First of all, far be it from me to be unthankful. Tom Brady has provided me with more happiness than I probably deserve. And I don’t blame him for the recent Superbowl loss to the Giants. Had he had the Giants receiving corps or defense, he would have won that game. And, unlike many uppity masshole sports fans, I remember the days before Boston became “Titletown USA.” Before the Patriots’ first Superbowl win in 2002, the last championship in Boston was the Celtics over the Rockets in 1986. My more lasting memories of that great Celtics team is the Lakers and the Pistons running their old asses all over the court for the rest of the decade. The post-’86 Red Sox were in an awkward phase until Jean Yawkey died and owners who actually cared bought the team. The Bruins seemed to be built to be just good enough to make the playoffs, but always one or two key players away from going deep into them.
Before the Brady era, anytime a Boston team got into the playoffs, it was a great excuse to have people over to eat pizza and drink beer, but no one actually thought any of those teams had a chance to win it all. The Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals against the Oilers? Either with Gretzky or without, we played them twice and couldn’t win a single game. The Patriots against Brett Farve’s Packers in the Superbowl? 14 point underdogs and rightfully so. The “Pedro-and-nobody-and-pray-for-nuclear-war” Red Sox against the on-their-way-to-3peating Yankees in the 1999 ALDS? We knew we had no hope, but we watched anyway.
The 2001 Patriots supposedly had no chance against the powerhouse St. Louis Rams in Superbowl XXVI. They were, again, 14 point underdogs; a gigantic margin. Yet, somehow in the last minutes of the game, when the miracles happen, they happened to us. The win was so improbable, it made me believe the impossible could happen on my behalf, as opposed to against me (*cough*, Buckner…).
Every championship that a Boston team won after after that seemed less improbable. Obviously someone who lived through the prime of Bobby Orr’s Bruins or Larry Bird’s Celtics has a different perspective, but to me, Brady’s Patriots were the first time in my adult life I knew what it was like to cheer for a winner.
With the state the country has been in for the last 10 years, it’s been quite nice to have some diversions from actual everyday problems. There may be no jobs, a pointless war, and a growing inequality in the distribution of wealth, but the Red Sox won the World Series! Twice!
Like most modern sports fans, I recognize the ridiculousness of cheering for a bunch of millionaires who just happened by chance to stumble into wearing my hometown’s name on their chest. And, usually, I can put that thought out of my mind. But, every once in a while, one of these guys opens their mouths and reminds me how fucking silly it is that they get paid millions and millions of dollars to play a game. For example, watch Tom Brady crying at the thought of having to have a regular job.
“I Don’t Have To Be An Insurance Salesman’
Unlike most people who watch this video, I am not goofing on Tom Brady for crying. I am getting on Tom Brady for crying at the thought of having to have a normal life. “It was just a tough day, you know?” No, Tom, we don’t know. When I think of “tough days”, the insult of having to settle for a $110,000 signing bonus is not the first thing that comes to mind. It is kind of surreal to see this millionaire crying, knowing that he is thinking, “Thank God I didn’t have to be you!”
For the sake of argument, let’s say no NFL team whatsoever was interested in Tom Brady in any given shape or form. Let’s also presume he had no interest in Canadian football or NFL Europe. Tom Brady had just come off a year at Michigan where he won the Orange Bowl. I don’t think he would have had to wear shoe leather finding a State Farm agency that would take him on. Chances are a Michigan alumni would have hooked Brady up with a softball job in banking or finance.
I know I sound just a tad bitter here, but hear me out. I am not judging Brady on this video alone. I worked as valet in Boston in the early 2000’s. While most pro athletes had reputations as cheap skates (except for your boy Antoine Walker), no one had a worse reputation than Brady. While I myself never dealt with him, I worked with many people who had Brady stories; all of them negative. Apparently, Brady’s sister (who probably has an “insurance salesman” type job) tipped better than he did.
My favorite Tom Brady story is as follows. While I was not there, I do not doubt its veracity, as it was told to me by two separate valets who were. Besides, in 2002 nobody in Boston was trying to slander Tom Brady. For the purpose of injecting a little animation, I am going to tell this story as if I was there.
So, it’s 2002, after the Patriots have worn their first Superbowl. Tom Brady pulls up and parks his car in the marked valet zone of a downtown restaurant and walks away. The head valet calls out, “Hey, hey, you can’t park there, that’s a valet zone,” and points at the sign.
Brady looks at him in disbelief and says, “Do you know who I am?”
To give him full credit, the head valet takes this completely in stride and comes back with, “Do you know who I am?!?”
Brady looks at him confused and shrugs and goes, “No….”
The valet says, “Exactly, we don’t know each other. Why would I do you a favor and let you park there for free?”
I can’t remember what happened next, it’s not really that important. The point of the story is that the valet gave the best response ever to the ol’ “Do you know who I am?” question.
So now, all I know about Tom Brady is that he cries at the thought of having a normal job, doesn’t tip well, and acts surprised when people making minimum wage won’t give him stuff for free. Oh, and he has three Superbowl rings. I don’t think he’s a bad guy, just totally fucking oblivious. Maybe married life has changed him, but somehow Giselle Bundchen doesn’t strike me as someone who cares too much about service people either. And sadly, unless the Patriots draft some decent defensive players I don’t see him getting another ring (*cough*, Montana…). So, while Tom Brady can and will be spoiled rotten forever, I fear our days of being spoiled Boston sports fans with a parade every year or two may be winding down. The Red Sox and Celtics both seem to be rebuilding (ugh), so the Bruins may be our only hope in the near future.
I also have a really good valet story about Mitt Romney that DID happen to me, but I’ll save that for another time.