Tom Brady is retiring

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Tom Brady says 'Brady vs Belichick debate is such a stupid conversation.'

"In my view, people were always trying to pull us apart. I don't think we ever felt like that with each other. We never were trying to pull each other apart. We actually were always trying to go in the same direction. I think when we were in New England for 20 years together, you know, they get tired of writing the same story. So once they write all the nice things and championships and this and then they just start going, 'Well, this works, let's start trying to divide them.' I never really appreciated those ways that people would try to do that."
 

joe dokes

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Curran just noted this week on his podcast that he feels that some of the people in Brady’s orbit (he cited Tom Sr.) tend to overstate the degree of friction and resentment Tom held/holds against BB because THEY are upset on Brady’s behalf.

Conversely, I do think TB12 has shown himself to be very conflict-averse, so he himself may UNDERPLAY the problems between him and Bill or Kraft when speaking on the record about it.

It’s a bit of a web, to be sure, though I agree that Brady left predominantly because he was over it and Bill wasn’t gonna chase him.
OTOH--In the alternate universe, does Brady only play for 3 more seasons if he stays? ("Only," I know). How good is the team around him/How far do they go? Where is the franchise right now, assuming he would've retired at the same time. I dont know the answers, but there's a universe of not-unreasonable answers that lead to "BB was also right to hold firm."
 

PedroKsBambino

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I mean, Brady left two years later. He was def. more right than wrong.

I've said this before, but I think people also overlook the strain Deflategate almost certainly put on their relationship. I mean, there's the "You'll have to ask Tom" stuff and the suspension. But there's also the fact that the whole scandal itself was ginned up largely as a way of getting back at Belichick for his dismissive attitude toward the league office leading up to Spygate and directed primarily at Brady.

It's absolutely water under the bridge now. But to think that wouldn't have put stresses on their relationship, especially when the whole thing lasted over the course of 19 months spanning three football seasons, is probably delusional.
I also suspect that Brady wanted, or at least would have appreciated, even more support from Kraft than he ultimately got. Kraft would have been justified being more aggressive than he was---and I get it is a very tough position for him to be in with real implications for him and the team. But I suspect the Brady-Kraft relationship as well as potentially the Brady-BB relationship were impacted there.

The spygate and deflategate things in the end were kind of like the US vs Microsoft antitrust case impacting the browser market or the US vs IBM case impacting pc/software....the success of the investigation was not mostly about what was proven, but rather driving a degree of disruption for the powerful/successful entity who decision-makers wanted to impact negatively.
 

BaseballJones

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My top 10 Brady games of all time. Now, the criteria: (1) He needs to have played well. That is, even if the Pats won but he played poorly, it doesn't count. (2) The Pats need to have won. It's still a team game. So yeah, this rules out the second Eagles Super Bowl, because even though he was amazing that day, they didn't win, so that game - as great as he was - won't make the top 10 list. Same with the AFCCG against Denver when they lost 20-18, in which Brady played one of the gutsiest games you've ever seen. And (3) The bigger the stakes, the more likely it is that it's on this list. That's not to say that a regular season game can't be on the list, but it will have to be an absolutely unbelievable performance or have some significance attached to it. It doesn't mean that the 6 SB wins will by definition be the top 6 games on the list though.

Ok, with that criteria set, here we go (of course there's a million great games to choose from):

1. SB 49 vs Seattle - 37-50 (74.0%), 328 yds, 4 td, 2 int, 101.1 rating

Brady threw two interceptions in the game, which was bad. One came on a first quarter drive as they were in the red zone. Terrible. He threw another pick that led directly to points for Seattle. But man. Brady's fourth quarter: 13-15, 124 yds, 2 td, 0 int (140.7 rating), leading what was at that time the biggest fourth quarter comeback ever in the Super Bowl. Against one of the best defenses in NFL history. That win also got him ring #4, which was enormous for his career and for the organization, which endured 10 seasons of not winning it all, having to deal with "haven't won since Spygate", having to deal with the specter of Deflategate, all while burying a burgeoning dynasty in Seattle. All that considered, I think it was Brady's greatest game ever.

