Tag Archives: Tom Brady

The Quarterback Witches

Tom Brady’s injury – and I promise this will be the last post mentioning it, but I do live in Boston, and it is currently a bigger story than anything ever, and so it’s all one can possibly think about – and my eerie premonition of it reminded me of the fall of 1993 and Dan Marino’s Achilles injury.

Dan Marino was both loved and hated in my household growing up.

Dan Marino was both loved and hated in my household growing up.

Picture my family’s house in 1993 – which, if you know the house I grew up in, is easy to do, because it is a complete and total shack that you don’t know how people live in it, let alone how it’s still standing – and the characters inside. My mom, the Jim Kelly devotee; my little sister, the Dolphins fan because she liked aquatic animals at the time; me, the Steve Young obsessed 49ers fan; and my dad, amused that he lived with three women obsessed with professional football, although it was all his fault that we did. (My little brother wasn’t born yet.)

On that Sunday afternoon, I believe we had just watched a Bills 1pm loss, and my mother was livid. The Dolphins were up with a 4pm game against the Browns, and my sister had brought her stuffed animals out into the living room so that she could play with them while watching the game.

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Dear Sad Pats Fans: The Buffalo Bandwagon is Open For You.

Sad, Pats fans?  Forget about Brady, and come join Robert Royal and the best fans in football.

Sad, Pats fans? Forget about Brady, and come join Robert Royal and the best fans in football.

I can’t believe it.  I just heard Cris Collinsworth say he “now likes Buffalo in the AFC East this season.”

What the littlest tap on a shin can do to an entire NFL division.  After the absolutely wimpiest knock on a leg since my little brother ran into my leg with his Big Wheels when he was three years old, the entire AFC East, and to some extent, the entire NFL, seems to be turned on its head.  Tom Brady is injured, the Patriots don’t have the dominant defense they once did (thanks free agency and old age), and thus this marks the end of the world.  Well, maybe not, but you would think it was the way the local Boston stations are covering Brady’s injury as I type.  “A disapointing start to what was to be another dream season for the Patriots,” led off Channel 7’s late news.  Wow, Channel 7, I didn’t know that the season’s result was predetermined.  Usually a team has to play games to determine if a season is a “dream season.” Continue reading

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Boston Guys, Drew Bledsoe and What Us Girls Can Learn From the Two

On my subway ride to work this morning, I was reading the Metro (a newspaper for people with the attention span of a 3 year old) and as usual, I skipped right to the sports section. I’m not that apathetic in real life, but it’s not like the Metro has any breaking news that I didn’t already read earlier that morning online. That’s the thing about sports–there are so many sportswriters out there and so many ways you can twist the facts that factual sports pieces about the same event or topic are often different enough to warrant reading more than one.

Tuesday’s sports columnist for the Metro is Bob Halloran, a sports anchor for the ABC affiliate here in Boston. I usually disagree with him for some reason for another, but today there wasn’t much to disagree with. His column was about what is every Boston guy seems to be talking about these days: the downfall of Drew Bledsoe.

For someone who plays for your not-too-serious division opponent, Bledsoe sure gets a lot of press. He also gets a lot of discussion out of every Boston bred guy I happen to talk to. I thought it was just because I’m a Bills fan, and therefore, they were just engaging me in conversation. But then I read the Globe this past week, and the Metro last week and today, and I finally figured it out: Boston guys between the ages of 20-30 are obsessed with Bledsoe because he was their hero for their formative football watching years. With Drew’s problematic tenure in Buffalo and his age beginning to catch up with him, this population is experiencing…not a loss, but just the realization that they’re growing up.

Stay with me no matter how weird this sounds. Think about it: Bledsoe is 32. I’m 22. He was drafted in 1993, when I was 11. The guys I talk to about football are all in their early to mid 20s, meaning they were all pre-teens or just thirteen when Bledsoe became a Patriot. Formative football fandom years right there. What happens in football between the ages of 10-13 totally form the rest of your football watching life. Me and Steve Young–all when I was 10ish-11ish. Buffalo’s 0-4 Super Bowl run? From the ages of 8-12.

