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This is Kind of Awkward to Admit, but Getting Divorced Has Been Good for Tom Brady's Football

Chris O'Meara. Shutterstock Images.

It's often been said that divorce is hardest on the kids, and on total strangers who feel emotionally attached to a celebrity couple and therefore invested in the success of their marriage. I wholeheartedly agree. 

A solid, committed, loving relationship is a pure good in this world. And each one that works out benefits us all. So it's sad anytime a good one ends in a breakup. And when that couple seemed to have been brought together by a holy host of angels to serve as a bright, shining example as to what the perfect marriage should look like, society itself is diminished by its ending. 

However ...

That doesn't always apply to the people involved. Sometimes divorce can be a huge positive for the divorcees. By the time you reach the age of say, 40, you know someone whose marriage broke up. And in most cases, a lot of someones. And when that's the case, by law of averages you've seen someone go through the conveyor belt of the emotional slaughterhouse that is the divorce court system, and come out the other side a new person. Happier. Freer. In better physical and spiritual health. Looking like they just spent the last few months at an all-inclusive spa and resort, and not like they've been handing their kids' inheritance over to lawyers and paying the bills for a cheating ex-spouse and the deadbeat they're dating who's now living under your roof. 

To be clear, in no way, shape or form am I suggesting any of that applies to the most important relationship in my life, Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen. (Long time readers might be asking, "Now, hold your wad there, Old Balls. What about your own marriage?" So let me just say my own devoted Irish Rose can confirm I put more thought into Brady and Gisele's than I ever have in ours.) There's been zero indication there was any betrayal of any kind involved. No animosity in their split. Just a mutual parting of the ways between two people who had grown apart. Sad, but a part of life. 

What I am suggesting is that so far, Brady is one of those people I was talking about who are better off after the divorce. First, there's the video evidence:

And then there are the numbers, which back it up. The divorce was made final on Friday, October 28th, the morning after the Buccaneers Week 8 loss to Baltimore. Here's the breakdown of the breakup:

Before: 

  • Won-loss: 3-5
  • Points per game: 18.25
  • Touchdowns: 9
  • Touchdowns per game: 1.125

After: 

  • Won-loss: 3-1
  • Points per game: 23.25
  • Touchdowns: 7
  • Touchdowns per game: 1.75
  • Historically ridiculous 4th quarters that erase a 13-point deficit and score the winning points with :03 left on the clock: 1

To be fair, it has not been an across-the-board success. He's thrown two of his three interceptions in the last four weeks. Pre- and post-divorce his completion % has dropped from 73.68 to 66.84, while his yards per attempt has gone from 7.45 to 5.78. But some of that can be attributed to him playing from behind so much over the first two months of the season and having to throw deep. Regardless, of his top four passer ratings on the season, half of them have come since he and Gisele signed on the line which is dotted. 

I'll acknowledge that there are a lot of factors that could be affecting his play in a positive way. After all, the Rams, Seahawks, Browns and Saints are hardly the iron of the league. But still. He's winning at twice the rate he was when he was dealing with marital strife. Throwing touchdown passes at a much higher rate. And has seized control of his (admittedly awful) division. Should this continue and he leads the Bucs on a playoff run, he'll not just be the undisputed best of all time, he'll add the GOAT of divorces to his resume. Don't bet against it.