2. 2017 SB 51 vs Atlanta - 43-62 (69.4%), 466 yds, 2 td, 1 int, 95.2 rating

The greatest Super Bowl comeback of all time, winning after being down 28-3. Of course, HE was a big reason why they were down 28-3, so it wasn't all sunshine and roses for Brady in this game. Interestingly, a running theme for Brady in these great postseason wins is that in all of them on this list (at least all the ones at the top of the list), he had at least one big turnover. So this doesn't represent perfection. But when the chips were down, this man came to play. Throwing some incredible passes, making huge plays (including one with his feet), leading them down the field in the 4th quarter and overtime. Setting an NFL record for most passing yards in a Super Bowl (which he would shatter the next season). One for the ages.

3. 2019 AFCCG at Kansas City - 30-46 (65.2%), 348 yds, 1 td, 2 int, 77.1 rating

Again, turnovers. He had two of them. One of them came in the end zone as the Pats were about to take total control of the game early on. Big mistakes. But hoo-boy did he perform when needed. He needed to outgun the sparkling Chiefs offense led by Patrick Mahomes. The way he led them late in the fourth quarter and then in overtime was amazing. Hostile crowd. Freezing conditions. Brady's clutch third down conversions in overtime were the stuff of legend.

4. 2005 AFCCG at Pittsburgh - 14-21 (66.7%), 207 yds, 2 td, 0 int, 130.5 rating

The Steelers had stopped the Pats' record winning streak during the season, so the Pats had to travel to Pittsburgh for the AFCCG against the 15-1 Steelers. Another hostile crowd. Brady was fighting the flu and had a seriously high temperature. No matter. He shredded them right from the beginning with a long pass to Deion Branch and even though he only threw 21 passes, led the Pats to a dominating win on the road against would-be usurpers of their crown. Great stats, huge dominating win against an arch-rival, at THEIR stadium, in the AFCCG, all while Brady was sick as a dog? Sign me up.

5. 2004 SB 38 vs Carolina - 32-48 (66.7%), 354 yds, 3 td, 1 int, 100.5 rating

This was the game that stamped them as a dynasty. Winning 2 Super Bowls in 3 seasons. The Panthers featured one of the best defensive lines in the league and - as BB talked about on the podcast the other day - was one of the best defensive lines the Patriots faced that entire 20 year run. Brady had to throw a ton and he was highly effective. One bad mistake - an interception in the end zone - but otherwise a sterling performance that included another game-winning drive in the last seconds, with some incredible throws to Troy Brown and Deion Branch. And they needed all his points as the defense crumbled, specifically under the weight of a few major injuries that allowed Carolina to put up a ton of points of their own.


6. 2017 AFCCG vs Pittsburgh - 32-42 (76.2%), 384 yds, 3 td, 0 int, 127.5 rating

Those Steelers weren't as good as the teams the Pats had to play early in the dynasty, but they were plenty good. But this was the Tom Brady show from start to finish, as he completed more than three quarters of his passes (on a large volume), for a ton of yards and touchdowns, but without any interceptions. Brady was about as perfect as you could ask for in a big game, playing near flawless football from start to finish.

7. 2018 AFCCG vs Jacksonville - 26-38 (68.4%), 290 yds, 2 td, 0 int, 108.4 rating

Brady was dealing with a severely damaged throwing hand in this one, which has been well documented. Kind of like Schilling's experimental surgery that allowed him to pitch in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS, they operated on Brady's hand and it was unclear even right before game time if he would be able to play. He did play. And he played very well, all things considered. Jacksonville had a really good defense that year and gave the Pats all they could handle, but in the fourth quarter the Pats scored 14 points as Brady hit Amendola for two TDs. Huge stakes, and Brady was excellent, which was absolutely remarkable given the circumstances.

