In Tom We Trust

All anyone needs to know about today’s blog post can be summed up by the following statement and quote: “I love Tommy and you’re right, he’s a WINNER!” That’s from my sister, aka Aunt Tomato, from an email exchange we had about our weekends, when I mentioned the New England Patriots and Tom Brady’s Sunday performance.

I had mentioned to her that I spent Sunday afternoon painting some trim work around the windows of our house. Since it is now football season and I seem to be morphing into a football fan, I decided to tune in the Patriots Radio Network on my portable radio.

Actually, there are only a few reasons why I’ve chosen to follow football again this fall. The Patriots, Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady. The latter one is probably the biggest one.

Throw, Tommy, throw! Brady completing pass vs. Buffalo Bills. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Throw, Tommy, throw! Brady completing pass vs. Buffalo Bills. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Underdogs have always been an interest of mine. Being the defending Super Bowl champion doesn’t qualify the Patriots for “underdog status,” at least for most people. But, I’m not most football fans.

The last time I watched more than a few snaps of any National Football League game on television was likely 10 years ago, if not longer ago than that.

Baseball used to be my sport, but I’ve gravitated towards the NBA over the past decade. I’ve blogged about my interest in basketball, mainly the Boston Celtics. My post last month touched on my renewed interest in the Red Sox, at least for the remainder of the 2015 season and at least the first of 2016.

Deflategate was a subject I was sick of hearing about two days into the entire sordid mess. “Another reason to hate the G_D Damned NFL,” I told myself. Over time, however, my sentiment changed. So did my interest level.

Why the hell would the National Football League, and their commissioner, Roger Godell, go after the most successful team in recent history, and try to bring down one of its marquee players? It made no sense to me, and it still doesn’t. Again, I’m no homer when it comes to football because I didn’t give a damn about the game, and least of all, the NFL. I even refer to the Super Bowl as the “Stupid Bowl,” given it’s over-inflated (no pun intended) status as one of America’s premiere cultural events.

The more I read about it, however, along with the unique take on the affair, offered by friend of the JBE and frequent commenter, Loosehead Prop, the more the entire mess got my hackles up. I started listening to WEEI out of Boston again, for updates on Brady’s possible suspension and punishment.

I only watched a quarter of the Pats’ season-opening Thursday night win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. I did read the next day’s news stories and media storm, when Steelers’ coach, Mike Tomlin, tried to accuse the Patriots of cheating when the Steelers’ headsets malfunctioned during the first half of the opener.

While “haters gonna hate” when it comes to the Patriots, neither Bill Belichick (nor Tom Brady) have anything to do with the headsets used by coaches; that’s the domain of the NFL. Tomlin was probably just pissed that he was hearing Patriots’ color man, Scott Zolak and the Pats’ radio broadcast. Zolak is known to get pretty “gacked” during games and he may have had something less than favorable to say about Tomlin’s defense, like why wasn’t anyone on Rob Gronkowski?

The Steelers’ defense wasn’t up to the task against Brady and the New England offense, but Tomlin launched HeadsetGate, which last about two days and then died down. This from a coach who attempted to interfere with an opponent who had a clear path to a touchdown. He was fined $100,000 by the league

I’m sorry to see that his team rebounded against the 49’ers on Sunday. I would have loved Tomlin to be 0-2, or even better—0-16. Alas, that won’t happen.

This past week, it was Rex Ryan serving as the coaching foil to Belichick. Even Boston’s sports media seemed anxious and uptight about the Patriots taking to the road and playing at Buffalo, against Ryan’s revived Bills. The talk was about Buffalo’s fans being rabid, the Buffalo defensive front giving fits to New England’s inexperienced offensive line, and whether they could protect Brady.

Not to worry. By halftime, Brady and Co. had dropped 24 points on the Bills’ vaunted defense. The feared Bills’ fandom, profiled by some as being fat (and probably drunk)—began filing out of the stands at Ralph Wilson Stadium—even though their team would make it a game late in the second half. Final score: Patriots 40 Bills 32.

What kind of game did Tommy Success have for New England? Oh, he only threw the ball 59 times, completing 38 of those passes, for a cool 466 yards and 3 TDs. Not bad for the 38-year-old quarterback who continues defying critics, as well as Father Time.  I’m sure it has nothing to do with hard work, and an offensive scheme that’s perfect for his talent and skills.

While the Patriots still have some work to do—and Belichick will have his players make the necessary adjustments—I think this is the perfect year for me to get my football mojo back on, especially since Tom Brady’s on a mission.

