Is Tom Brady a super hero, or a villain? The short answer is – it depends on who you root for.
Since earning the starting job in his second season, Brady has been a household name. In twelve seasons with the Patriots, Brady has led his team to nine playoff appearances and five Super Bowls. He also has the highest winning percentage in NFL history (.780) and almost finished the 2007-2008 season with a perfect record, before Eli Manning and the Giants upset the Patriots 17-14.
Brady has rewritten the record books during his career. In the 2003-2004 season, he helped his team set the consecutive win streak with 21 consecutive victories, including regular-season and post-season. During the 2007 regular-season, Brady broke Peyton Manning’s record for touchdowns in a season with 50, finish one ahead of Manning’s 49.
Everyone who is not a Patriots fan has a reason to “hate” Brady. As Wilt Chamberlain once said, no one roots for Goliath, and Brady’s win-loss record stands for itself. On top of all of his success on the field, Brady also married Brazilian-born supermodel Gisele Bundchen during 2009, which has only added to his celebrity status and given the haters one more thing to hate him about.
In 2010, Brady earned a contract extension from his Patriots front office with a net worth of $72 million over four years, and $31 million guaranteed, making him one of the country’s richest athletes.
Success breeds jealousy, and Brady has therefore found himself a villain for many people. He is sometimes thought of as a pretty boy because he’s a California native and (since marrying a super model) has been a bit “fashion forward” with his hairstyles, which get reported on as if they are newsworthy.
But even the haters have to give Brady his due, and should respect him for what he has accomplished in his career. He is the kind of quarterback that every fan dreams of for their team, but since he is on the Patriots, fans of the other 31 teams have to dread playing against him.
Brady is an established All-Pro and sure fire Hall of Famer, and he is capable of taking the heat from opposing fans. At the end of the day, he has done extraordinary things for the league as a whole. Brady, like Unitas, Montana, and Staubach, will be a player people tell their kids about watching. Years from now, long after he’s retired, they’ll recall the amazing things he did on the field. And as he passes into legend, people will remember him as a hero, not a villain.
By Billy Bonneau