8. 2002 - SB 36 vs St. Louis - 16-27 (59.3%), 145 yds, 1 td, 0 int, 86.2 rating

Obviously not a great day statistically, but the Pats were going up against one of the best defenses in the league in St. Louis. People forget about that, as they usually focus on the "Greatest Show on Turf". Brady didn't do much, but he did throw a beautiful touchdown to David Patten which gave NE a 14-3 lead, and most importantly, he didn't turn it over when the pressure of the moment could easily have derailed him (he was just in his second season in the league, first season starting). But when they really needed him to come through, boy did he ever, leading the Pats on the game winning drive, with clutch throws in big moments. Obviously this is the championship that got it all going, but he really didn't do too much in the game. But it was enough to win it and that's why it's on the list.

9. 2001 vs San Diego - 33-54 (61.1%), 364 yds, 2 td, 0 int, 93.4 rating

This was Brady, for the first time in his career, airing it out. He threw a ton of passes, and at that time (it's continued to this day) QBs who throw 50 times generally don't win. But Brady went bonkers without making any critical errors. The team needed him to throw and he delivered, including a TD pass to Jermaine Wiggins with just 40 seconds left in regulation to tie the game. The Pats were down 26-16 with 3:40 left in the game but the Pats scored 10 points to tie it, and Brady led them for the overtime win. This was the first time you could say, ok, we can win with this guy slinging it.

10. 2009 vs Tennessee - 29-34 (85.3%), 380 yds, 6 td, 0 int, 152.8 rating

Brady had come back from his torn ACL the year before, and in this game, Brady just went absolutely bonkers. Near perfection in terrible weather conditions, he just aired it out and absolutely smoked the Titans, who weren't bad (8-8). It was just a statistically incredible performance, and Brady hit any receiver he wanted, anytime he wanted, anywhere on the field he wanted. No special meaning to this game; it was just Brady performing at absolute peak levels, with the score and statistics to back it up.


There were three games in his career with "perfect" passer ratings, but they didn't make the list. His playoff game against Jacksonville when he went 26-28 was unfathomably great. Obviously he was terrific in his SB win over the Eagles, and there were just a ton more great games in there. I'm sure many of you would change this list, perhaps considerably. It's not necessarily my "favorite" games. Just ones that, to me, best fit the criteria I listed above.
 

rodderick

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Interesting profile of Joe Montana, who has complicated feelings toward Brady.

View: https://mobile.twitter.com/SethWickersham/status/1623313396861992960
Awesome read. If I were Joe I'd be way more peeved at the way people just rank guys like Rodgers in front of him in GOAT arguments than I'd be about Brady. I'm sure Johnny Unitas deep down also thought Montana was a fragile pretty boy who didn't even call his own plays. Kinda seems like he expected Brady to kiss his ring and treat him with kingly deference when Tom was out to blow him out of the water and take his name off the books. Interesting dynamic between the two.
 

cornwalls@6

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One nitpick about that article was the cliched, over stating of it being a less physical game now for quarterbacks. On balance, that's likely true. But the idea that Brady is getting out without scars, unlike poor, martyred Joe, is bullshit. He missed an entire season in his young prime due to an injury, caused by a hit. And I would challenge anyone to watch a replay of the 2013 and 2015 AFC championship games, to name just 2, and then come back and tell me Brady didn't absorb significant punishment in his career.
 

rodderick

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One nitpick about that article was the cliched, over stating of it being a less physical game now for quarterbacks. On balance, that's likely true. But the idea that Brady is getting out without scars, unlike poor, martyred Joe, is bullshit. He missed an entire season in his young prime due to an injury, caused by a hit. And I would challenge anyone to watch a replay of the 2013 and 2015 AFC championship games, to name just 2, and then come back and tell me Brady didn't absorb significant punishment in his career.
Not only that, Montana was just injured more often and missed more games than most of his peers. Odds are he was more unlucky and/or injury prone than average.
 

