted. Now that I’m paying attention, I’m awestruck by TB12 and what he’s been able to accomplish, year-after-year, and this year, he seems to have turned back the clock. We’re talking about a 38-year-old quarterback playing like a 25-year-old, physically, but with all the acquired wisdom that comes from thousands of snaps back of center during the heat of battle, not to mention his cerebral qualities.
Sunday night’s game against Denver was a grind for Brady. With his receiver corps depleted by injuries, his patchwork quilt of an offensive line requiring him to unload the football quickly, and TPTB of the NFL conspiring against him and his mates, one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever strap them on nearly pulled off another late game miracle. I truly believe that if Gronkowski doesn’t leave the game with what appeared to be a serious knee injury, Brady would have been victorious. But, we’ll never know for sure.
Despite the loss, and given the removal of key players due to injury, Brady came within a whisker of leading the Pats to an improbable victory. Only Chris Harper’s inability to properly field a punt, the play that the game turned on, prevented New England from leaving Denver with an unblemished 11-0 record. If you have Amendola returning punts, he calls for a fair catch, or makes the return and the Pats drive the ball down the field. Instead, Harper’s fumble resulted in Denver getting the ball and cutting the lead to 21-14.
I don’t know what the protocol is with the league and their players when it comes to the media. I also don’t know what each team’s agreement is in making players available to local media outlets. But the morning after on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan program, Tom Brady is always there, answering questions about the previous game that occurred the day/night before. For some reason, he trusts the morning guys.
Could he shirk his duties? I’m sure he could, since professional athletes have before. With the game ending after midnight, and after a four hour flight back to Boston, Brady was likely speaking to the morning hosts with little or no sleep.
As usual, he was gracious, answering the questions he is able to answer, and when he can’t, he’s never surly. He was no different Monday morning around 7:15 a.m., after experiencing what he self-described as one of the toughest losses of his career. Brady said, “It was a very hard loss. I don’t think I’ve ever been so visibly pissed off after a loss.”
But what stood out to me was the following response from Brady.
“Every game you play, you learn stuff from. You take whatever lessons you learn from the wins and losses and you move forward later in the year.” If that isn’t the crux of the recipe for success, I don’t know what is. Yes, you learn from winning, but you are apt to learn more from adversity, especially if you have the requisite character to absorb those lessons. Brady surely does.
Brady went on, “our season is what we make of it…this is when football season starts.”
Spoken like the true leader that he is.