Patriot for life
As “The Match II” tees off in the pouring rain of Florida, Patriot supporters from around the world are reminded of one of the most difficult decisions they’ll ever have to make as a fan: “Is Tom Brady still my quarterback?”. Of course, no one from New England will completely jump ship and abandon the Pats, but each New Englander has to figure out to what level they’ll support their football hero for the last 20 years.
During the first hole introductions, Samuel L. Jackson jokingly announced Brady as representing Boston, MA, but for the first time since Brady’s announcement that he would not be returning next year, I realized that he still does represent Boston.
TB12 has been a Patriot for every single season I’ve been alive for. My first season in existence was the Rams Super Bowl year and last year, I watched him try to drag his depleted team from my dorm room at college. I don’t care whether he was forced out or left on his own accord. I don’t care what happens in Tampa Bay or how putrid the Patriots could be this season. I will be a Tom Brady fan until the day I die, whether it’s a charity golf match in the rain or the Super Bowl in Tampa (unless it’s against the Pats).
Brady took pay cut after pay cut in Foxboro, braving terrible weather and a coach who refused to relinquish any power to the greatest football player of all time. If at some point you finally want the respect you deserve from your organization, who am I to call him out for it? Tommy turned around an organization that used to be akin to the Cleveland Browns and made them into one of the most successful organizations in all of sports. Considering modern free agency, this was probably the most impressive dynasty of all time. He gave everything he had for the organization, including his left ACL, and didn’t complain once along the way.
The GOAT has had two hall of fame careers and stayed with one organization for twenty years in a generation of sports where this type of loyalty is unheard of. His rival on the field, and today, on the course, Peyton Manning, also played for two teams, but no one faulted him for leaving. People put the GOATs on a pedestal, but they’re human too, even if they don’t look like it on the field. Tom Brady will be a Patriot for life and deserves it after delivering six championships and 20 years of winning football to the greatest sports city in the world. I’ll never forget what Brady has done for the Patriots and there’s nothing that can diminish my fandom.