BaseballJones

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One nitpick about that article was the cliched, over stating of it being a less physical game now for quarterbacks. On balance, that's likely true. But the idea that Brady is getting out without scars, unlike poor, martyred Joe, is bullshit. He missed an entire season in his young prime due to an injury, caused by a hit. And I would challenge anyone to watch a replay of the 2013 and 2015 AFC championship games, to name just 2, and then come back and tell me Brady didn't absorb significant punishment in his career.
Anyone who says Brady isn't tough needs to watch this.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZVb62qWo-Y
 

heavyde050

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Awesome read. If I were Joe I'd be way more peeved at the way people just rank guys like Rodgers in front of him in GOAT arguments than I'd be about Brady. I'm sure Johnny Unitas deep down also thought Montana was a fragile pretty boy who didn't even call his own plays. Kinda seems like he expected Brady to kiss his ring and treat him with kingly deference when Tom was out to blow him out of the water and take his name off the books. Interesting dynamic between the two.
Also, I found it very weird with the line about him being okay if Mahomes won 8.
 

cornwalls@6

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Overall, I did think it was good piece. But did anyone else find the repeated mentions of his dark moods, and of Jennifer’s role being to steer him out of these funks, and keep him positive and engaged a little bit ominous? Like hers is the role of someone managing a partner with CTE, or some other cognitive issue? Or am I reaching on this?
 

Anthologos

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Brady comparisons aside, that article filled me with grief at the passing of youth, of an age, of a childhood I remember. The memories. Then the cliff. Then nothingness. And death does come. Mors omnia vincit.
 

tims4wins

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Overall, I did think it was good piece. But did anyone else find the repeated mentions of his dark moods, and of Jennifer’s role being to steer him out of these funks, and keep him positive and engaged a little bit ominous? Like hers is the role of someone managing a partner with CTE, or some other cognitive issue? Or am I reaching on this?
Same thought.
 

streeter88

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Same thought.
Yes. This to me is one of the great tragedies of (edit) Brady's divorce, obviously well down the list beyond the impact on his kids, but unless he is able to unwind that or move on, it's a long lonely road. I know I know -- pliability -- but the hits must have accumulated somehow.
 
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tims4wins

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Yes. This to me is one of the great tragedies of divorce, obviously well down the list beyond the impact on his kids, but unless he is able to unwind that or move on, it's a long lonely road. I know I know -- pliability -- but the hits must have accumulated somehow.
Um we are talking about Montana
 

Average Reds

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Overall, I did think it was good piece. But did anyone else find the repeated mentions of his dark moods, and of Jennifer’s role being to steer him out of these funks, and keep him positive and engaged a little bit ominous? Like hers is the role of someone managing a partner with CTE, or some other cognitive issue? Or am I reaching on this?
I think you are reaching.

If there were other symptoms present, maybe not. But I took the “dark moods” comment to be related to his competitive nature and something he has had for his entire life. To be specific, there doesn’t seem to be any indication that he’s having any cognitive issues.
 

Anthologos

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Um we are talking about Montana
I took him to mean that Tom won’t have that same source of comfort and guidance after his own divorce…the large family that Joe has made and kept has, in Tom’s case, sundered to a degree. But maybe I’m talking out of my hat.
 

Jettisoned

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1. Deflategate. Tell me all about it.
You don't need BB for this.

The footballs were inflated to 12.5 psi at room temperature. They were brought outside and cooled down over time, which lowered the air pressure in the balls.

The air pressure of the Patriots footballs were tested immediately after the half before they could warm up and the Colts footballs were tested later after they had warmed up.

Nobody monkeyed with the footballs, the air pressure in them dropped because they got cold. End of story.
 

BaseballJones

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You don't need BB for this.

The footballs were inflated to 12.5 psi at room temperature. They were brought outside and cooled down over time, which lowered the air pressure in the balls.

