Confessions of a Confused Brady Follower

Shaky Walton

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When Tom was on the Pats, I was as big of a Brady fan as anyone I knew. Really from the very beginning. I was so relieved when Bill made him the starter for the rest of the season in 2001. I would have been ripshit if Bledsoe had started SB 36. I wore a Brady Adidas jersey from that season to all Pats games I went to in person during his entire Pats run. Tom was my favorite player.

When he moved onto Tampa Bay, I was angry. Not at him. Not at Bill. Not at anyone. But I hated it. I knew he had the right to do what he wanted to do and knew that playing for Bill had to wear him down. I have a few "friends of friends" with some apparent knowledge who confirmed that the "tired of Bill" angle was correct. Not that I think I know that's in fact true but it seems believable. Even without the inside track it rang true.

Still, the reality of Tom in those ugly uniforms and most importantly, not in a Pats uniform, made me throw up in my mouth. I rooted against Tom and the Bucs. Week One was incredibly fun, as Cam lead the Pats to victory and the Bucs and Tom faltered. When Tom forgot the downs in a loss, I smirked...a lot.

Some friends and family members accused me of being an ingrate. My response was that seeing Tom play in Tampa was sort of like seeing your ex-girl friend, who chose to leave you when you still wanted her, with another man, while you were with a very attractive girl who turned out to be good at nothing but her looks. It's not a perfect analogy by any means but it was how I felt. And being a sports fan is not an exclusively intellectual affair, of course.

So fast forward to yesterday. I watched the game and found myself rooting for Brady. Not like I would if it was the Pats. And not that good plays by the Washington offense caused me a lot of anxiety. But yeah, for the first time since he and the entire team shit the bed against the Fins and Titans, I was rooting for Tom to do well.

Are others going through anything like this with Brady? Conflicting or changing emotions?

I get that many will say or think that they rooted for him the whole time...were grateful for all he did on the Pats...understood his need for a new challenge, etc.

All of that I understand, even if I did not share it.

But I'm a little surprised that my rooting interests have swung to Tom, and and am wondering if other people here have experienced the same or anything along these lines.
 

Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

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When their interests did not conflict with those of the laundry, I rooted for Pedro on the Mets and the Phillies. Nomar on the Cubs and the As. Paul Pierce on the Nets. I’ll root for Chara on the Caps.

Rooting for Tom Brady’s continued professional success is not hard. Same with Gronk. Yo soy fiesta.
 

terrynever

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Neutral perspective: I liked him in NE and in Tampa, even though I root for Philly. I love how great he looks and how well he moves around at age 43. Not being a big Patriots fan (always respected them, from Parcells on), my feelings are not convoluted. He’s the best any of us have ever seen, in terms of traditional pocket QBs. The new elite QBs of today are sports cars. Tom was and is a vintage BMW.
 

bankshot1

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Tom Brady gave me more fun as a Pats fan than I had any right to reasonably expect over the past 20 years. I posted WBW, if the Pats interest were not involved (basically head to head play) I'm totally Team Tom. Without reliving or replaying the angst of his departure, I will be rooting for him to get his 7th ring.
 

CantKeepmedown

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I rooted the whole time as well. And I while the day of excitement/anxiousness never got the near the levels it does when our team is in, I was still very much looking forward to watching him. Again, no screaming at the TV and feeling sick as the WFT hung around, but still, a lot of fun.

I hope he goes into the Superdome next week and beats Brees*. And then goes into Lambeau and beats Rodgers*. And then plays a home game and beats Mahomes.* Odds aren't great, but I'll be rooting for him the whole way.

*-assumptions all around
 

B H Kim

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I don’t want anything to tarnish Brady’s historical legacy, so I’m very happy to see him continue to perform well and I’ve been rooting for him all season. Rooting for him last night was easy, though, since my second favorite NFL team for the 35 years I’ve lived in the DC area has been whatever team was playing the Redskins/WFT that particular week.
 

Seels

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Rooting for Tom either way
1. I don't consider him leaving his choice really
2. I don't consider him leaving necessarily bad

It just wasn't going to be here. The roster wasn't suddenly old last year, it was old 4 years ago. I remember thinking during the Falcons Super Bowl that it felt like the end of the line. We're lucky they made it where they did with the lack of infusion of young talent they've had over the last 5-6 years.

Also I really despise Drew Brees so yea, ofc I'm rooting for Tom.
 

johnmd20

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I am rooting for Brady without equivocation. I am all in and really want him to win the SB. I will never feel differently, Tom Brady is my favorite athlete of all time. He won 6 SBs with the Pats and turned a laughingstock franchise into one of the best dynasties in the history of the NFL.

Yeah, Tom Brady is definitely someone I am rooting for.
 

tims4wins

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I feel the exact same way as the OP. I'm not mad at him, or Bill, or Kraft, but I'm mad that he didn't finish his career as a Patriot. It's not right. I've gone back and forth all year with rooting. Sometimes I root for him and against him even in the same game. It's a very conflicted feeling. Ultimately I am glad he didn't hurt his legacy in terms of having a Manning 2015 type of year. I think I'm rooting for him to win it all. I think.
 

