Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Why That Tom Brady Fathead Has to Go

Tom Brady - Quarterback Fathead Wall Decal
Dear Mr. 11,

I'm sorry, but your Tom Brady Fathead has got to go.

I know. I know. I know.  You love your Fathead.  It was a present. It completes your Patriot's Man Cave.  

It doesn't matter.  I am the self-appointed Keeper of Morality in Sports, Mr 9 & 11 Division.  Since the only thing I'd change about my Mom is if she knew more about sports defines your maternal unit's relationship to grown men playing games for profit, it has fallen to me, your faux-grandmother, to intervene.

We've already been through the Aaron Hernandez debacle; I remember your surprise when you learned that the first trial was for murdering the people who knew about the murder in the second trial.  TWO murders??? you gasped, and I had to tell you that, in fact, there were three dead people attached to this soon-to-be-former hero.  

There were no arguments; it was pretty obvious that a man who was going to spend the rest of his life in prison would not make for much football conversation over the rest of your lifetime. Unfortunately,  you and your brother latched on to Adrian Peterson.

That one started out okay; he seemed like a good guy, his teammates respected him, he had solid football skills.  But then his 4 year old son went back to his mother with slash marks across his back and scrotum.... yes, I did say scrotum, but only after Mr. 9 tried to justify the behavior by saying He was only spanking him.  Using part of a tree to leave welts on your testicles is a bit more than a spanking.... as all three of you boys, squirming in the back seat, agreed.

And now we are faced with the Patriots' quarterback, a man who is too handsome for his own good.  He must have gotten used to the smiles and adulation at a very early age; his kind of egocentrism is not lightly attained. 

What am I talking about?  Pretty people receive smiles and better evaluations than those deemed less attractive.  If you spend your whole life being a star athlete, with a face that could launch a thousand ships (The Iliad explains that... and so does Dr. Faustus), well, then, you are more than likely to think well of yourself.  

All that positive reinforcement, all those kudos, all those trophies, they are everywhere.  These reminders of how wonderful you are are on the television, in the newspaper, and on the faces of boys like you and your brother.  Imagine how hard it would be to avoid all that attention..... and then imagine if you would want to avoid it.

People shouting your name.  Fans roaring when you enter the field.  Life-size photo cut-outs of yourself on the wall of boys and girls across the country.  Money.  Prestige.  Influence.  

Would you want to give it up?  

Then, ask yourself what you'd do to keep it. 

An independent investigator said that it's more probable than not that Tom Brady not only knew that the footballs he was using in the AFC Championship game were under-inflated, but that he influenced the men who were in charge of those footballs to bring them to him in that condition.  

I know.  I know.  I know.  It didn't make any difference to the outcome of the game.  The Patriots trounced their opponents.  Please, though, don't ask me why it's such a big deal.

Okay, I'll answer it anyway, because you've said it to me before and, I fear, you are thinking it right now.  

It's such a big deal because it's cheating  He definitely knew that there was a rule about ball inflation, and it's more probable than not that he knew the balls he was using did not meet that standard.  

I know this is more probable than not because every football talking head on ESPN swore that he could tell, by touch alone, if the balls were a pound or two under weight.  None of them seemed to believe Tom Brady's supposed ignorance of the transgression.

Your mom is a lawyer.  Should she only care about the rules which fit the outcome she desires?  Can she feel free to flaunt the ones that don't seem to make much difference in the end?  Should she be aggravated if another lawyer does that?

The more egregious problem, at least as the Keeper of Morality sees it, is the fact that he did not cooperate with the investigation.  When the dogs eat the tacquitos because the treats weren't replaced in the refrigerator, is it okay for all the kids to refuse to tell Mom where they were when it happened? Better yet, why wouldn't they, if giving the information to the investigator (Mom) would clear themof any wrong doing?

I'm not talking about lying; that issue was covered above. I'm talking about taking responsibility for your actions.

I'm talking about cooperating with the investigators, not hiding your cell phone and refusing to share the information it contained.  I'm talking about the disconnect between not cooperating and then slamming the report because it was biased.  I'm talking about having someone else make (feeble) excuses rather than defending yourself.

Did you notice that his agent gave a long screed to the media, but Brady himself claimed not to have read the report.  He said he would do so once he had considered what was written.  Take a moment and think - if someone wrote a 240 page report discussing your behavior, would you do anything else from the moment it was released than read it?  Wouldn't you be curious?  Obviously, reading it in that amount of time was possible; his agent did it.

Tom Brady went to the University of Michigan.  He has to be able to read 240 pages in 36 hours or he would never have completed his freshman year.  