The air pressure of the Patriots footballs were tested immediately after the half before they could warm up and the Colts footballs were tested later after they had warmed up.

Nobody monkeyed with the footballs, the air pressure in them dropped because they got cold. End of story.
I know this and you know this. I want to hear from BB what it was LIKE to experience all that. How he felt. What the conversations were like between him and Brady, and him and Kraft. The tension this may (or may not) have caused. That's what I want to know.
 

cornwalls@6

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I think you are reaching.

If there were other symptoms present, maybe not. But I took the “dark moods” comment to be related to his competitive nature and something he has had for his entire life. To be specific, there doesn’t seem to be any indication that he’s having any cognitive issues.
I hope, and suspect you are probably correct. Just something about how often it was referred to, and the tone of some of the comments by his family and teammates (Steve Young feeling “tenderness “ towards him) struck me as concerning. And he absolutely took big hits to the helmet, and had multiple concussions in his career. But otherwise, he sure seems to be living a very prosperous, and good life with his family and business interests, so I may very well be reading too much into it.
 

Average Reds

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Let me also walk back a little from my initial post, if only to clarify.

Outside of the moodiness that was described, Montana seems to be asymptomatic for CTE. But I don't think you are wrong to be concerned and you may also be reading the author's intent correctly. It just didn't hit me that way when I read it at first.

I should also mention that I assume that all retired NFL players will have CTE in some form. The only real question is whether they will die of it, or die with it.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Montana is much more bitter than I thought he would be. About Young becoming the starter after he got hurt and missed an entire year. About Brady winning more than he did. About a lot of things. The comment about not having a problem if Mahomes won 8 was very strange.

Montana also claims they would have won 3 or 4 more had he remained the starter, which of course is pretty nonsensical; that SF team was ending their time atop the heap. And of course Young was every bit the superstar as Montana had been and they won just the 1.

Compare to Joe, a guy like Drew Bledsoe, happily making wine in the PNW, is in heaven.
 

bougrj1

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Yeah, I also found it a bit odd. Of course there are safety benefits to playing now. There's also a salary cap, players are faster/stronger/more athletic, and Joe also played the majority of his career with the best wide receiver ever. I completely get his bitterness towards how his time in SF ended as it's fucked up they wouldn't let him be around the team, but his annoyance about Brady (someone who has openly idolized him) comes across as petty.
 

Average Reds

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Montana is much more bitter than I thought he would be. About Young becoming the starter after he got hurt and missed an entire year. About Brady winning more than he did. About a lot of things. The comment about not having a problem if Mahomes won 8 was very strange.
I wasn’t that surprised, because pro athletes are wired very differently. (Captain Obvious alert.)

I get why Seifert would have decided to move on to Young once Montana suffered a season-ending injury. However, if he didn’t have the decency to explain any of it, I absolutely understand the skewed (and bitter) perspective that Montana has about how his time in San Francisco ended and his ultimate NFL legacy.

Football is a cold, shitty business that way - they use up human beings and then discard them whether they are ready or not.

Montana also claims they would have won 3 or 4 more had he remained the starter, which of course is pretty nonsensical; that SF team was ending their time atop the heap. And of course Young was every bit the superstar as Montana had been and they won just the 1.

Compare to Joe, a guy like Drew Bledsoe, happily making wine in the PNW, is in heaven.
Completely agree with all of this. Especially the comparison to Bledsoe.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Speaking of Drew and how athletes find a path post-career, ESPN released an E:60 episode on Bledsoe this past week. It was really engaging - you definitely come away with the sense that Drew is at peace and recognizes how his wine business was a necessary outlet for him after his career ended.