Laser Show

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The only thing that gives me pause in rooting for Brady is that I like the idea of him having won all his Super Bowls in New England.

I'll probably still end up rooting for him.
 

bsj

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I was very very conflicted to start the season. It was uncomfortable. I wasn't rooting for him....but wasnt rooting against him. After a few weeks, I was warming up and starting to quietly support them, at least as a possible "NFC" team.

Then they signed a rapist.

At Tom's urging.

Despite being pretty well-stocked on offense.

That's a pretty firm line in the sand for me. It was a very clear pivot for me. I am no longer supporting the team in any way. I am not actively rooting "against" Tom's success, but I cannot in good conscience root FOR the Bucs any longer. A Super Bowl of, say, the Chiefs and the Bucs would be a real no-win for me. I'd probably still muster the strength to support TB against Pitt for the SB tie purpose but thats just about it.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I am rooting for Brady without equivocation. I am all in and really want him to win the SB. I will never feel differently, Tom Brady is my favorite athlete of all time. He won 6 SBs with the Pats and turned a laughingstock franchise into one of the best dynasties in the history of the NFL.

Yeah, Tom Brady is definitely someone I am rooting for.
This is me. Tom Brady is the best QB ever to play football, maybe the best player ever to play. At least he's legitimately in the conversation. And for 20 glorious seasons he did wearing the uniform of my favorite team, and won a fucking shitload of games along the way. Oh yeah and those six Lombardis. He brought me more joy as a Patriot fan than I could ever have reasonably asked for, and owes me nothing.

I never considered not rooting for him for one second.
 

BaseballJones

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@bsj .... This is not me being judgmental because it's not my place. But are you willing to flesh this out a little more? AB is so bad - "they signed a rapist" that it's a "line in the sand" for you. You can't possibly root for them, you can't root for Tom because he advocated them signing a rapist. Pretty strong moral stance there, which is admirable.

Unless, of course, they play the Steelers, in which case Brady keeping the Steelers from getting Lombardi #7 trumps your moral convictions.

Help me understand this a little better, if you're willing.
 

johnmd20

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@bsj .... This is not me being judgmental because it's not my place. But are you willing to flesh this out a little more? AB is so bad - "they signed a rapist" that it's a "line in the sand" for you. You can't possibly root for them, you can't root for Tom because he advocated them signing a rapist. Pretty strong moral stance there, which is admirable.

Unless, of course, they play the Steelers, in which case Brady keeping the Steelers from getting Lombardi #7 trumps your moral convictions.

Help me understand this a little better, if you're willing.
It's myopic virtue signaling.

Almost every team in sports has someone or something that is ugly or disgusting. The Chiefs, Pitt, Cleveland, New Orleans, Washington. And those are just off the top of my head. The line in the sand is to either give up on sports because it's a business that often looks past legal issues or accept the fact that every team has some questionable players.

There is no other line. So if TB bothers you because of Brown, sports bothers you. And that's fine, people can choose to move on and not watch. But focusing on one team over all the others is myopic.
 

FL4WL3SS

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@bsj .... This is not me being judgmental because it's not my place. But are you willing to flesh this out a little more? AB is so bad - "they signed a rapist" that it's a "line in the sand" for you. You can't possibly root for them, you can't root for Tom because he advocated them signing a rapist. Pretty strong moral stance there, which is admirable.

Unless, of course, they play the Steelers, in which case Brady keeping the Steelers from getting Lombardi #7 trumps your moral convictions.

Help me understand this a little better, if you're willing.
Cute way of calling out his hypocrisy. Funny thing with sports, your rooting interests don't need to be rational or explained to anyone. I'm sure you have rooting convictions that wouldn't make sense to anyone else either. I'm not sure he should have to explain further.

As for Tom, I've been pretty firm in the wanting to see him fail all year. Nothing really changed last night. Seeing him complete passes to AB while the Patriots were on the sidelines made me nauseous.

Good on him for the win, I hope he loses the next one. Yes I'm petty, I know.
 

rodderick

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Cute way of calling out his hypocrisy. Funny thing with sports, your rooting interests don't need to be rational or explained to anyone. I'm sure you have rooting convictions that wouldn't make sense to anyone else either. I'm not sure he should have to explain further.

As for Tom, I've been pretty firm in the wanting to see him fail all year. Nothing really changed last night. Seeing him complete passes to AB while the Patriots were on the sidelines made me nauseous.

