Tag Archives: Tom Brady

The GOAT is coming back

There really is no way for me to explain my disappointment to learn that Tom Brady is coming back for at least one more season playing professional football for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But I’ll try anyway … to explain myself.

Brady completed his 22nd year in the National Football League, losing a playoff game to the Los Angeles Rams. Then he decided to retire. I hailed it at the time. Why? Because he had just finished a stellar season. He led the league in passing yards and a whole host of other quarterback categories.

Not only that, he did it at the age of 44!

The Greatest Of All Time was going out at the top of his game. He would stay home with his gorgeous wife and gorgeous kids and do whatever it is that retired sports superstars do.

But wait! Today he said he is coming back for another season in Tampa. It’ll be No. 23!

I am reminded at this very moment of something my wife — hardly a football fan — said when he announced his retirement. She said Brady’s retirement announcement reminded her of Bret Favre, the former Green Bay Packers QB who came back twice more, to play for the New York Jets and the Minnesota Vikings.

Sigh …

I just wish the GOAT would have stayed retired. That he would have decided that a league-leading passing performance would result in a sparkling conclusion to a career that is beyond any equal.

Today I am left to hope for the best for Tom Brady and pray he hasn’t reached beyond his grasp.


Hail the GOAT!

Most of us who follow football — even a little bit — understand that it is a game of numbers. You know, yards gained, yards lost, interceptions, tackles, penalty yards, sacks, punting yardage. Whatever …

Tom Brady reportedly is retiring after 22 seasons of professional football becoming arguably the greatest quarterback of all time.

I want to focus on a particular number as we ponder the effect this guy had on the game he played with excellence and precision.

The number is 198. What does that number signify?

It is the number players selected ahead of Brady in the NFL draft of 2000. Now think for a moment if you’re a general manager who had the chance to select this young man what you might have thought after he won all those Super Bowls and led the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to all that glory.

One hundred ninety-eight players got into the NFL ahead of the GOAT. Granted, not every team drafting in that sequence needed a quarterback. Still, Tom Brady quite unexpectedly became the gold standard for winning in the National Football League.

The Patriots drafted him out of the University of Michigan even though they had a decent QB calling signals for them. Drew Bledsoe then got hurt; Brady replaced him on the field. And the rest, as they, is history.

I know, we had that “Deflategate” matter involving the footballs that were allegedly tampered with by the Patriots, giving Brady some sort of advantage over his foes. Phooey.

Now, let’s look at some other numbers.

Seven Super Bowls; five Super Bowl MVP awards; more than 84,000 yards passing; 624 touchdown passes; three league MVP awards. I won’t go on. You get the picture.

The guy was a stellar athlete. He possesses an incomparable work and dietetic regimen that has allowed him to play the game at a high level until the very end of his playing days. He led the NFL in passing yards at the age of 44, for crying out loud.

Perhaps, in my mind, the greatest measure of this guy’s greatness can be found in this episode. He left the Patriots after the 2019 season and joined the Buccaneers. The Patriots, who had won six Super Bowls with Brady at QB, missed the playoffs that year; the Bucs went on to win the Big Game, beating the defending champs, the Kansas City Chiefs.

Oh, Brady did that at the age of 43.

Yep. This guy is the greatest of all time.


Tom Brady: GOAT!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Damn! I didn’t want it to turn out this way.

But … it did. Tom Brady has established himself as the greatest quarterback of all time. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the defending champ Kansas City Chiefs in a Super Bowl blowout.

I pulled hard for the Chiefs, given that I am a longtime AFC fan.

Back to Brady.

He led the New England Patriots to nine Super Bowls. He won six of them as QB for the Pats. Then he leaves New England for Tampa Bay. What happened then? The Patriots this year missed the playoffs altogether. The Bucs win it all!

The common denominator? Tom Brady!

Holy cow, man! I salute the GOAT!

Heavens no! Don’t waive waiting period for Brady, Belichick

An essayist for NBC.com has gone off the rails. He needs to obtain a reality check.

Mike Florio has opined that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his head coach Bill Belichick deserve to be inducted immediately into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after their retirement from the game.

Stop! Get real! Do not go there, National Football League gurus!