EDIT - Never mind - it came out in 2020! I just happened to see it this past weekend. My bad.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Speaking of Drew and how athletes find a path post-career, ESPN released an E:60 episode on Bledsoe this past week. It was really engaging - you definitely come away with the sense that Drew is at peace and recognizes how his wine business was a necessary outlet for him after his career ended.
I honestly think Bledsoe didn't really enjoy the grind of football all that much. When he was still playing, he would talk about getting away to Montana in the offseason as fast as possible and enjoyed it because he could put football out of his mind and no one he encountered seemed to care all that much that he was an NFL QB.

And it now makes sense that when Romo was named the starter over him in Dallas, he retired nearly immediately. He could have hung around the league a few more years as a backup and made several million more dollars, but he didn't enjoy football that much to not be playing.
 

AlNipper49

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Bledsoe could be one of the most gracious players ever. Even when he was about to lose his job to Brady he was nothing less than a great big brother. Granted, he parlayed that into one of the biggest contracts in the NFL at the time. Then he retired and has done nothing but support those around him.
 

BaseballJones

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Brady’s $100 million contract came before Brady took over. So he was a freshly minted $100 million man and still had the graciousness to mentor Brady as his replacement. Obviously he did not love being replaced but he sure handled that as well as you could ever imagine.
 

TFisNEXT

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Montana is much more bitter than I thought he would be. About Young becoming the starter after he got hurt and missed an entire year. About Brady winning more than he did. About a lot of things. The comment about not having a problem if Mahomes won 8 was very strange.

Montana also claims they would have won 3 or 4 more had he remained the starter, which of course is pretty nonsensical; that SF team was ending their time atop the heap. And of course Young was every bit the superstar as Montana had been and they won just the 1.

Compare to Joe, a guy like Drew Bledsoe, happily making wine in the PNW, is in heaven.
The increasingly immobile Montana in his latter years against that early/mid 1990s Dallas defense probably wouldn't have gone as well as he thinks it would have. But I think these guys are so competitive by nature they think like this. It's part of what makes them great too.
 

Trlicek's Whip

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Having flashbacks to the Beldsoe vs Rick Mirer debate that dragged on for weeks. Glad we picked the right one.
Geez, there were even "Pennington is better" convos I recall having with Brady cynics when Chad was peaking and both were in the league competing against each other.

It is hard to look at a guy early on and objectively predict they'll be the GOAT, I get that. Especially moment to moment as they develop (cue old threads of "Brady can't throw the deep ball" etc.) And especially when they're wearing your favorite laundry.

But it's hard for me to fathom making anti-Brady arguments along the way while watching him actually put up those numbers, amid flash in the pan outliers and "hall of decent or very good" competitors, when it was clear he was doing something special, and consistently.

I guess I could put this in the "Celebrating What Is" thread too, since the other three AFC East teams have started 63 QB's over the span of TB's career (2000-2022).
 
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tims4wins

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Geez, there were even "Pennington is better" convos I recall having with Brady cynics when Chad was peaking and both were in the league competing against each other.

It is hard to look at a guy early on and predict they'll be the GOAT, I get that. Especially when they're wearing your favorite laundry But it's hard for me to fathom making anti-Brady arguments along the way when it was clear he was doing something special, even if I wasn't a Pats fan.
In fairness, Pennington was probably better than Brady in 2002. As a starter he went 8-3, beat Brady H2H in Foxboro in week 16, beat Manning in a playoff game (41-0 lol; Pennington went 19-25 for 222, 3 TD / 0 INT and a 142.0 rating). As a starter, his regular season numbers were 70.7% completions, 7.86 YPA, 22 TD : 4 INT, 109.9 rating. He was legitimately very good that season.
 

tims4wins

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Pennington was on a track for the Hall of the Very Good at least before he got hurt. Once his shoulder was injured, his career never fully recovered.
And even then, he got the most out of his talent. He won comeback player of the year twice! And somehow finished 2nd (!!) in the MVP voting in the 2008 Wildcat year (with 19 TD passes!)
 

