ORLANDO, January 24, 2014 — In an action insufferable even by elitist New England standards, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady piously lectured Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman about how to “win with class.”
As the entire world now knows, Richard Sherman had a fiery post-game interview after helping the Seattle Seahawks win the NFC Title Game and a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII over the hated San Francisco 49ers. He lit into 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree due to a personal history of animosity between the two men that goes beyond the football field.
While Sherman’s comments in victory were certainly less than gracious, they were perfectly understandable in the context of his situation. His comments were certainly less harmful than the profanity-laced and racist tweets he received from cowards hiding behind keyboards.
It is one thing for random heathens to attack a hard-working, self-made man. It is quite another for a member of the NFL fraternity to do it, especially one who is supposed to be an ambassador for the league.
Tom Brady for some reason is held up by his supporters as a model of classy behavior. Talk about “the Patriot way” centers around doing things with integrity and dignity. While owner Robert Kraft is a good man who conducts business honorably, the Patriot way is a myth. Tom Brady is one of the leaders of that phony piousness.
Brady is not classy. He has been a sore loser and a sore winner. He has been totally ungracious in defeat and victory. Like many people in New England, his humility meter often veers between significantly smug and completely insufferable. Listening to him lecture others about classy behavior has turned him into the John Kerry of football.
Tom Brady’s career rise began with the “Tuck Rule” game. After a controversial call gave the Patriots a playoff victory over the Oakland Raiders, Brady was beyond classless. The Raiders to this day know they were cheated. Brady could have been a quiet winner. Instead, when asked if the call was right, he replied with a grit-eating grin, “Damn straight. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”
When he has repeated contests against Peyton Manning, he says all the right things before the game. When Brady wins, Manning exchanges a lengthy and truly gracious moment on the field. When Brady loses, as he did in the recently completed AFC Title Game, he gives Manning a lightning-quick handshake and exits the field.
After a 2013 loss to the Carolina Panthers on the final play, Brady screamed and cursed at the officials for not ruling his way. The man who owes a major part of his career and legacy to blown officiating calls in his favor should knock it off. The 2007 Patriots went 16-0 only because repeated horrendous penalty calls practically gave New England a victory over the Baltimore Ravens. This is before getting to the various rules set up to protect quarterbacks from getting their fingernails dirty from defenders touching them. Brady is a star in a league that gives its quarterback stars special treatment. Even with that, he still whines to the referees more than necessary.
Brady even weighs in on issues that have nothing to do with him. Brady referred to college quarterback John “Johnny Football” Manziel as a word that rhymes with bird. The bird is not the word, and it was a needless attack. Manziel’s sin was partying too hard as a 20-year old college kid. Brady impregnated two different women within months of each other. While he married one of them and may be a great husband and father, he should drop the public morality lectures about some college Texan who wants to drink a beer or seven.
Brady also was barely able to hide his contempt toward Tim Tebow before their playoff game. Brady resented the attention Tebow was getting, and took delight on humiliating him in the playoffs. All Tebow did was act polite, humble and respectful of Brady.
People are judged by the company they keep. Brady’s wife Gisele Bunchen screamed at fans after the Patriots most recent Super Bowl loss. In particular she attacked receiver Wes Welker for dropping what could have been a game-clinching pass. The pass was catchable, but high and overthrown.
After a playoff victory over the favored San Diego Chargers during the 2006 season, Brady’s teammates ran to midfield of the Chargers home field. Then they mocked the “lights out” dance of star Chargers defender Shawn Merriman.
Brady’s coach Bill Belichick was behind the 2007 Spygate cheating scandal. The Patriots were accused of stealing the play-calling signals of opposing coaches. The idea that Belichick’s star player knew nothing about this is ludicrous. Belichick also ran off the field after the 2007 undefeated season resulted in a Super Bowl loss. He did so before the game had officially ended.
Belichick recently accused now-Denver Bronco Wes Welker, who just defeated New England to go to the Super Bowl, of deliberately trying to injure Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib. Brady commented without commenting. The Patriot Way is not so noble.
Brady is a phenomenal football player. He will be a first ballot Hall-of-Famer. This does not make him a good person. It certainly does not make him classy or gracious. He also said he will not be watching the Super Bowl. He is not in it, so there is no point paying attention to a game that has given him everything.
He will not be missed. Neither will his pompousness. Brady defenders will claim that his critics are jealous of him. They have it reversed. His jealousy of anyone who steals attention from him, whether it be Tebow, Sherman or Manziel, is the problem. He has it all, yet cannot stop judging and complaining.
Like the rest of Richard Sherman’s critics, America will tune Brady out and enjoy the Super Bowl just fine without his hypocritical morality lectures.