As we've all experienced first hand, every new social media platform that comes along takes time to master. All the proof you need comes in the form of your old Facebook memories from the early days, which feel like cave drawings compared to what you posted yesterday. Or the regrettable Tweets that keep surfacing from when people were 15 years old and are destroying careers.
That said, I don't think it's a stretch to say that, since he first got into the social media game - first on Instagram and years later on Twitter - no figure in sports ever improved their game to the extent Tom Brady has. From his early 'Gram posts, which were mostly generic offseason photos of him and Gisele hugging on a Costa Rican beach to his bizarrely compelling TB12 Times cartoons to now, you can see his game evolve. To the point where he's now posting slickly produced CGI-heavy product placement ads, self-deprecating photos of himself, and passive/aggressively talking shit to his opponents in more than one sport.
And naturally, as he's taken his considerable talents to the internet, it stands to reason that he'd open himself up to taking a lot of abuse as well. You can't be the center of the sports universe for as long as the GOAT has, or be as polarizing as he's been, without being hunted by wild packs of trolls, hungry for your blood. And according to one study, no one in football has taken the abuse he has:
The findings, published on July 2, found that over 4.8 million posts were made about Brady during that time period, and of those posts, roughly 15.2%, were negative for a total of 740,260 trolls.
According to the study, that figure is 10 times more than the number of attendees at the last 10 Super Bowls combined – four of which Brady won.
On one level, I suppose I get it. When you've spent 20 years dominating a team sport in a way that it has never been dominated, you become a big target. As Reggie Jackson famously put it back in a day when abuse came either in the form of an alcoholic chain-smoking 35 -year-old who looked 70 writing nasty things about you in his column, or was of the more in-person variety from paying customers, "They don't boo nobodies."
But what I don't get is, how those people firing at Brady's big target are still at it? How many times can you watch your bullets bounce off the "S" on Superman's chest before you decide you're wasting our ammo. And either put the gun down, or start directing your fire at Jimmy Olsen?
How many things does Brady have to accomplish before he wears the trolls down? How many times does he have to defy all odds before they give up? How many superhuman feats must he do before they come quietly, with their hands in the air, kicking the gun out before them.
To make my point, and to encourage Instagram's peaceful surrender, here is a random sample of just some of Brady's most incredible, logic-defying accomplishments:
There are a million more where those came from. So let's go, trolls. Give yourselves up. Surrender to the GOAT's will. This is a battle you are just doomed to lose for eternity. So quit now before someone (you) gets hurt.