Very few NFL players have received more preferential treatment and favoritism by the league than New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady. The league has bent over backwards to accommodate a signal-caller who is better suited for a two hand touch football league; as long has he is not touched too hard, that is.
First there was the snowy 2001 divisional playoff game between the Oakland Raiders and the Patriots at Foxboro, MA where New England was driving, trailing by a field goal with less than two minutes remaining. Brady dropped back to pass and failed to identify a corner blitz by Raiders Charles Woodson, who stripped the quarterback from the blind side. After pump faking, Brady clearly fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Raiders for an apparent victory. Or was it a fumble?
The play was correctly called a fumble on the field by officials, but after being reviewed by the replay booth, the call on the field was amazingly overturned. For whatever reason, the replay officials were obviously not content in having this game decided on the field in a fair manner. Once again, NFL politics would taint the result of an excellent game.
After retaining possession of the ball, the Patriots would continue the drive and eventually tie the game late in regulation on a field goal by kicker Adam Vinatieri. The Pats then went on to win the game in overtime on another field goal by Vinatieri, sending them to the AFC Championship Game.
After the game, the league was in damage control for the unbelieveable replay reversal, explaining it by referencing the ridiculous “tuck rule.” Even when applying the tuck rule, replays showed it was a clear fumble by Brady. From early on in his career, it was evident the golden boy could do no wrong in the eyes of the NFL, who had his back.
If the situation had been reversed and Raiders QB Rich Gannon had fumbled, was there any chance of the call being overturned? A snowball from Foxboro Stadium would have had a better chance of surviving in hell than the call on the field being changed, if it had initially favored the Patriots.
Apparently, gifting the 2001 playoff game to Brady and the Patriots was not enough; the league had to do more to please the quarterback who would go on to become what some would call a whiney primadonna.
During the 2008 Patriots season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs, Brady blew out his knee when he was hit by Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard, who dove at Brady after being blocked. Alarmed by the prospect of losing one of their big meal tickets, the NFL cavalry charged to Brady’s rescue.
Prior to the 2009 season, the NFL instituted the Brady Rule, which prohibits a defender on the ground from lunging or diving at the quarterback’s lower legs. So basically, if a defender is on the ground and near a quarterback, he should just stay there because any movement toward the qb would get his team a 15 yard penalty, and possibly get him fined and suspended. So, thanks in part to the frigid Brady, defenders can no longer strike the quarterback too high, nor can they hit him too low. What’s left?
During Monday night’s Patriots 42-14 victory over the Houston Texans, Brady was barely nicked by a Texans pass rusher. After the play, Brady immediately approached the ref and started calling for a penalty. This play was reminiscent of a 2009 game where Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs barely clipped Brady and was called for unnecessary roughness, helping the Patriots win yet another game where the league displayed brazen Brady favoritism.
After this season, maybe the NFL Competition Committee should look into drafting Brady Rule II which should read as follows: any player who lays a finger on Brady or even breathes on him is automatically penalized 15 yards for roughness, ejected from the game, and subject to fine and suspension. This is the least the league can do to pay back the quarterback who has done the most to sissify the position.
Where once signal-callers were once no-nonsense tough guys who used their arms, legs and entire bodies to move the ball, it now features players like Brady who snivel every time a defender gets close enough to read their jersey numbers.
To stay ahead of the fashion trend, show off his sexy legs (since he is not doing anything else with them) and differentiate himself from the more physical players, Brady should consider borrowing a designer skirt or two from his supermodel better half. Just think of the endless marketing and merchandising possibilities.
Look at how those panty hose did wonders for Joe Namath’s legs and image. The same Namath who severely ripped apart a knee during an exhibition game while tackling an opponent, who was returning an intercepted pass. They sure do not make them like that anymore.