All of the men in Boston are obsessed with following the end of Bledsoe’s career, even though it’s with the Bills, because it’s the end of one of the first thing they concretely experienced as sports fans. You may have been 5 in 1987, but how much did you realize that the Red Sox blew the World Series? You may have been alive when Larry Bird was lighting up the Garden, but you were a little concerned with trying to ride a tricycle to realize what was really going on. Bledsoe is someone they watched get drafted, go through the requisite rookie blues, learn to find his way under Parcells, and take the Patriots to their first Super Bowl. And while my Boston guys currently believe in the holy trinity of Belichick, Brady and Vinatieri, they can’t ever look up to Brady, because he’s one of them. He’s their age. If this was high school, Brady would be that kid one grade up who is friends with your friend’s stairstep older brother. He’s be the guy you’d be competing with for a spot on the football team. He’d be the guy the cheerleaders would get to cheer for…

Not that wanna-be cheerleader me has a problem with that.

Nope, I’d cheer for Tom Brady any day.

But that’s besides the point.

The end of Bledsoe’s career is the end of an era for my favorite Boston guys. The Patriots may be winning Super Bowls now, but these guys don’t have that investment in Brady that they did in Bledsoe. Their investment is at a loss, and they just can’t recoup the profits. They’re going to have to admit that they had their run, but the market is now at a loss, and they’re going to have to get rid of it. Does that make sense? Who they banked on for so many years, who they looked up to, who they spent every fall Sunday watching during the majority of their adolescence is not only playing for a division rival, but about to be replaced with either Mr. Useless Quarterback, Shane Matthews, or a rookie who has yet to completely recover from a broken leg.

However, us girls would expect these mourning-for-Drew guys to be moping quietly, thumbing through their Bledsoe rookie cards ant those old school shadow numbered Pats jerseys and original sharktooth hats…but no. Guys don’t work that way. Guys don’t mope. Guys obsess and analyze. They don’t ask why not, but the whole gamut of journalistic questions. If a girl is depressed, they tear up and ask, “Why doesn’t he like me? Why won’t it work out? Why does he like her and not me? Whhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyy?!?!?!” Guys, they just ask, “When exactly did Drew lose his mobility? What coaching system? Was Wysche able to help him at all this season? How good was Drew’s arm back in 1996? If he had had the mobility in the pocket, how good could he have been? Was he really the one orchestrating his own departure to Buffalo back in 2002?”

Because part of this letting go of Bledsoe involves their self-observation that they are getting older, Boston guys will obviously start to put up some sort of bitter defense mechanism, which in this case takes the form of making great fun out of the first Bills fan they come across, aka me. I lost a bet to my boss over the game, and now have to put my hair up in a straight out of the 80s ponytail and wear it all day this upcoming Friday. The guy I dated over the summer e-mailed me and mentioned how much the Bills were going to be decimated, and then e-mailed again Monday morning to let me know that while he had been nervous going in, the Pats beat the Bills with a ragtag group of cornerbacks and how much Bledsoe just “sucked.” Sure, it’s all in good fun, but I swear there’s a little bit of a defense mechanism in there. Bitterness=denial that their childhood is over.

Ladies, we can take a lot from observing Boston guys mourn their favorite QBs descent into mediocrity (well, unfortunately, it might be beyond even that at this point). We may finally be able to understand the thought processes of men. They deal with depression by analyzing, they hate the idea of getting old, and they keep ugly mid-1990s NFL sharktooth hats under their bed. Or just consider this: Men and women are both nostalgia based creatures, but women miss what they can’t have, and men miss what they once had and the amount of time that has passed since they had it.

Hmm…men are quite easy to figure out when you get down to it.

Okay, maybe they aren’t.

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