Patriots

Voice of the Fan: The Aftermath of Belichick Versus Brady Round One

Disclaimer: I write strictly as a fan.

Watching Tom Brady win a Super Bowl with another team was like getting a deep tissue massage from a sumo wrestler. Most of it hurt, some of it felt good, and I walked away a little disoriented and confused.

So few positives. So many negatives.

I’m obviously biased, but put me down as Brady being the G.O.A.T. of all G.O.A.T.s. Max Kellerman’s cliff finally arrived, except Brady proved to be the king of this mountain. Last Sunday, TB12 shouted, “This… is… Tampa!” and kicked Joe Montana, Lawrence Taylor, and Jim Brown off the edge. The debate is dead, over, finished.

As far as Jordan, Russell, Gretzky, and Ruth? I’d need 10,000 words to explain why Tom gets the title. The simplest reason? Brady’s about as athletic as an elephant on stilts, yet he worked so hard that he ultimately mastered the toughest position in all of sports. Let me make this clear: by far the toughest position. Then include all the intangibles: selfless, leadership, passionate, a splash of lunacy, etc., etc.

Yet Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft let him pack up and head to Florida, when he still clearly had gas in the tank. Ouch. Five days later, I’m still sore from that massage.

Looking back on Brady’s time with the Patriots, there’s so much to cherish. What may have been the best and most important decision Belichick had ever made in his career? He decided to treat the G.O.A.T. like your average billy. Stories of Belichick's tough love no doubt helped shape TB12 into the legend he is today. But after twenty years of cracking the whip and so much success, it’s too bad he never tried to strike more of a partnership with Brady.

Instead, Pats fans find themselves divided. It's Team Brady versus Team Hoodie. All because—in my opinion—Belichick had to show he was more responsible for the dynasty. He could preach all he wants about doing “what’s best for the team,” but we now have two damning pieces of evidence that say otherwise: Malcolm Butler, and letting the door hit the greatest of them all on the butt on his way out of Foxboro.

After a rough start in his new home, Brady did what he usually does: adapt and overcome. In the end, he won his seventh ring, crushing the dreams of everyone outside of New England rooting for the Patrick Mahomes Baby G.O.A.T. narrative to pick up steam. Seeing the Chief's potential dynasty put on hold, and hopefully destroyed, I pumped my first in satisfaction. Then, I took an extra hot shower and scrubbed with a Brillo pad to wash the crud off my soul from rooting for another team's colors. Yuck.

What a predicament us Patriots' fans have found ourselves in.

The Hoodie just couldn’t leave the ultimate question a mystery for whoever wished to debate. He sat at the Blackjack table, wagered his legacy, took a hit on 20, and busted. Over the years, his ego wrote checks only Brady could cash, and once Tom left, that check bounced harder than Mark Sanchez’s face off a right guard’s rear.

Now, hopefully, Belichick hits the ATM, goes back to the table, and starts making smarter bets… fast! 

As I’ve said before, no person outside of family has brought more joy to my life than Tom Brady. Are there regrets? It feels selfish as a fan to have any when you are blessed with the most powerful coach/player partnership the NFL has ever witnessed. Having a taste of what Tom could accomplish with Randy Moss, a trade for a Larry FitzgeraldCalvin Johnson or Julio Jones could’ve been a nice layer to add to this miracle. But us fans know the team can’t give up those first- and second-round picks when they need to be constantly traded down and butchered. Insert eye-roll emoji.

Watching Bill and Tom ride off into the sunset together would have been special. Watching Brady hoist the Lombardi as a Buc, *gag* is like knowing your ex met a good parental figure who will be around when your child visits. You root for it, but it doesn’t mean it feels right.

Time for Billy Boy to find a new partner in crime who could sling on par with a soon to be 44-year-old G.O.A.T., before his legacy takes a punch it can’t get up from. Belichick’s lucky he didn’t give #12 the boot years earlier. Instead of Brady 1 Belichick 0, Tom could be up by a field goal at this point.

But make no mistake about it, Thomas Edward Patrick Brady. I hope The Hoodie drags himself off the mat, restocks his roster, and the Patriots kick your perfect teeth in at Super Bowl 56.