The NFL places a five-year waiting period on those who retire from the game before inducting them into the hall of fame. Why? They don’t want them coming back to the game after their induction. It works well for the NFL, just as it works for Major League Baseball.

There should be only one reason to waive the five-year wait for induction: the death of a shoo-in inductee.

Major League Baseball waived the waiting period in 1973 for the great Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Roberto Clemente, who was killed in a plane crash in December 1972 while transporting relief supplies to Nicaragua, which had suffered a terrible earthquake.

Clemente was a sure-fire bet to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. His death meant he wouldn’t be coming back. That’s when a friend and former colleague of mine, the late Joe Heiling, stepped in. Heiling — with whom I worked at the Beaumont Enterprise — was a baseball beat writer for the Houston Post when Clemente died; he was serving as president of the Baseball Writers of America, which votes on the Hall of Fame induction. Heiling proposed that the BBWA waive the rule and include Clemente immediately on the next Hall of Fame ballot. The BBWA agreed, Clemente’s name was added and he was elected overwhelmingly into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Do we waive the five-year rule for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick? No! As long they still draw breath on this good Earth, they need to wait their turn.

Read Florio’s piece here.

What’s so wrong with a defensive struggle?

I am going to take up the cudgel for the two professional football teams that just played in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history.

The New England Patriots scored 13 points compared to the three points rung up by the Los Angeles Rams.

I’ve been reading social media and other commentary about how “boring” and “stupefying” and “disappointing” the game turned out to be.

Let me stipulate that I didn’t want either team playing for the NFL championship. My favorite among the four teams vying for the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs, lost to the Patriots in overtime in the AFC championship game. The New Orleans Saints, it can be argued, should have been the NFC rep, but were robbed by a non-call that should have gone against the Rams in that conference’s title game, which the Rams won also in overtime.

When did massive offensive output, though, become the benchmark for on-the-field excellence in these football games? I watched most of the game Sunday night. I watched a lot of sequences when both teams would take three snaps and then punt the ball away. It got to be so repetitive that CBS Sports color analyst Tony Romo joked that the first-half highlight was the Ram punter’s record-setting kick of 65 yards.

However, we all did watch some stellar defensive strategies being played out. Both teams were hitting hard and their tackling was sure-handed. Patriots QB Tom Brady got sacked for the only time during this year’s playoff season. Rams QB Jared Goff was hassled and chased around constantly by New England’s defensive front line.

I didn’t see many defensive mistakes out there. I saw some hard-hitting tackle football.

So what if the teams couldn’t ring up 30 or 40 points apiece? The outcome was in doubt until practically the very end of the game.

There. Having said all that, I am kinda/sorta glad the Patriots won the game, owing only to my longtime affection for the AFC over the NFC. We saw a bit of history made Sunday night, with the Patriots winning the franchise’s sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy.

What is so wrong with that?

You go, Philly Eagles!

Normally, I might be a bit down in the dumps over the result of a Super Bowl contest that ended the way Super Bowl LII did.

You see, I am a fan of the American Football Conference. I root for the AFC team over the National Football Conference team in the big game. I have rolled that way dating back to the original AFL-NFL Championship Game, in 1967, when the Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Green Bay Packers.

This year, the Philadelphia Eagles outscored the New England Patriots in a barn-burner.

Why aren’t I saddened by the outcome? The Patriots have won more than their share of Super Bowls. Head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady sought their sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy together.

The Eagles had been denied the fruit of victory in their previous two attempts: once by the Oakland Raiders and once by, that’s right, the Patriots.

So it was their turn Sunday to bring home the coveted trophy.

It’s hard to feel too badly for a sports franchise that has won so much for so long.

As for the underdog upsetting the favorites, I return to one of my favorite sayings about such things: That is why they play the game.

Nice ‘problem’ to have, Eagles

How would you like to be the head coach or the general manager of the Philadelphia Eagles?

You have a quarterback, Carson Wentz, who was thought to be the prohibitive favorite to be the National Football League’s most valuable player. Then he gets hurt.

Wentz’s backup, Nick Foles, steps in and leads the team to the Super Bowl. Then, against the odds, the backup throws for three touchdowns and catches another one.

