I consider myself blessed to have seen some of the greatest athletes of all time, not just in my lifetime but playing in my city. For my teams. Pedro Martinez, Larry Bird, Bobby Orr and of course Tom Brady, just to name the best of the best. And what sets Brady apart from the others is that his career has one thing the others didn’t: A Deathwatch.
There’s a weird Doomsday cult that follows Brady, counting down the days until he either sucks or is finally finished the likes of which I’ve never seen before. It’s the Hale-Bopp Comet crowd all over again, except they refuse to do the decent thing and drink poison. Max Kellerman and his cliff. Trent Dilfer and “They’re just not good any more!” Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus. I have friends who tried this ragtime on me after Brady willed a damaged Pats offense into the red zone against a championship Denver defense in the AFC title game only to not be able to get the 2-point conversion. And they took that as a sign he was standing in his grave.
And now stepping to the Doomsday cult pulpit to deliver the same sermon is an obscure analytics site called Pre Snap Reads, run by a card-carrying Brady hater named Cian Fahey. In an attempt to back up the semi-obvious point that veteran quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers get worn down as the season goes on, he offers up this reading from the Scripture to prove Brady’s End of Days is already nigh:
Super Bowl winner Tom Brady had a more abrupt drop in arm strength. … Winning the Super Bowl and being given the MVP for the game suggests that Brady’s arm was just as good at the end of the season as it was during the regular season. That wasn’t the case. Brady struggled through two of his three playoff games. …
[T]hat Super Bowl performance against an unheralded Falcons defense paired with the Texans display makes for a concerning sample. The Patriots won the Super Bowl so Brady got all the plaudits. Yet it was by far his worst game of the season. He repeatedly tried to give the game away.
This is how unhinged these lunatics have become. As they keep setting the date for Brady’s sun to become as black as sackcloth and his moon as blood and he keeps thriving, they get more and more desperate. The GOAT’s “worst game of the year” that he “repeatedly tried to give away” consisted of 43 completions – the second most in an NFL game ever – and 466 yards. The last five times the Patriots touched the ball he led them to four touchdowns and a field goal. But never mind the mystics or the statistics. Watch that video and what do your eyes tell you?
The .50 caliber round he fired at Chris Hogan at the :10 mark. The off-balance laser to James White in the flat at the 1:00 mark, that was all arm. At 1:40, he hits Malcolm Mitchell on a comeback with a ball so flat you could use it to level shelves. If you consider nothing else, just watch that 3rd & 10 to Hogan from the goal line, backing up in the face of a blitz that went 25 yards in the air and hit Hogan right in the 10-ring (2:15 mark). They ran 96 offensive plays, he had 68 drop backs and over the final drive of regulation and overtime he completed 10 straight passes. But yeah, he was the one who was tired. In baseball terms, he was well up over 100 pitches and his fastball was still in the triple digits. Is that what an abrupt drop in arm strength looks like? If so, every offensive coordinator in the league would trade years off the end of his life for a QB with a drop off like that.
But whatever. I’ll appreciate great athletes my way, you do it yours. And someday when your grandson – wait. Check that. Please don’t procreate. I’m begging you. When you’re an old man talking football and some kid asks you what it was like to watch Tom Brady play, you can say “Well, not to brag, but I was the first one to say he sucked and his career was over. It took years and years, but eventually I was right.” Have fun with that. The rest of us will just keep counting all the championships and records he sets.