Eugoogly: Tom Brady’s 2008 NFL Season
Posted by Andrew Unterberger on September 8, 2008
Well golly gee
Before Sunday, it was entirely possible that Kansas City Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard enjoyed travelling to the city of Boston, had great appreciation for the city’s culture, and even counted some of its citizens as friends or well-wishers. Now, it might be a good idea for him to stay off the East Coast altogether, lest a slightly discplaced member of the Nation spot him and a car bomb find its way into the undercarriage of his Jeep. Yesterday, Pollard unofficially ended the New England Patriots’ chances of a return visit to the superbowl, and arguably destroyed any post-season plans of any sort, by putting a hit on Tom Brady’s left knee in the Pats’ season opener–one which not only took him out of the game, but forced him into season-ending surgery. At the very least, Pollard can count on a very nice gift basket from Trent “#2 QB in the AFC East” Edwards come Christmas time.
Now, we here at IITS spent a good deal of time and energy last year railing against Mr. Brady and his fascist co-horts’ attempts at a complete NFL dictatorship, and their vanquishing at the hands of the NFC’s Rebel Forces last February 3rd remains the pop culture high point of the year for us. All that said, I was surprised to find myself more than a little bit disappointed at the prospect of an NFL season without Tom Terrific. It’s not often that pro sports gives you a team that you can despise so unreservedly, and rooting for the failure of a team you hate can be almost as much fun (and often far more rewarding) than rooting for the success of a team you love. And since this will surely set up much failure for the Pats in the weeks to come, and I figured I’d practically be bathing in the schadenfraude.
But this almost feels too easy, y’know? I wanted to see Brady’s season be nullified by weeks of underperformance, weighed against too-lofty expectations and brought down by the nagging self-doubt of “hm, maybe I’m NOT the greatest to have ever played this game after all.” I wanted seven sacks in one game. I wanted a breakdown in communication with Moss, until he became disillusioned enough with the Pats’ well-oiled machine that he quit on them like he quit on the Raiders. I wanted a humiliating first-round play-off exit, at the hands of David Garrard or Matt Schaub or some other upstart QB that would confirm to Tommy these guys are the future, and you are the past. Instead, he gets a season of watching the games from his (presumable) mansion on his (presumably) 227″ HD TV while Gisele rubs his back and whispers “That’s OK, baby, you’ll get ’em next year.” It’s just too easy.
On the plus side, I am looking forward to the Matt Cassel era in New England. Cassel, whether he appreciated it or not, has had just about the sweetest job in the world for the last decade–playing backup under QBs at the top of their game (Palmer, Leinart, Brady), collecting championship rings and Bowl titles while the #1s get pummelled on the field, and always having the option of claiming “hey, I could do this too if it was me out there, but what’re ya gonna do?” Now the Pats are actually calling his career-long bluff, and no matter what the results are, they’re almost guaranteed to be fascinating. Despite my love for the man, part of me is sort of hoping that Peyton goes down for the year sometime soon, to watch Sorgi and Cassel, the two men that have come to be synonymous with the term garbage time, scramble to keep their respective should-be contenders even viable in the playoff hunt. How often do sports fans just get handed sociology experiments that delicious?
Maybe I’ll just have to find some other player and team to bitch about this season. Here’s betting that the Eagles-Cowboys game next Monday gives me a pretty good back-up.