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Don't Forget Tom Brady Has an Old Score to Settle With Freddie Kitchens

I know I can’t say this in Massachusetts any more, but … son of a bitch.

I humbly consider myself one of the world’s leading Tom Brady scholars. But I have to admit that my area of expertise is his pro football career, his media appearances, his personal life and whatever I can fish out of his trash before the police come. Much of the details of his Michigan life are still a blind spot for me.

I of course know most of the broad strokes. How he was fighting for playing time for much of his Wolverines career. How that Gargamel-looking Lloyd Carr had him buried on his bench for years. And then put together a ridiculous scheme where Brady and Drew Henson would each play a quarter, and whoever did better would play the second half. And that George Steinbrenner was offering Henson big money to skip the minors and start directly at third base for the Yankees just because he was a huge Ohio State booster and wanted to get Henson away from Michigan. And like everyone, I know that Brady capped off his career with a big win at the 1999 Orange Bowl over Alabama.


What I never realized until this Tweet was sent to me, that he and Freddie Kitchens were both there at the 1997 Outback Bowl. Kitchens starting for ‘Bama, Brady somewhere at the bottom of his quarterback depth chart, behind Brian Griese and even Carr’s own son. So a young Brady had to stand there on those sidelines in Tampa in a baseball hat and watch helplessly as the zaftig, sausage-fingered Crimson-clad Kitchens dropped a huge 17-burger on his team for the win:

Sure, you could argue that Brady got his revenge two years later in the Orange Bowl. But if you believe that, then you are simply not cut out to be a Tom Brady expert. You clearly don’t know the man at all if you think Kitchens doesn’t represent unfinished business to him. If you think he doesn’t have a score to settle because it was 22 years ago and Kitchens has long since gotten into coaching. Nothing is over until Brady says it is.

He might have crossed Alabama off his “Kill Bill”-like enemies list. But Sunday afternoon he gets to return another personal favor. This time it’ll be Freddie Kitchens standing on the sidelines, helpless to stop the onslaught. Because like the title card says at the beginning of “Kill Bill Vol. I,” revenge is a dish best served cold. Old Klingon Proverb.

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