God. Damn. Someone point me to the nearest brick wall to run through please. I am going to miss watching him play so very much.
Oh, I got a contender right here. From left to right: Jose Canseco, Troy O' Leary, and Kevin Mitchell. This game was played at the SkyDome, so they could show off their speed on the turf.That might be the worst defensive lineup ever fielded anywhere.
Well Canseco was actually fast anyway.Oh, I got a contender right here. From left to right: Jose Canseco, Troy O' Leary, and Kevin Mitchell. This game was played at the SkyDome, so they could show off their speed on the turf.
So this is my first ever post on SOSH and will likely be my only one as the self-important nature of my
writing should probably get me banned. I made my account here in 2007 after lurking since 2003 (I
found baseball through Johnny Gould and the boys on MLB on 5 in the UK with their two games a
week and became a Red Sox fan very quickly) and only actually activated the thing a few years ago. I
had thought about writing something when Ortiz retired or maybe Jon Lester and indeed when Tom
left the Pats but I waited for today because I think I always knew this would have to be the day. I
strongly advise you just skip to the end as there's a fair amount of overly emotional pish on the way. If
not, ill begin.
The first football game I ever actively watched was Superbowl 38. As an 17 year old I struggled a bit
with insomnia and, growing up in Scotland, late night US sports (baseball) and entertainment (WWF)
had become a useful crutch to get through many nights. My father had been a WFT fan since the 80s
and was watching the game. Normally, I skipped any football but with my Red Sox fandom being at
maybe its peak after the 2003 ALCS I figured I could watch the “Boston Team” and try and figure out
what was going on. I didn’t take to it straight away but I enjoyed it enough that over the next few
years it became a secondary interest, something that I could link to my love of the Red Sox but didn’t
have the level of investment where it bothered me. Ive always kind of used sports as a crutch to deal with
built up anger or stress and I have placed at times a borderline unhealthy importance on the results
of whichever of my teams was playing at the time. This was different and it was good.
Things would change in 2007. Side effects of a medication had left me with some health issues and I
faced a year off of university to recover with little to keep me motivated or busy. Football seemed
the obvious new hobby to help me get through the tough months that followed. Brady and Moss and
Welker and the 2007 team were as good a thing to latch onto as I could imagine. I bought Madden,
studied strategy and watched every second of the season I could. Brady though was the anchor to
the whole endeavour. The story of the guy drafted so low who was now at the pinnacle of his sport
gave me hope that even when things looked really shite there was always a way through with
enough hard work. So, perhaps unfortunately, I had another sport to lay too many hopes on. The
Scottish game was devastating, linked as it was to this part of me. It happened at the worst time and
to this day I cant watch any part of it. The next few months were not good for me and my health but
somehow I got through (my big turning point mentally was Jon Lester’s no hitter, watched pitch by
pitch on MLB gameday's daft 2d graphic).
Brady’s injury and a return to university didn’t derail my support for the Patriots. This was now the
biggest team in my life and I remember scrambling to find any bar in a city in Austria I was doing an
internship in during the summer of ’09 that might be showing Brady’s comeback game early on a
Tuesday morning. When I graduated and returned to that same city the following year to begin my
postgrad, going to any sports bar or betting shop that would show the Patriots became my Sunday
night pilgrimage as I adapted to life in a different country. I think the excellence of Brady that year,
coupled with the tough adjustment moving country brings, brought him more than even the team to
a position of importance for me. It encouraged me to start playing football at the age of 25 and I
enjoyed 4 good years in 2 countries playing first DB then LB and for the majority a 190 pound
defensive end. The few years of near misses were tough but in the end the joy of the comeback in SB
49 at the same time as my future seemed completely set was worth everything.
Of course, things weren’t set and two days before the Pats played the Steelers in the 2016 AFCCG my
fiancé left me after six years. I could have and probably should have spiraled. I did for the first week,
drinking far too much and putting my job at risk. Then Brady came back from 25 points down in the
Superbowl. I think like most people who actually watched him week in week out it was his mental
acuity and determination which I admired the most in him. This comeback not only gave me the
momentary joy of victory but further motivation to not look at the negatives of what has happened
but the positives of what can happen if you trust in yourself. Like any long term breakup I didn’t get
over things straight away but that night in Houston sure as feck helped push me along.
That October I was living in a new country once more and one Sunday evening I was watching the
Pats with a girl I had been on a few dates with. She had heard of Brady but didn’t know much beyond
the surface level. As we watched I explained things to her, the trophies, the comebacks, the chip on
the shoulder of the sixth round pick. She listened. As the weeks and months went on she learned
what a Gronk was. Wondered why I was obsessing about us missing a girl named Julian (the girl in
question is not a native English speaker). She eventually began to joke that really I loved Brady more
than her and she was going to have to get used to that (she was on this as with her decision to be
with me completely wrong). When it came time to do the seating plan for our wedding she had no
problem having some of our guests sit at the Tom Brady table (or indeed theLil’ Sebastian table).
