Source – New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady felt trapped this past offseason and was not sure he wanted to play anymore for the only NFL coach he ever has had, Bill Belichick, according to a new book on Belichick’s life.
“If you’re married 18 years to a grouchy person who gets under your skin and never compliments you, after a while you want to divorce him,” a source with knowledge of the Brady-Belichick relationship told ESPN’s Ian O’Connor, author of “Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time,” after the 2017 season.
“Tom knows Bill is the best coach in the league, but he’s had enough of him. If Tom could, I think he would divorce him.” … [Brady] still wasn’t certain in late March if he would return to the Patriots.
“But in the end, even if he wanted to, Brady could not walk away from the game, and he could not ask for a trade,” O’Connor wrote. “The moment Belichick moved [Jimmy] Garoppolo to San Francisco, and banked on Brady’s oft-stated desire to play at least into his mid-forties, was the moment Brady was virtually locked into suiting up next season and beyond. Had he retired or requested a trade, he would have risked turning an adoring New England public into an angry mob.” …
One New England assistant said the general feeling among staff members around that time wasn’t that Belichick’s system could make Super Bowl quarterbacks out of all 32 NFL starters. “But if you gave us any of the top 15, we could do it,” the assistant said. “I don’t think the coaches view Tom as special as everyone else in football does. Mr. Kraft thinks Tom is the greatest gift ever, but the coaches don’t.”
Wait. What is this new devilry? Tom Brady … sometimes gets … upset … at Bill Belichick? He feels … underappreciated? He oftentimes finds … his coach … to be … have I got this right … grouchy? Well there is only one reasonable response by any rational Patriots fan:
Ohmygawd ohmygawd OHMYGAWD!!! This is it. It’s the death of hope. There is no future. The rivers will run backwards and the dead shall rise and the Wolf Goddess will surely swallow the moon signalling the End Times are here.
Generations from now, future historians and sociologists are going to look back at 2018 and call it “The Year Everyone Obsessed Over the Feelings of a Quarterback and a Coach,” in the way 1929 is known for the Stock Market crash, 1066 is the Norman Invasion and 1991 is remembered as the year Blossom got her period. Which, by the way, was less full of emotionalism, sentiment and … feelings … than this stupid, overwrought melodrama. There have been more words published about the state of the familial bond between a football player and his boss than about World War II. And this doesn’t strike me as Band of Brothers.
Taking nothing away from Ian O’Connor, who apparently did 350 interviews to put this thing together, which is ton of work. I’m just way past this bizarre preoccupation everyone has over the emotional connection between Brady and Belichick. Or lack thereof. I swear to God, I’ve never seen anything like it. Larry Bird liked playing for Bill Fitch, but the other Celtics hated him so he was replaced with KC Jones. And Larry Bird played hard for him. There was no angst. No weirdo fixation on whether Larry Legend was “upset.” Same with David Ortiz. He disrespected Terry Francona enough to interrupt his postgame presser to bitch about a scorer’s decision. But all he did for him was drive in runs in historically big moments. Was anyone ever under the impression Bill Parcells and Drew Bledsoe were staying at bed & breakfasts and going antiquing in the offseason? But I guess now we’re in this Couples Therapy World where everything is about feelings, relationships, upsets, emotions, love, slights, appreciation and sensitivity. To the point we’re this close to getting Brady and Belichick together and asking them, “Now, if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”
I don’t need these guys putting on cardigans and discussing Wes Anderson films over Chai tea. I need them working together. Which they’ve done. Like they were doing all last year. Like they did throughout the playoffs. Like they did in this totally unemotional, unappreciative and disrespectful moment at the end of the AFC championship game:
Not once in the unimaginable 19 seasons these two have worked together have I ever asked myself whether they FaceTime at night so they’ll be the last thing each other sees before he shuts his eyes. They are very, very different cats. Brady has evolved a high road, Zen-like philosophy of optimism and thinking the best in others in order to deal with his fantastic personal and professional success. Belichick is bloodless, calculating genius with a monomania for conquering all he surveys. But they both share an unrelenting desire to achieve perfection. And together, their differences and their similarities work. A marriage doesn’t have to be “happy” all the time to be a success and last a long time.
But just to play the game, I’ll take O’Connnor’s reporting as truth. Let’s say Brady really did want a “divorce” back in late March. Well the truest thing said in that excerpt is doing so “risked turning an adoring New England public into an angry mob.” If the GOAT was worried about Jimmy Garoppolo replacing him, once Belichick rid him of the Jimmy G problem, he had an obligation to keep playing. Until he’s 45 like he’s said repeatedly or until he dies trying. If he’d insisted he wanted out just because he doesn’t like the way The Hooded One talks to him – by which I mean, he’s been talking to everybody in the building for two decades – then that would be nothing less than a betrayal. That would be leaving the franchise and the fans who have done nothing but support him unequivocally since he came in for Bledsoe in 2001 completely in the lurch. And few if any would have taken his side. We’d hate to choose. But if we had to, we would’ve stood by Belichick. I mean, everybody loves Jesus, but if he bailed out at the Garden of Gesthsemane and either announced his retirement from the Soul Saving business or insisted on being traded to the Romans, Christians would’ve taken God’s side.
Fortunately neither of those things happened. Jesus took the cross and Brady reported to mandatory workouts, saving the souls of all their biggest fans. Now as far as the business of the coaches believing they could win with any Top 15 quarterback in the league, I’m with them. Could they go to the AFCCG game seven straight years, go to eight Super Bowls and get 1,000 passing yards in the past two Super Bowls from just any non-Brady QB? Not a chance. But I share their confidence that with the right above average, intelligent signal caller they wouldn’t turn into the Browns overnight like everyone loves to tell themselves. See Matt Cassel and his 11-5 season in 2008 after having not started a game since high school.
Again, that’s a debate we don’t have to have because did not ask for a divorce. He did not retire. He has again reemphasized he’s playing until he’s 45. This is all just an intellectual exercise. Which I love doing because it’s one of the few things we’ve said all year that is about intellect and not stupid fucking feelings. 2018 continues to suck.
Like Liz said: