The acknowledgement of the King B
Prior to me finishing this piece, my new co-host Marie and I had a conversation about the Super Bowl, and she made a remarkably interesting and correlating point that I am going to build on. We were talking about the Super Bowl we just saw, and what ensued after with the parade they held. About how Brady put in the work unlike a lot of people, then the point came up where Marie said: “ You know, Tom Brady is kinda like Beyoncé.”
I know, I know. Hold your laughs, please. But humor me and hear me out on this because it actually makes a great deal of sense. I’ve been watching football for the better half of 20 years – I started watching in 2000 when I turned 10. So, I’ve watched Tom Brady from his 1st Super Bowl from the 2001-02 season. For some perspective, Tom Brady is basically the epitome of what we all want to be like in some way, shape, or fashion from an aesthetic perspective as it pertains to everyday life. We all want to operate and perform at a high level in everything you do later on in life. We all want to marry someone like Gisele Bündchen, one of the most successful women of the century. We all want the money, the cars, the glitz, the glamour, and he has all of that in spades.
I remembered a Thursday night game from October back in 2019 where the Patriots defeated my beloved-yet-beleaguered Giants (who, remember, handed the Pats a couple of Super Bowl L’s during their brief championship drought over a decade ago) by a score of 35-14. It was a significant game for Brady, not because he completed 76 percent of his passes for 334 yards and an interception with two rushing touchdowns. No, not because he also passed Peyton Manning in career passing yards and career passing attempts during the game. No, it was because for the first time in ages, he received the game ball from Belichick afterwards. It wasn’t anything he was used to. Because it wasn’t as usual a thing as one would assume, especially given Brady’s resume up to that point.
Fast forward with all this in mind, and you could just look at the video of the Super Bowl boat parade they had in Tampa that’s now a must-see clip that’s all over the internet, just how much Tom Brady coming to the Buccaneers meant to him. Case in point: A lot of people said that Brady would not be successful outside of New England. Plenty of voices echoed similar, if not exact same regards, me included. People said that he wouldn’t be the same quarterback outside the proverbial bubble that is Foxborough. In contrast, back in the day, a lot of people told Beyoncé that she probably wouldn’t be as successful without Destiny’s Child. What happened though? She quite emphatically became a global and historic phenomenon while Kelly Rowland is reduced to an occasional R&B single here and there and Michelle becomes a gospel artist. I take nothing away from them of course as transcendent and inspirational artists in their own right.
Keep in mind now, B’s upbringing and early adversity. Her getting cut from Elektra Records as a teenager while her parents sacrificed income and lived in separate apartments is a prime example. Now look at Brady. Infamously the 199th overall pick in the 2000 draft. Some fantastic early success before dealing with more adversity. Spygate. Injury. Deflategate. And throughout all this, still winning at an insane pace. And the biggest takeaway made from this comparison is that society loves to place expiration dates on those we envy in spite of them. People love Beyoncé, sure. But people love to hate her too, as it has been well documented throughout recent history. And there is no athlete alive that is loved to be hated upon – outside of perhaps LeBron James, Serena Williams, and Cristiano Ronaldo, respectively – than Tom Brady.
For all we know Beyoncé was very content with Destiny’s Child. Was she happy? I mean, can anyone outside of her really answer that question? So, who are we to basically assume that Tom was necessarily happy at all within that dynasty? The Patriots made nine Super Bowls during the Brady-Belichick Era, winning 6 of them. How much success did Destiny’s Child have before they officially disbanded for the first time? They are forever immortalized and regarded as one of the greatest music groups of all time. And in New England, Brady was Beyoncé. A meteoric central figure for an extraordinarily talented group of individuals.
Now, I am not going to take anything away from Bill Belichick as a coach. The fact that they had no weapons in New England aside, remember when Gronk retired and spoke about how mentally and physically busted he was? Brady put in work day after day after day, we’ve seen his ethic and reliability consistently. And for him to receive the game ball for the first time in forever back in October 2019, it must have served as a foresight. In this Super Bowl we just saw, Brady threw for a touchdown in the first quarter for the first time in a Super Bowl. He had only scored 3 points combined in his 9 other championship appearances. And that pass was to Gronk of all people. That wouldn’t have happened in Foxborough. Because he was probably mostly content with the Patriots, but maybe not as happy as we came to assume.
You look at that video of the Buccaneers celebrating their 31-9 thrashing of the vaunted Kansas City Chiefs – yes, the one where he chucked the Lombardi Trophy to an adjacent boat to be caught and was escorted off the pier twisted off of avocado tequila – have we ever seen Brady this happy before? Point it out, because out of 20-plus years watching him, I can’t remember. Maybe it is the weather in Tampa in contrast to that of Boston, who knows. Maybe its how relevant he is on social media calling out twitter fingers downplaying him like Drake; His clap-backs are of cyberspace lore and he revels in his pettiness when proving doubters wrong in whatever he does, much like the Queen B has done in the past.
What I do know, if anything, is that this doesn’t prove that Brady’s the best player ever, or even the greatest quarterback ever. But you can make and win the argument that he’s proven to be the hardest-working quarterback, and probably smartest player. Beyoncé herself would probably tell you that she may not be the greatest entertainer of all time, but she’s damn sure the hardest-working, and probably the smartest. Both have thrived apart from the environments that they came from, through working harder than everyone else, and investing in themselves rather than residing in their own shadow. And Brady’s celebration after winning his 7th ring on his own while creating a new culture for a team that was inept at winning until his arrival, was the perfect punctuation mark.
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