Musings of a Football Fan: What if He Isn’t That Good Anymore?

It’s Hard to Watch Tom Brady Struggle

The rote of a Monday night in the Fall: “Who’s playing tonight?” Customary procedure includes a full embracement of the tranquil “man cave”. Surround sound, remote in hand, underdog in fantasy football, and not a care in the world about anything else for the next 3-plus hours. Monday Night Football, my sanity; an opportunity to enter the American football oasis at the onset of a tedious work week. My buddy “Pearl” will arrive packing a cat-daddy sized lip, have a few adult beverages, and we’ll indulge in the boisterious pre-game show. Patriots-Chiefs, I’m a New England boy so you already know who I want to exit this contest unscathed.

Patriots Tom Brady Sitting

Ever get that first half case of ‘tinitus’? It is kind of like a small whistling noise. Mine went something like this: Brady incompletion. Brady incompletion. BRADY INCOMPLETION. The sound unbearable, the scene even worse. Fair to call this matchup a “Monday Night Meltdown” for the Pats? Chiefs clasping on to a 17-0 lead and the home crowd “W” after 2 quarters of play? Nah, THEY’RE THE PATRIOTS, I say. Any comeback is possible! Then they DID NOT perform some second half supernatural showcase. Foxboro’s finest LOST to Kansas City.

Sometimes in life you end up developing frienships with whimsical people that possess this freakish fancy to them. My friend Danny from Los Angeles is one of those individuals; a scholar and wild person all at once. And if there’s one thing Danny has never doubted it is the New England Patriots. In college we’d shout out the names of Patriot Personnel like we knew these valiant men on a first name basis. TEDY. TOM. Our favorite: BILL. People would stare at us. Jets fans would snicker. We’d laugh as EVERY penalty would go our way. TOM and BILL chasing the Zebras away. Ok, we couldn’t refrain from the pre-game “GRONK GRONK”! Whatever, it got us fired up.

So, I’m sitting agitated during Monday Night Football. Ping. I glance down at an incoming text: Danny _____ : “WTF”. At this point I need to see if Danny is ticked off as much as me; not that sputtering off in vulgar language will ease my dissatisfaction, but I need to know another perspective on the game. No disrespect to Pearl or my father, but Pearl’s about 10 shooters deep and my dad is in a rough scrabble game on his phone.

Danny rambles on and says, “Everyone can always do better. He should have ran for the first in the 2 quarter, but the defense is leaving all the pressure on him and his ****** receiving core.” I try to convince myself that the Patriot’s defense is the issue. I keep asking myself why Brady didn’t run for the first when a clear running lane was presented to him. I even make up an excuse that Brady doesn’t have any satisfactory OPPORTUNITIES to put together a drive. Mcdaniels is the problem. Too many screens. Amendola do something. This read defense wins the suck award.

All of a sudden I find myself typing it into my phone: What if he isn’t that good anymore. OH NO I DIDN’T. . . SEND. I didn’t want to write a question mark. I couldn’t question #12. Not now, never. I DID. Danny replied, “Stop it. I saw that online and he’s old but he doesn’t have the help anymore. He has work horse Edelman. Gronk Can’t catch tonight. We can’t run, can’t hold a block, and no other receivers turn up.” Should I take Danny’s word? Was it NOT Brady? Maybe he didn’t have the OPPORTUNITIES this game. It then struck me, MAYBE HE CAN’T CREATE THOSE OPPORTUNITIES ANYMORE.

We’ve all heard that phrase “Make the most of your opportunities”. To me those words denote that an opportunity was already readily presented to someone. In other words, a favorable situation or set of circumstances was bestowed upon a player by something out of his control. Maybe that is the defense coming up with a big turnover to set the offense up with prime field position. Regardless, I can’t stand “making the most of your opportunities”. Some will argue that “making the most” and “creating” opportunities are the same thing, but they really aren’t!

The more I cringed watching Brady, the more I juggled with the thought of creating opportunities. Back against the wall, down 17 points, there is no making the most of your opportunities! There is creating opportunities, a glimmer of hope for your team. And Brady just couldn’t manage to CREATE. Peg the lineman for horrible pass blocking. Blame the defense for terrible play in the secondary. Though I find it hard to believe. . . .


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