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In fairness, Pennington was probably better than Brady in 2002. As a starter he went 8-3, beat Brady H2H in Foxboro in week 16, beat Manning in a playoff game (41-0 lol; Pennington went 19-25 for 222, 3 TD / 0 INT and a 142.0 rating). As a starter, his regular season numbers were 70.7% completions, 7.86 YPA, 22 TD : 4 INT, 109.9 rating. He was legitimately very good that season.
He was better than everyone. He would've (or at least should've) won MVP if he started from Week 1. It was probably the best first-year starter performance in NFL history - right up there with Warner, except he played a ton of games in domes against shit defenses.
 

tims4wins

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He was better than everyone. He would've (or at least should've) won MVP if he started from Week 1. It was probably the best first-year starter performance in NFL history - right up there with Warner, except he played a ton of games in domes against shit defenses.
Quite possibly true. His numbers were better than Gannon's on a pro-rated basis. Hard to say whether the Jets would have done better than 9-7 if he started from the beginning. They were 1-3 before he made a start, but those 3 losses were 44-7, 30-3, and 28-3. He also lost H2H to Gannon in Oakland, which didn't help the narrative.
 

Rudy's Curve

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Quite possibly true. His numbers were better than Gannon's on a pro-rated basis. Hard to say whether the Jets would have done better than 9-7 if he started from the beginning. They were 1-3 before he made a start, but those 3 losses were 44-7, 30-3, and 28-3. He also lost H2H to Gannon in Oakland, which didn't help the narrative.
Oh yeah, Gannon was always going to win as a really productive QB who played every game for the 1-seed. I suppose the Jets would've always Jetsed in the end, but that version of Pennington would've created a heck of a rivalry for a few years if he didn't get hurt.
 

tims4wins

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Oh yeah, Gannon was always going to win as a really productive QB who played every game for the 1-seed. I suppose the Jets would've always Jetsed in the end, but that version of Pennington would've created a heck of a rivalry for a few years if he didn't get hurt.
Yep. 2006 was particularly spicy. They beat the Pats in Foxboro (again) which IIRC led the Pats to replacing the natural grass with field turf. They met in the playoffs and the Pats beat them by a few scores, partly fueled by a late pick 6.
 

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Yep. 2006 was particularly spicy. They beat the Pats in Foxboro (again) which IIRC led the Pats to replacing the natural grass with field turf. They met in the playoffs and the Pats beat them by a few scores, partly fueled by a late pick 6.
Unfortunately, that version of Pennington was gone by then - the '05 shoulder injury is what really killed him and made him a pure dink and dunker. He was actually pretty great in '08, but it was just in limited volume (under 30 attempts a game).

As an aside, the 2004 AFC East was stupid good. The Pats were a dominant 14-2, the Jets were a solid 10-6 (6.6 SRS), the Bills missed the playoffs at 9-7 (losing at home Week 17 to Steelers backups) with a +111 PD and while the Dolphins were 4-12, their -2.2 SRS was much closer to a third-place quality team than last. The 2014 AFC North for example was a game and a half better because they played a really weak schedule, but I can't think of a modern division that had a +281 total PD. That's absurd.
 

tims4wins

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Unfortunately, that version of Pennington was gone by then - the '05 shoulder injury is what really killed him and made him a pure dink and dunker. He was actually pretty great in '08, but it was just in limited volume (under 30 attempts a game).

As an aside, the 2004 AFC East was stupid good. The Pats were a dominant 14-2, the Jets were a solid 10-6 (6.6 SRS), the Bills missed the playoffs at 9-7 (losing at home Week 17 to Steelers backups) with a +111 PD and while the Dolphins were 4-12, their -2.2 SRS was much closer to a third-place quality team than last. The 2014 AFC North for example was a game and a half better because they played a really weak schedule, but I can't think of a modern division that had a +281 total PD. That's absurd.
Jets almost took down the Steelers in the playoffs, right? Missed a field goal? Or was that another year.
 

