What fresh hell is this? No sooner did I gird my loins for the fact there'd be no Patriots playoff hype videos for the first time in over a decade. And adjusted my worldview to prepare myself for the fact there'd be Tampa Bay Buccaneers playoff hype videos for the first time in even more seasons. And braced myself for them playing in the Patriots old familiar spot of a the Saturday night prime time game, we get this. The worst of all possible worlds.
Far be it for me to speak for all of New England. We are a culturally rich, diverse, six state region of people from many backgrounds and as many points of view as there are individuals. But let me speak for New England. We as a people are still struggling with #Braxit, even all these months later. I know Tom Brady loyalists who hoped he'd never win a game in Tampa, and close friends who blame the Patriots for him leaving and rooted for them to go 0-16 without him. For every kid who got a No. 12 Bucs jersey for Christmas, there's another one who didn't hang their Tom Brady ornament on the tree.
For me personally, it's still too raw, even after all this time. Part of me watches him throw 40 touchdowns and post a perfect passer rating at the age of 43 and continue to marvel. Then throw up in my mouth at the sight of him playing nice with a despicable manchild like Antonio Brown. More than anything, I can't help but be driven by the most basic of human emotions: Petty jealousy. It's deep in our nature to hope that the one that dumps us goes all to pot and lives a life of regret for not being able to realize how perfect we are and how they could never do better than us. And here he is - the most important relationship we've ever had with an athlete - doing much, much better. And I can't help but resent him for being so damned successful.
But here's where this really hurts. His willingness to narrate this thing is a perfectly thrown, tight spiral, Fuck You bullet pass aimed directly at the Patriots organization. That's not just speculation. That's not merely a Molten Lava Take. I have it on good authority from someone who does work for the organization that they were increasingly frustrated with his unwillingness to do any extra work over his last few months in Foxboro. No cooperation with Kraft Productions films. No voiceover work. No outreach to clients or whatever. He did his football prep, worked out at TB 12 Fitness and then went home. Where in the previous 18 years, he'd always be open to doing the other things the organization asked of him (as long as time permitted), in 2019 every request was a Texas-sized hard from the GOAT.
Now he's Morgan Freemaning the first playoff hype video his new employers have produced since the pre-Obama years. And while I appreciate the brilliantly subtle passive/aggressiveness of it, I'd be lying if I said the vindictiveness of it doesn't hurt. I might as well just wager whatever I have on the Bucs to win it all, in their own stadium. It's the only logical conclusion to this total shitshow.