As Brady played on with six rings and nothing left to prove, all his struggles behind him we debated
whether we could really justify naming our child Tom if it turned out to be awee boy we were
going to have.
On that fateful day in March 2020 we were getting used to the fact that we were about to face our
first lockdown and all the things we wanted to do before the baby came were probably not going to
happen. I was on my second day working from home and, not knowing how to deal with that
properly, was starting a new Total War campaign when the BBC notification came. Tom was leaving.
There was a numbness and then my wife came through having had the same message. She held me
and Ill be honest there were almost tears. Five minutes later there would be. As she held me she got
a call from our doctor with some test results (good ones). The baby was a little girl and she was
growing in perfect health. Nothing else mattered anymore. Nothing. When my wife asked me how
I felt I said just three words. Fuck Tom Brady. Not out of bitterness of anything negative, but because
at that second nothing in the universe mattered beyond what was there and real and actually important.
That’s the thing about our sporting heroes. We project our hopes and dreams onto them and we feel
their failures and successes as our own. Some of us place too great an importance on this and let it
affect us far too much (thankfully ive never smashed a TV like an over-zealous Cowboys fan) to the
confusion of those who are more grounded in reality. Sometimes though it can help us when we
really need it. When we need an escape. Sometimes we live that through a team and others through
an individual. Sometimes an athlete is more than a team even if he might not be bigger than it. That
to me was Tom. Flawed with some questionable decisions and friends but undeniably the best ever
at what he does. An inspiration for those who need to be reminded that you can always come back if
you believe in yourself and your ability. Ridiculous as it seems I don’t think I would be where I am
with all the wonderful things I have found in my life if I don’t have that to reach for when my life
seemed to be falling apart.
At first I thought I couldn’t watch him play somewhere else but I was lying to myself. His playoff run
last year helped me through a tough second lockdown. Not as previous runs had. This time I could
just enjoy it with no real emotional attachment. Having the little one I think has cut those kind of
ridiculous ties I had to sport for ever and now I can relax and just enjoy the games as never before. I
think watching Mac Jones this year was maybe the most fun Ive had watching football, all
expectations gone and just enjoying the game for what it is – a game. I cant wait for September to
see how this team grows.
All that being said, I'm going to miss Tom. His career overlaps mostly with my adulthood and journey
from high school to fatherhood and inevitably there's now a big gap there. Some of you reading this
may not get that – hes just some millionaire on the other side of the world. But to those who
understand, well they will understand. I feel privileged to have watched the majority of Tom’s career
and especially to have read a large part of the narrative here on SOSH. Whether its been refreshing
game threads or legal discussions around Deflategate or wallowing in the glory of what is, this has
been a part of my life for 15 odd years. Now its over. But its been fucking awesome. Thank you Tom
and thank you SOSH.
TL/DR I'm a self-important and self-indulgent twat but Tom is awesome so thank you Tom
I'll never get the parasocial relationships people have with athletes. Brady played on the team I root for and delivered for them time and time again for 20 years. That's all I could ever want from him and those are the memories that'll remain. I couldn't care less if he's still upset with the Patriots, what feelings he has on the organization or whatever. He was responsible for moments I'll cherish forever, how needy would I have to be to demand anything more of the man?I cannot believe the amount of hand-wringing from the media about Brady not mentioning the Pats in that retirement post. The national media, I get it because they are bored and need something to talk about. The Globe running multiple "WTF Tom?" stories is as transparent as it gets. What a bunch of bullshit.
Thanks for posting this, it's beyond hysterical.
The Globe aside, this is mana from heaven for talk radio. The winter teams are in the dog days, there's no anticipation yet whatsoever for spring training this year, the Pats were eliminated early, and it's the quiet week before the super bowl hype begins in earnest. Brady served this up on a silver platter for them.I cannot believe the amount of hand-wringing from the media about Brady not mentioning the Pats in that retirement post. The national media, I get it because they are bored and need something to talk about. The Globe running multiple "WTF Tom?" stories is as transparent as it gets. What a bunch of bullshit.
I heard Kraft's tantrum was so loud and unsettling that it caused Theo to stop tipping over desks and throwing chairs.
Summary: Ted Johnson is a piece of garbage.
“Sorry – I fucked this up. I double checked and this was meant for Kyle Brady. I’m sorry about that. – BB”Well good to see Brady and BB bro hugging it out
This is the content I come here for.“Sorry – I fucked this up. I double checked and this was meant for Kyle Brady. I’m sorry about that. – BB”
Yeah, that was great and is so much better than an Instagram post with a bunch of text (not even taking into account the content).Very nice tribute to all of his teammates and the fans. This is the kind of thing that he should have put out on Tuesday.
NFL history? So he's saying Saban is better right? Or does he mean Lloyd Carr?Well good to see Brady and BB bro hugging it out