TB12 And New England Breakup

The stories are starting to come out.

Jim Rome
March 23, 2020 - 9:36 am
Myron Rolle

USA Today

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Now that the reality is sinking in that Tom Brady really is a Buccaneer, the stories are starting to come out. The ones from New England about what happened and the ones from Tampa about how they shocked the world and landed TB 43. BUT… Let’s start with New England and all the weirdness that led to Brady’s departure.

Like this detail from Seth Wickersham’s piece over the weekend: After the Super Bowl, Brady was back in Boston, in a house his family had largely emptied out. He was acting on his own, quietly putting out feelers, leaving owners and executives to wonder whether he had a free-agency plan. To many of the executives who did due diligence, Brady seemed so driven by an animus toward Belichick that they couldn't tell if he actually wanted a fresh start or if he just needed leverage to force Kraft to step in.

Damn. What a truly bizarre image that is – the best quarterback in NFL history, kicking around an empty house, “driven by an animus toward Belichick.” Not driven to show that he could still played at the highest level. But driven by his hate of the Hood. Now, that’s the kind of rocket fuel I’m talking about. He’s not looking to prove anyone right. He’s looking to prove Belichick all wrong. And that whole thing about business being business, and that it’s not personal. I’m calling bullcrap on that. It’s always personal with the best. And if Brady truly the goat, you can bet your ass this is personal to him. And I have no problem with it. I actually love it. He would never say it, but you know that old man is salty as hell. Why wouldn’t he be: after six rings, all the guy was looking for was fair market value, an atta boy or two and some help on the outside? Not too much to ask.  Given what’s he’s done for that coach, that organization and that fan base.

To read Wickersham, it seemed pretty clear that as last week rolled around, that Brady was leaving, because whatever he was looking for, he wasn’t going to get from the Patriots. But it seems like Bob Kraft was the last guy to know that, which is either Kraft putting up a front or Kraft being completely out to lunch.

Because when Brady went to Kraft’s house last Monday night, he was going to tell him that he was leaving. Except as Kraft told NBC Sports Boston, "I thought he was coming over as he has for the last 10 years to quietly get things done.”

Really, Bob? Are you that out of touch? Did you really misjudge the situation that badly? Or are you just trying to make it look good? There’s no way you actually thought he was going to work out a deal with you that night, right? And there’s no way you expect any of us to believe that, right? 

And if you thought that was a strange statement from Kraft, check the one he told NFL Network later: "Think about loving your wife and for whatever reason, there's something -- her father or mother -- that makes life impossible for you and you have to move on.”

Huh? That’s your explanation for what happened?  Jerry Jones is laughing at your analogies (insert ANY JONES’ BAD ANALOGIES?). Who is the wife here? Who is the father? Who is the mother? I thought you loved him like a son? Or was it a grandson, but Belichick is actually your son. What the hell is happening with this family tree?

And again, how could the owner of the team, the guy who is allegedly supposed to be calling the shots, have been as far off base and out of touch as he’s claiming to be? No wonder the guy left: the owner is utterly clueless, and the coach has the biggest case of red ass ever. 

But let’s close this on a happy note. Let’s go down to Tampa and talk about the first request that Brady had of his new team that told them everything. Allegedly.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, last Wednesday’s phone call between the Bucs and Brady lasted about ninety minutes and Brady did most of the talking. He knew about the offense, he knew the players at each position, he didn’t want to know about Mike Evans and Chris Godwin as players, he asked “are they good guys?”

He didn’t ask the team for money, but he did ask them for one thing.

Are you ready for this?

Nope, it wasn’t the number 12 jersey.

Nor was it a demand to return to either the Buccaneer Bruce or Pewter Power unis.

Nope. Wait for it.  Longer. A little longer…

Tom Brady asked the Bucs for…

The phone numbers of his new teammates.

WHOOAAAA!!!!!!! SHUT IT DOWN, LET’S GO HOME!  (INSERT DIRK).

Are you kidding me? He asked for his teammate’s phone numbers? What a BLEEPING leader. YOU TALK ABOUT LEADING FROM THE FRONT??!?  HOLY CRAP.  HE WENT THERE!!! HE DID! Did the Bucs just sign Tom Brady or Winston Churchill? Hey, Julius Caesar, scoreboard! Look up at it!

This guy is the greatest teammate ever. Holy crap, he isn’t just the greatest quarterback ever, he’s the greatest person ever.

Tom Brady is like if Tim Tebow could play football.

He asked for their phone numbers? That is absolutely legendary. What an amazing dude!  Who the hell even thinks that, much less DOES that?!

What next? Did he also ask for the address of the stadium and the key code to the practice facility?

Look, I’m not here to hate, but forgive me if I don’t rush out and start ERECTING a statue for the guy just because he asked for his teammates’ phone numbers. That doesn’t make him some kind of legendary leader, that just means he wants to communicate with his new teammates, you know, like any other  normal player would.

In fact, what kind of a jerk quarterback would sign with a new team and not look to be in touch with his teammates?

What kind of a loser would just say, nah, I don’t want their numbers. If they want me, they can find me.

And I’m not sure I’m really giving him a pat on the back for knowing the offense and being able to name the players by position either. That’s just doing your homework. Or having a depth chart in front of you while you’re talking. That’s smart.

If you’re going to leave your home for the last twenty years, most people would look into the place that they’re going. Maybe throw on some game film, see if the team is any good. Maybe see if it’s a good fit or if they have any talent.

Tom Brady knowing the names of the guys on the offense and talking a little about the defense doesn’t prove that he’s a great leader, it proves that he has a laptop.

Let me be clear – Tom Brady is a great quarterback. He is the greatest quarterback ever. The six Super Bowls prove that. Asking for his teammate’s phone numbers doesn’t. No credit for that. Or for having a basic understand of the roster and what they’re trying to do that. TB 43 deserves credit for plenty of things, just not any of that.