Rudy's Curve

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Jul 4, 2006
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Jets almost took down the Steelers in the playoffs, right? Missed a field goal? Or was that another year.
Yeah, that was the Doug Brien year. They beat the Chargers after extending the game due to a fourth down roughing the passer against Brees before Kaeding missed a big kick (stop me if you've heard that one) in OT. Then they got a punt return TD and a long pick-six against the Steelers and Ben threw another pick in between the Brien misses. They also took a knee with six seconds left and a timeout instead of running a play from the 23 - not what I would've done on a winter day at Heinz, but to each their own.
 
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tims4wins

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Yeah, that was the Doug Brien year. They beat the Chargers after extending the game due to a fourth down roughing the passer against Brees before Kaeding missed a big kick (stop me if you've never heard that one) in OT. Then they got a punt return TD and a long pick-six against the Steelers and Ben threw another pick in between the Brien misses. They also took a knee with six seconds left and a timeout instead of running a play from the 23 - not what I would've done on a winter day at Heinz, but to each their own.
Jets gonna Jet.
 

InstaFace

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Sep 27, 2016
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Brady comparisons aside, that article filled me with grief at the passing of youth, of an age, of a childhood I remember. The memories. Then the cliff. Then nothingness. And death does come. Mors omnia vincit.
Well said, the article hit me this way too a little bit.

On the other hand, as much as the article wanted to portray Montana as being filled with bitterness and an abyss of longing, I thought the actual events reported made him sound pretty well-adjusted overall. It took him a while, but he found a second career for which he has a passion and keeps him engaged. He has a ton of support and closeness with family and friends, travels all the time. He's 66, so of course there are going to be some funerals in his life too, but also loves his grandchildren, his children love him, he has more opportunities than he can count, and he still stops traffic on the streets of San Francisco. The author had to work real hard to take him out of his normal mood of joy and focus, if only to make the point that he could still be brought to thoughts of regret. But who among us can reach our 60s without some wish for more youth, more glory, more accomplishment? If we each have the things Montana has in his life today, minus all the money and fame, just days full of love, food, travel, friends and family, who would look at us and say "man, he's bitter"?

The author also seemed to me to go out of his way to look for ways to paint him as bitter with respect to Brady, and being supplanted atop football's heap. But personally, I found the article - a vast tome of, what, 20,000 words? - lacking in evidence for that. That's how they wanted to write it, that's how the editors framed the headline and subhead, but where are the quotes? OK, he's not personally close with Brady, Brady hasn't reached out and formed much of a bond. So what? Montana says he thinks he could've won more. OK, great, what does that mean for Brady? Nothing. He's bitter about the way Seifert kept him from the team in 1991, and fair enough. But Tom Brady's never done anything to him and it doesn't sound like he's upset about it, any more than Montana is upset about the passage of time and the advancement of history, about himself moving from writing the present to the past. But you still can't tell the story of the NFL without Joe Montana, and that will likely always be the case. Same is true for Brady, and for a dozen or two other figures of the last 100 years depending on where you draw the line.

If they went looking for bitterness among HOF QBs, I'm sure they'd find far, far more of it among (say) Dan Marino or Jim Kelly, or Warren Moon, or whoever. I found the intimate portrayal of Montana's life and the passage of time for him and his family to be fascinating reading, but I really didn't see in it much darkness. He endured a tremendous amount of pain in his career and it brought him fame and fortune, but (like others) I didn't read much in it about faint symptoms of CTE, just the surgeries and recovery he had to endure. It doesn't sound like he's even living with chronic pain, which can certainly bring a tremendous amount of bitterness, even despair, into someone's life. If you could choose to be one of them 10-15 years past their playing days, I might even choose Montana over Brady, based on what all we know about them. Give me a life project to work on (like Montana's VC work), plenty of time with things I enjoy, and the support and love and company of family and friends. All the rest is vanity, and each of them clearly know it and have the maturity to put thoughts of it far from their daily minds.