As Bobby Bacala said to Tony Soprano after being told Tony was taking over 95% of the family's earnings while Junior was in jail, "To the victors go the spoils." To which Tony replied, "Get the fuck out of here before I shove your quote book up your fucking ass." The point being that when you're on top, you get to say and do pretty much what you want.
Which is why is should be no surprise that, coming off a season that not only cements his son's status as the absolute GOAT, it freezes it in carbonite to be perfectly preserved for all time, Tom Brady Sr. is kinda feeling it. Tom the Younger is showing how good he feels by pitching virtually every product on TV, doing voiceovers for Buccaneers hype videos, and doing the cloying "Tom & Gronky Show" posts. Tom the Elder is doing it the old fashioned way. The way that is so 20th century. By talking.
This week, with the Battle of Brady vs. Belichick - GOATerdammerung - looming on the horizon, Tom Sr. went on with recent "Do Your Pod" guest Tom E. Curran to talk about it. And he more or less took the first two syllables out of passive/aggressive. At least when it comes to his son's former boss.
Source - "Tommy is extraordinarily appreciative of everything that happened during his New England career, and he's more than happy that he's moved on because it was pretty obvious that the Patriot regime felt that it was time for him to move on," Brady Sr. said.
"And frankly, it may well have been perfect for (Bill) Belichick to move on from him. On the other hand, I think the Tampa Bay Bucs are pretty happy that the decision was made in Foxboro that they didn't want to afford him or didn't want to keep him when his last contract came up." …
Asked whether [winning a seventh ring] made him feel vindication for his son, Brady Sr. gave a telling answer.
"Damn right," he told Curran. "Damn right. Belichick wanted him out the door and last year he threw 56 touchdowns. I think that's a pretty good year."
Does Brady feel the same way?
"Damn right," Brady Sr. answered.
Just for the sake of factual accuracy, Tom Jr. threw 50 touchdowns last year, regular and postseason combined. But I don't begrudge him inflating (no pun intended) the number. If a dad can't exaggerate his sons' accomplishments - grades, golf shots, fish they caught, quality of girls they attract, how many NFL touchdowns they throw while winning a Super Bowl, he's not doing his job as a father. Anakin Skywalker never once bragged about skilled a pilot Luke was or how good he was at shooting wamp rats in Beggar's Canyon. And look how that relationship went.
That said, while the rest of the way Brady Sr. portrays how things game to an end for his family in New England is exactly how you'd expect him to see it, it's not completely accurate. If Brady Jr. had wanted to stay, he could've stayed. It just would've had to have been on Belichick's terms. And he was done with giving the team a hometown discount. As Curran told us on "Do Your Pod," the falling out came after the Jimmy Garoppolo trade where Brady went to management saying, essentially, "OK, so now that he's gone and I'm here for the foreseeable future, let's work out a deal." And what he got in return was two years, with incentives. And he was, to use his dad's own words, "out the door" from that point on. That's when we started getting more social media stuff out of him, "Tom vs. Time" on Facebook, skipping OTAs and so on. He was still there. In fact, he took them to two Super Bowls, threw for 505 yards in one and won the other. But from that day forward he was going to do things on his terms.
I'm sure Belichick was considering moving on. In fact, a change was likely baked into that lowball contract offer. The business of Brady's trainer and business partner getting free reign of the sidelines and contradicting the teams' medical staff, plus Brady not showing up for "optional" workouts (not around here they're not) no doubt went up his crack sideways. So "two years with incentives" was probably code for "screw" and "you." But the fact remains, if the Bradys wanted to stay, all he had to do was sign on the line which is dotted.
Though like he said, it's worked out pretty well for him so far. And while Curran also told us that Brady Jr. once begged his dad to quit going around taking a verbal dump on Roger Goodell because it was going to make it harder for him to find a job in another market, in this case you can't begrudge a father sticking up for his kid. It's not like he totally trashed the organization that developed his boy and made him the GOAT. And he did go out of his way to say good things about the region that supported him all these years.
What does hurt though was this little postscript:
"I think I might have a license plate that says something like 'six Super Bowls,' but other than that I think pretty much the rest of it has been given to Goodwill or Catholic Charities or something," Brady Sr. said.
Ouch. That is cold. Like knowing your ex burned all stuff and deleted every picture you took together. Somewhere out there are some poor families who own the greatest pieces of memorabilia since the Ark of the Covenant was put in a warehouse.
Next week is going to be insane around here.