The only conclusions I can draw are less than flattering.  He's so in love with himself that he cannot bear to read anything which might diminish him.  He's so convinced that he did nothing wrong that he doesn't care what anyone else might think.  He cannot imagine a world in which he is not beloved, so he must be innocent of everything.  

MY PHONE? You want my phone? It's TOM BRADY's phone, man! NO WAY!

Can't you hear him saying that... thinking that.... doing that?  

Is that really the guy you want to emulate?

Think Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning or Steph Curry or Tim Howard ... you choose, I'll pay.

Just get that less than admirable cheater off your wall.

Your Suzi


  1. I'm not a Patriots fan, but this has really bothered me. I'm so disappointed in Brady. Why he would cheat is beyond me. He's a good quarterback, why cheat? And I agree with you, just own up to it. Americans are pretty forgiving of their football players (much to my dismay). By not acknowledging it, he's making it so much worse. Tear the band-aid off and be done with it. Yes, it will be painful, but it will subside.

    Happy Tuesday.

    Megan xxx

    1. It's Nixonian, as TBG is fond of saying. They (Patriots, Bellicheck, Brady) are very good at what they do, and probably don't need help to win. BUT, they are so obsessed with winning that, like Nixon, they go to great and illegal lengths to secure an edge.

      Tear off the band-aid and move on.... you are SO RIGHT.

  2. Exactly what Brady asked is not proven. It could have been to have them at the bottom end of legal and he was rigid on it irritating the ball handler. His big punishment was because he wouldn't turn over his cell phone records. Let's see what could have gone wrong if he had-- assuming he had nothing to hide. He had testified for hours in front of them. So hot husband/hot wife, lot of separations due to work requirements could equal hot phone calls. Who believes if he had let them be looked through that they'd not have leaked to tabloids. He could have had other private calls that he didn't want covered. The report said most likely which means they had no real proof but supposition is enough in the world where sports heroes are everything to some people. So if someone hated the Patriots, they wanted the Super Bowl taken away even though clearly the balls had nothing to do with the win.

    However, I'd suggest kids find different heroes for their walls anyway. I think heroes (except maybe fictional) usually end up disappointing. How about some historic ones-- that is until the next book comes out telling his those idols also had clay feet. Heroes are risky business but I'd say sports ones pretty much are the worst to go putting up on a wall.

    1. True. True. and True.
      Yet, no matter how we might yearn for such a thing, there is no Fathead of George Washington (did he marry Martha for her money and her land?) or Abraham Lincoln (oh, dear, that long mournful face every morning might be a bit much for an 11 year old) or even Sally Ride. The boys will look to sports for heroes, and I have to say that Michael Jordan was just fine with me for Big Cuter. We discussed gambling, sure, but we also talked about work ethic and proper form while exercising and the need to win and what it takes to get there.

      As Charles Barkley said a long time ago, parents can't expect sports figures to replace them as role models.

    2. I am not familiar with the world where sports heroes are on walls but I have heard of it. Soccer is bigger for our grandkids although they all have football teams they like-- not sure about quarterbacks. I wasn't much for encouraging sports though; so maybe that was a factor. I would rather they hero worshiped a writer or even politician *gasp*. I think you can teach a kid to value exercise and dedication without it being some human out there who most likely does have clay feet and maybe worse ;).

      That said I have been amazed at the hate out there for Tom Brady. I do read comments, not here, but other places, and boy people dislike him and are glad he got nailed, if he did. It's that old gladiator thing, I guess. Thumbs up or down. Is it because he is handsome. Do they know he's got a huge ego or cheated beyond what other sports stars do or just he's had so many physical blessings that they resent him?

      I will just be glad when it's no longer a story as there are so many things to worry about and this seems a distraction, which amazes me that it matters so much to so many. That said, it clearly does. :(

  3. You are SO right about this guy! I have been MIA from your blog (and other places) for a long time partly because i have been involved in a long legal battle involving my two boys and my narcissistic ex. Tom Brady seems to be one of those types,actually along with a lot of other famous men AND women.

    One other thing that bothers me also is this: is the rule for football inflation in need of revision? Is it really so difficult to play well with a ball inflated to the correct amount? Is it not assumed/true that a whole lot of other teams also play with under-inflated balls? (FOOTballs! haha) Then maybe the NFL should take a look at this, if it indeed is such a huge problem!

    Or maybe it is the heads of the players that need deflating.

    1. Welcome back, kaitie :)
      It's ego more than anything.... like Nixon, it's the cover up that got him.
      A simple apology - I like the balls a certain way. The guys knew it. If I influenced them, I'm sorry. I won't do it again I'm sorry. -would have let me keep the damn Fathead right where it is.

  4. I thought NYTimes had a good piece on this today-- http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/13/sports/football/in-tom-brady-mess-distinguishing-cheating-from-chicanery.html


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