Friday, May 13, 2005


In Tom's Defense

There seems to be quite a bit of ruckus over Tom Brady's new contract. With the comments he made during the postseason, I guess people thought he would sign at bargain basement prices. The genius personnel moves made by the Pats over the last four years have been based on an economically conservative philosophy; I cannot blame fans for raising up arms in response to this top-heavy contract. After all, Bill has made us all into cap-savvy believers.

Let me, just for a moment, remind you what it was like to see another quarterback at the helm of our beloved team. Perhaps some of you have forgotten the torture of watching Drew Bledsoe have heart failure at the first glimpse of a defensive lineman. The man had no patience. You could feel the stress oozing out of his skull as he made his reads... By the third read, you could see from your living room couch that he was completely freaking out.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Drew... The man has a gun for an arm, and I'm sure he'll continue to rack up the passing yards down in Texas with the other Bill. He has so much talent, I knew there would never be a good excuse to try someone new. I would never wish injury on a professional athlete (um, unless he has sold his soul to Steinbrenner, in which case, he has no soul, and anything goes) but let's just say as soon as I heard on the radio that Drew was hurt back in 2001, I was planning to be on my living room couch for the game the next Sunday for the first time in awhile.

So I can't remember if it was the very next game (week 3) that I got to watch, or if it was week 4. What I do remember is that the Pats lost, but not without making a significant impression on me. The calmness exhibited by Tom Brady while in the pocket was so refreshing, that I actually called my Dad and my sister both up after the game. "You have to watch the Patriots this year," I told them, and they ignored me, but who turned out to be right?

My point is: Tom Brady may not be flashy, but he is something special, and I saw it immediately. He restored my pleasure in watching football, for which I will be eternally grateful. His strongest talent may be a bit vague and hard to pin-point... But it shouldn't be ignored. The man has incredible poise, and perfectly executes a complex system to make his teammates better. Does anyone really care who we have out there catching the ball, as long as he can hold onto it? NO! Because if even one of them is open, Tom will find him, and throw a bullet to him, CALMLY.

Yes, of course, it's still a lot of money, and it takes money out of the budget to pay other players. All I'm saying is: In Bill I Trust. If he thinks he can field a winning team with the cash they have left, I have to believe him. All I know is, Tom Brady is not like most players... You can't just stick someone else in that spot and expect the same results. In my mind, at this time (particularly with the recent loss of Charlie Weiss) he is the one player who is not replaceable. If that's what they have to pay him, so be it. I think they'll still have the budget to win... Or at least make more of the team than without him. A conservative economic philosophy must look closely at the cost of replacement, which in this case would be astronomical, or perhaps a sign of surrender.

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