The Eagles win, defeating one of those “teams of destiny,” the New England Patriots, who have a pretty good QB of their own, a guy named Tom Brady.

So … what now?

Wentz will come back from his injury. But what about Foles? What do you with Foles, who won the Super Bowl MVP award while lighting up the stadium with the performance of several lifetimes?

Foles is nowhere the end of his playing career. The young man is a creaky 29 years of age, for crying out loud.

Good luck, Philly, as you ponder how you might cope with this “problem.” Congratulations, too, for one hell of a victory!

Super Bowl: Who gets the cheers?

Oh, the quandary I face.

The Super Bowl will occur next weekend and for the first time in about, oh, 52 years I don’t know for which team I should cheer.

Some members of my family know that I am a fairly dedicated American Football Conference fan. I used to watch the former American Football League games over the NFL back in the very old days. When the AFL merged with the NFL in 1970, I rooted for old AFL teams every time they played the NFL teams. There was a caveat, though: Three NFL teams — the Baltimore Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns — moved to the AFC, so I grudgingly rooted for them as well. Let’s not forget that the leagues met in four Super Bowls prior to their merger, with the AFL teams winning two of those games.

This year I am faced with this problem: The New England (formerly the Boston) Patriots are playing the Philadelphia Eagles. Normally I’d root hard for the Pats, except they’ve so damn many of these Super Bowls I am inclined to send good karma to the Eagles, who’ve never won the big game. The Pats beat them years after my beloved Oakland Raiders smoked the Eagles.

I have tumbled off the AFC bandwagon once, when I cheered for the New Orleans Saints to defeat the Indianapolis Colts. Lo and behold, the Saints won and gave the Big Easy plenty to cheer after the misery those folks had endured from Hurricane Katrina less than five years earlier.

It might take some kind of heart-warming story to make me switch my loyalty to the NFC for Super Bowl LII. Then again, perhaps I will simply tire of hearing Patriots quarterback Tom Brady tell us how great he is.

I mean, c’mon! Would a sixth Super Bowl victory make him even an greater athlete than he already is?

Oh … the humanity!

Feeling so-o-o-o busted

A friend of mine outed me this morning after I wrote a blog post criticizing the FBI for spending public money to look for quarterback Tom Brady’s stolen jersey.

I wrote that the feds didn’t have a role to play in looking for a damn shirt worn by Brady the day he led the New England Patriots to their stunning Super Bowl victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

My friend responded with this query: How would I feel if the trunks that Muhammad Ali wore the night he defeated Joe Frazier in Manila had been stolen?

Oh, my goodness! I was so very busted by my friend, to whom I responded “knows me too well.” He must know how I feel about The Champ. How I revered him for so many years as he fought with such power, speed and grace. And how he became such a huge civil rights voice during the time he was exiled from professional boxing because he stood up in protest of the Vietnam War.

My response to my friend was that I would feel differently. I joked that I would have mobilized the armed forces to find Muhammad Ali’s stolen trunks.

Actually, I wouldn’t do such a thing.

Although …

My friend clearly decked me with that question. He gave me pause.

The FBI has been in the news a good bit of late for reasons that speak directly to its mission. Looking for a quarterback’s stolen jersey just doesn’t seem to fit that bill.

Good job, FBI, in helping find a shirt

Good job, FBI, in helping find a shirt

I am a big admirer of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It does great work on a whole host of serious matters: they include counterterrorism and pursuing those who break federal law.

Seriously, I love the FBI. I watched “The Untouchables” as a kid and cheered for Elliot Ness to catch the bad guys every week.

However, the FBI didn’t need to spend a single one of my tax dollars — or yours, for that matter — to help locate a damn shirt! It happened to the jersey worn by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during that Super Bowl game this past month, the one in which Brady led the Pats to that amazing comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

I get that the shirt is worth a lot of money. I also get that the FBI felt it was justified in assisting in finding it.

Look at this way: Brady is worth a few hundred million bucks; the team for which he plays has even more dough in the bank. They could have paid top dollar to the greatest private investigative firms on the planet to find the shirt.

The FBI, however, got involved.

No thanks. I ain’t cheering this one.

The Patriots ought to reimburse the Treasury for every nickel spent in the hunt for a shirt.