By: Anon Sports Guy
You walk around with the biggest chip on your shoulder. The world never picked you. You were never supposed to be a winner. You did not have what it took. To them you simply did not belong. But, that does not make you wrong for the part, it only means the world was wrong. They had no idea what you were capable of. You work hard. Harder than anyone else does. You show up first. You leave last. You watch your team lose more often than they win. Sitting for a full year and watching your team lose more than 2/3 of their games, you only have one thought on your mind. I can turn this around. I am better, I am great, I am a winner, and I will prove that to everyone who ever doubted me. Next season starts, and you are ready to play, but you know you still have to wait your turn. The first week, you watch your team lose to the Bengals. The next week, you sit on the sidelines watching your team loose to the jets, when late in the 4th quarter you see the person who has your job get tackled hard. He is hurt. With 2 minutes left on the clock, they tell you to put your helmet and go out on the field and win the game. Your very first shot at victory in the NFL, you try hard but nonetheless go home with a loss. You did not win the game, but you got your coaches attention. The next week, you get to start against an unstoppable team. You put up another fight and show what you are worth. You go on the field and prove yourself, giving the colts a beating they never expected. You are now officially the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots Football Team. You do not just keep winning, you make sure a team that lost 11 games the year before wins 11 games under your leadership. But, you do not stop at a successful regular season, you keep fighting. You go play the big bad St. Louis Rams, who everyone assumes will wreck you. You play toe to toe with them until they make the mistake of letting you have the ball with 1 minute left on the clock and a tied game. Little did they know you are the calmest under the most stressful situations. Little did they know you would go on to have 6 super bowl game winning drives to win 6 rings. Little did they know that you are Tom Brady and you are on your way to accomplish more than anyone ever has in this league. You are about to be the greatest of all time. You are about to be a winner. The world is going to learn they made a mistake not picking you.
Flash-forward 19 years. You now have made 9 super bowl appearances. You have 6 super bowl wins, which include the greatest come back in super bowl history. One of your three losses included a super bowl passing record of 505 yards. You have been to 13 AFC championship games and won the division 17 times. But now, why is it that you keep playing even at the age of 43? What is left to prove? While some still say you are not the best, but simply part of a system, there are many great players, coaches, and football experts who say otherwise. You left New England and signed with a completely different team. You are risking your entire life’s legacy to prove you are the reason behind most of the wins and not coach Bellichick. At 43 years old, if you do not play the level of football you did a few years ago and fail with the new team, while your old coach succeeds, then every achievement you ever won may be considered given rather than earned. Are you sure you still have it in you to prove you are as great as your records show? Are you sure you made the right choice in trying to prove you are still the hero and not already a villain?
“You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself be a villain.” While writing this, I wrapped my head around trying to figure out which of these you are. You have clearly placed your bets when you chose to sign with another team, but there are still others trying to figure out if you made the right call. It took a while to understand that the answer could be both. It’s not one specific answer, but rather a matter of perspective. No matter what you achieve or do not achieve, there will always be people who say you are the best and others who say you are not as good as your records show. To coach Bellichick and to a few others, you have become a villain and that is why it was time for you to move on. To the Tampa Bay Buccs, you are the hero they were waiting on and they believe you will get them more wins than in recent years. To some fans, you are the reason behind New England’s success, while others believe, they would have seen more success had it not been for you. Once people have made up their minds it is hard to change it. As far as what I personally think; Well, I know that Bill Bellichick had a losing record as head coach before you started as his QB 20 years ago. I know that the Buccs, who had a 2-5 record at week 7 under Jameis Winston last year, are now 5-2 under your leadership with you on track to throw over 40 TDs and 4,000 yards and currently first in the division. I know the Patriots have had their worst start since 2001 (Pre Brady). So I think it is obvious who the hero was and still is.