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Brady Sort of Implies Taking the Dreaded High Road is the Key to His Success


The MMQBDid you notice the calm Brady had, even on the three third-down conversions in the fourth quarter, when a failure on any one of them could have cost New England a chance at victory? He was nearly placid. Especially in the wake of the four-game suspension this year, and the months and months Brady fought it before finally giving up last summer, I wondered why he was such a flat-liner in this game, with so many emotions coursing through him. The vengeance against the NFL in particular. Where were the bulging veins in the neck in the fourth quarter and overtime? We never saw them.

Said his friend and coach and confidant McDaniels after the game: “Holding grudges doesn’t do anyone any good. Focus on the positive in life. That’s what Tom always does.” …

“When you play professional sports,” Brady said, “ … you subject yourself to a lot of criticism. … I don’t want to give my power away to other people by letting my own emotions be subjected to what their thoughts or opinions are. So if someone calls me something, that’s their problem. It’s not my problem. I’m not going to give away my power.

“You can call me an asshole and I am going to smile at you probably. I’m not going to say, ‘No, you’re an asshole.’ Because that person is controlling me with what their thoughts and actions are. How can you go through life, now at this point, 17 years, being affected by everybody all the time with what someone says?”

Dammit. Dammit all to hell. Why do so many of my role models have preach this stuff about taking the high road and letting people call you an asshole without firing back at them? Brady. Jesus. Dalton from “Road House.”And it can be tough to take.

The worst thing about being a Catholic … OK, let’s call it the second worst thing … is that this is what Jesus is all about. He’s into “turn the other cheek” instead of that good Old Testament “eye for an eye” frontier justice. He’s all “Forgive them Father, they know not what they’ve done” and “Don’t make a fuss when the mob is nailing you to some boards and leaving you to die” and praying for the thief on the next cross over. And sometimes, I have to admit, I’m guilty of the sin of wanting to see Him go all Mel Gibson in “Payback” on everyone who did him dirty.

And obviously, my other deity-made-flesh Brady is the same way. It’s a bitter pill to swallow for a Masshole who lives off like it’s oxygen. Who works for a website that has made taking on the haters and critics and reducing them to dust is part of the business model. Hell, who thinks that revenge is one of the simple joys that makes life worth living. But it obviously works for Brady. That gentle, Zen, “Four Agreements” thing is what had his heart rate at 30 bpm when he was engineering the greatest comeback in the history of sports.

And maybe if I could ever learn to do likewise, I’d be winning Pulitizers instead of blogging about football and sexually deviant teachers. But I can’t. Tom Brady might not care if someone calls him an asshole. I do. So I’ll leave the focusing on the positives and championships to him, and the holding grudges to me. Forgive me, Jesus.