6 thoughts on “In Tom We Trust

  1. I LOVE Tommy, and you’re right, he’s a winner!

    I also LOVE the Belichick ethos of “do your job.” Sometimes, when I’m mired down in a quagmire of problems, I just start deconstructing the whole thing and putting it back together. In the back of my mind runs the mantra “do your job.”

    Finally, LOVE Zolak’s energy on the radio broadcast.

    Perfect trifecta of energy. I’ve got to get my football mojo back myself! Thanks for the encouragement today!

    Pink hat on!

  2. Sometimes, we just get out of the habit of doing, or following something we used to be passionate about. There was a time in my life when I watched a lot of pro (and even, college) football.

    There is this thing in America right now, where successful people are demonized for being successful. Bill Belichick wins Super Bowls, so he must be a “cheater.” Tom Brady texted about footballs and air pressure, so he must be made to be a “villain” by Goodell and the NFL. Oh, and God forbid that he says anything favorable about Donald Trump! The heads of liberals all exploded over that one.

    Pink hat, or not, I love the narrative of “us vs. them” that’s developing around the Belichick and Brady-led New England Patriots. I don’t envy their opponents this year.

    There is also that sense about this group—led by a Lombardi-esque leader—that we’re turning back the clock to a time when leadership mattered, and “men were men.” Perhaps I’m reading too much into all of this.

    All I know is that I’ll be watching more games this year, than the past 10+ years combined.

    Yes, I really dig Zolak, too! Now that Don Orsillo’s being ushered out of Red Sox Nation by NESN, gotta’ have one local announcer that is passionate about the team he’s covering. Actually, Tommy Heinsohn fits that bill for the Celtics, also.

  3. Don’t have much to say about sports or football, I am glad that you will have something to look forward to this fall and Julie, too. I had five brothers who watched everything from WWW to football to hockey and everything in between so I experienced serious sports tv overload…..

  4. I’ve pretty much come to this conclusion: the league is the owners, and the owners will do anything to drag New England off the top because Parity, every team has a shot at the top, is the name of their revenue streams. The owners were behind the shitstorm last offseason, all the butthurt coaches and players have no one to blame but themselves–the Bills, with as much talent as that team has, have no one to blame but themselves. Ryan is a flop as a coach, but at least he’ll take the blame.

    Watching what was done to villify New England led me to re-examine what the NFL did to the Dolphins two years ago and the Saints before them. Get away from the NFL’s mouthpiece, ESPN (scum, don’t give them any clicks), and you discover that while Richie Incognito is still a dirty player, what happened in Miami was nothing like it was reported, and what happened in New Orleans was nothing like that, either. There’s a growing overlap between the NOLA and NE fanbase just because they both got fantastically screwed by a lying collusion of owners.

    Meanwhile, the Pats turned around last year when Gronkowski said in frustration that he was going to make Brady look like Brady again, and the whole team fell in line behind him. The most difficult game was the Ravens, pure heart and toughness to pull that one off, but the Super Bowl was a thing of beauty, the finest Super Bowl every played. And since halftime at the Colts playoff game, when the NFL sting operation began on cold footballs, what has Brady done? Courtesy of coldhardfootballfacts.com, “Brady since halftime of the AFC title game has:

    completed 72.3% of his passes for 1,213 yards, 13 TD, 2 INT and a 117.5 rating.

    The Patriots have unloaded on the Colts, Seahawks, Steelers and Bills for 124 points over 14 quarters, while going 4-0 in the process.”

    So much for the made up controversy which the owners of the league used to fine the Patriots a million dollars, but also to steal away their first and fourth round draft picks, which is real money. Not appealable.

    Implied in Do Your Job is, as Belichick explained regarding the Super Bowl, is Do Your Job Well. No one does it better than Belichick, Brady and Kraft. It won’t last forever, enjoy it while you can.

  5. Just to pile on: Seattle, 0-2; Ravens, 0-2; Colts, 0-2. Jets, regrettably, 1-2, by beating the Colts. Remember over the offseason, Pats lost their vaunted defensive backs, it was downhill all the way for them, but Seattle! Denver (who somehow has squeaked out two wins)! Colts early Super Bowl picks! The Jets and the Bills will knock off the Pats! These teams were losers last year, that’s why they whined about illegal formations and underinflated footballs, and they are worse losers this year for it. Losers, all.

    Right now, the only thing between the Pats and a repeat Super Bowl are injuries. If this team can stay healthy and whole, there’s no team between them and another Lombardi Trophy (and you can’t spell Lombardi Trophy without Tom Brady!).

  6. Whoops, Jets 1-1 by beating the Colts, Bills 1-1 by beating the Colts. Insert joke about beating a dead horse.

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