When this clip was released in June, it became a phenomenon across America. Like a great True Crime series, amateur sleuths across the nation tried to solve the caper. We weighed the evidence, considered all the possible suspects, and endeavored to be the one to finally unmask the Mystery Motherfucker Brady said he was passed over for.
I certainly did:
Here was one of, though not my prime, suspect at that time:
--Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins. This feels a little less likely. But by no means impossible. My first reaction is that Brady would've wanted no part of staying in the AFC East. But after further review, I can't come up with a solid reason why he wouldn't. The guy who's sitting there in a pretend barbershop casually MFing a mystery QB for the crime of sucking would not have hesitated to go play for Brian Flores and try to exact his vengeance on Bill Belichick twice a year. And while we all default to the great moments of Fitzmagic, those get further in our rearview all the time. There have been five full seasons since he won 10 games with the Jets or had a 2:1 TD to INTs ratio. And in March of 2020 (so long before Miami drafted Tua Tagovailoa), you can see Brady looking at Fitz' 12-23 record and wondering what the appeal was.
Though eventually I came around on Fitzpatrick being the Motherfucker in question. When the NFL came down on the Dolphins for tampering with Brady during and after the 2019 season, all the clues fell into place and pointed to Fitzpatrick as the only logical answer. Then it all made sense.
Granted, not everyone agreed. For instance, many have cited the reports that Dana White (of all people) had negotiated a deal for Brady and Rob Gronkowski to go to the Raiders and assumed Derek Carr is, in fact, the True Motherfucker. A reasonable assumption, to be fair. But I've stuck with my Fitzmagic Motherfucker hypothesis.
More importantly, since his opinion counts more than mine, Fitzpatrick told Pardon My Take he believes he was on the point end of Brady's 12-letter pitchfork. And it was not only not out of character, it's how Brady acted toward him basically their entire careers:
Wow. Who knew the bad blood went back so far before Brady not landing in Miami? Fitzpatrick says he's told these stories many times before, but it's news to me. He was putting on a masterclass of petty resentment right under our noses for over a decade and I somehow never picked up on it. The lack of handshakes. Even the obligatory midfield pat-on-the-shoulder-pad, insincere "Stay healthy, buddy" thing.
That story about 2011 is especially telling. That stands out as one of the worst performances of the Dynasty Era Patriots. New England was leading 21-0 at one point. Just before the half, Brady threw a pick that set up a Buffalo field goal that made it 21-10. And in the 2nd half, the Pats drives went:
- Field goal
- Interception (a pick-6)
Followed by Fitzpatrick engineering an 8-play, 70-yard drive for a game-winning field goal as time expired. Followed by Brady storming off the field at the Ralph in disgust. And even though Buffalo went 3-10 the rest of the way while the Pats went 13-3 (losing in the Super Bowl), that animosity never went away. So it's only natural that it would translate years down the road into Fitzpatrick getting Motherfucked.
My only regret is not knowing this sooner. That final loss of the 2019 regular season, which as he describes cost New England a bye week in the playoffs and stands as one of the most painful titty twisters of the last 20 years, would've had a lot more color and nuance had we known how much these two hate each other's guts. So good on Fitzmagic. He's more than just a Harvard Man who played for nine franchises over 17 seasons. He is the GOAT's one true Motherfucker. Congrats.