I think it's fair to say that in the 15 months since Tom Brady's #Braxit out of New England, I've handled it about as poorly as anyone. When it came to taking his departure hard, I've been on the vanguard. The forefront. And even if you think I didn't invent handling it badly, you have to concede that I've been 1st Team All American.
And now that his fitness company is semi-taunting us with the date of his return (I could get technical with them and say Gillette isn't "where it all started," because it didn't open until 2002, but I don't want to be that guy), a lot feelings I thought I'd repressed are making a major comeback. He's going to come up Rte 1 into Foxboro in triumph, like Caesar crossing the Rubicon. And all the rest of us can do is line the streets and pay tribute.
While I'm sure Tom Brady himself will stay on the high road, keep all his comments as Zen-like, respectful, kale-and-banana-smoothie, "The Four Agreements"-style positivity as possible, the beautiful thing about being a parent is you have to do none of those things. When your son has conquered the world, you have no such rules. And Tom Brady the Elder wasted no time exercising his Father Privilege by doing a call in with Scott Zolak's show and going about as scorched Earth as he ever has at anyone not named Roger Goodell.
“I started salivating when I saw that we’re playing the Patriots in the fourth game of the season," he said. "And we’re coming up here to make our record 4-0."
Even while being pretty damned gracious toward the franchise that drafted his boy and won with him for 20 years, he couldn't resist talking smack. “The Patriots are our second favorite team. It’s a game where we get to root against nobody. We get to root for the Patriots, but our most favorite team, of course, is the Buccaneers, so we expect to beat the Patriots rather handily, frankly.”
I'd love to figure out a way to hate it, but how can you? There is no force on Earth that can compete with the destructive power of a father who feels like his kid has been done dirty. Unless it's the mother. They are unquestionably the top of the food chain when it comes to pure animal rage while protecting their young. One of my kids spent a couple of years stuck with a group of dysfunctional, maniacal football coaches who couldn't pull their heads out of their own asses long enough to keep the program from imploding around them. If I got to go on the radio to talk about it like Tom Brady I, I would've unleashed a tsunami of bad blood that would've drown them all. Given the fact his boy just won a seventh ring in his first year away from New England, I think he's to be commended for his restraint.
There's an old Mayan proverb that goes, "The mother must hold the baby close so that the baby knows it is his world. But the father must take him to the highest hill so that he can see what his world is like." When that world your baby sees from the hill is the one he's been conquering for two decades - and counting - you get to say anything you want to anyone. Feel free to continue, Mr. Brady. You gave New England your greatest gift. The least we can do is let you talk.