Good on him for the win, I hope he loses the next one. Yes I'm petty, I know.
I get not rooting for the guy, but actively wanting him to fail kind of baffles me. He gave the Pats all he had and delivered them 6 titles in 20 years. They parted ways amicably and he wasn't any more to blame for the break up than Bill and the Pats FO were, at least based on what we know. Why resent him at all?
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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I am strangely ambivalent. Didn't watch more than a few quarters of Bucs games all season. But with minimal fans in the stands and him closer to "another player" without drawing the worship (from Pats fans) and ire (from everybody else) than any time in NE, he keeps running the marathon. Brady really is competing against himself at this point, and that I greatly admire. My chapter is closed, but shit if he puts up a few more high TD seasons you can't even bring an argument about a QB in his class all-time. Forget the "well Montana was great in his era and you can't really compare the two" crap, it will be Brady and everyone else going for second place.
 

bsj

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@bsj .... This is not me being judgmental because it's not my place. But are you willing to flesh this out a little more? AB is so bad - "they signed a rapist" that it's a "line in the sand" for you. You can't possibly root for them, you can't root for Tom because he advocated them signing a rapist. Pretty strong moral stance there, which is admirable.

Unless, of course, they play the Steelers, in which case Brady keeping the Steelers from getting Lombardi #7 trumps your moral convictions.

Help me understand this a little better, if you're willing.
Fair enough.

I really had not thought it out fully. I am absolutely being hypocritical, and have no problem you forcing me to come to grips with this faulty line of reasoning.

I am not rooting for the team that signed the rapist in any scenario. Period. I will not be supporting either team in that scenario above.
 

FL4WL3SS

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I get not rooting for the guy, but actively wanting him to fail kind of baffles me. He gave the Pats all he had and delivered them 6 titles in 20 years. They parted ways amicably and he wasn't any more to blame for the break up than Bill and the Pats FO were, at least based on what we know. Why resent him at all?
Yeah in a lot of ways this has felt like a "stick it to the Pats" year for both him and Gronk. The Patriots also gave him everything they had for 20 years. He should have retired a Patriot and I haven't gotten over that. It's not rational, it's emotional, but that's how I feel.
 

BaseballJones

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Fair enough.

I really had not thought it out fully. I am absolutely being hypocritical, and have no problem you forcing me to come to grips with this faulty line of reasoning.

I am not rooting for the team that signed the rapist in any scenario. Period. I will not be supporting either team in that scenario above.
My friend I mean no disrespect at all and appreciate your post here. It’s hard. I totally get it. We are all hypocrites in one way or another, try as we might to not be. And believe me my post wasn’t meant to come off as judgmental.

I have a daughter that was raped so I can’t possibly root for a rapist obviously (not that you have to have had my family’s experience in order to feel this way). But I love Tom. So I compartmentalize I guess. Easy to root for Tom, impossible to root for AB. So I guess I hope that TB throws all his touchdowns to Gronk or something.
 

cornwalls@6

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It's myopic virtue signaling.

Almost every team in sports has someone or something that is ugly or disgusting. The Chiefs, Pitt, Cleveland, New Orleans, Washington. And those are just off the top of my head. The line in the sand is to either give up on sports because it's a business that often looks past legal issues or accept the fact that every team has some questionable players.

There is no other line. So if TB bothers you because of Brown, sports bothers you. And that's fine, people can choose to move on and not watch. But focusing on one team over all the others is myopic.
Sorry, this is an intellectually lazy argument. The equivalent of both sides are bad, amirite. There are degrees. Yes, it's a safe bet to assume that many teams in the league employ people who have less than perfect records when it coms to their off field conduct. But not every team knowingly employs a highly likely sexual predator. Or someone with a proven track record of really hideous domestic violence, like Tyreek Hill. I wanted AB gone the minute the story broke about his sexual assault issues last year, and I would have had real problems with the Pats had they not released him. I don't delude myself that everyone I root for is a choirboy, but there are limits to what I can tolerate. I won't be rooting for the Bucs either as long as he's on the team. And resorting to the tired, lame, "virtue signaling" insult is kind of bullshit too.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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I cherish my TB12 memories, and just love watching him play. And I continue rooting for him (and Gronk, of course), but I wish it weren’t Tampa Bay. Tampa to me is Yankees and Florida and the opposite of history and tradition. If Tom were on a not-hated rival like any NFC team save the Giants,...maybe even the Browns, Bengals or Chargers*, I’d be all in. I loved watching his quick release and great ball placement last night, but when Heinecke showed signs of an improbable upset, I found myself rooting for that.

* — yes, I realize therare a lot of inconsistencies in that list.
 

CR67dream

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It's myopic virtue signaling.

Almost every team in sports has someone or something that is ugly or disgusting. The Chiefs, Pitt, Cleveland, New Orleans, Washington. And those are just off the top of my head. The line in the sand is to either give up on sports because it's a business that often looks past legal issues or accept the fact that every team has some questionable players.

There is no other line. So if TB bothers you because of Brown, sports bothers you. And that's fine, people can choose to move on and not watch. But focusing on one team over all the others is myopic.
You're neglecting to mention the part where TB has been massively influential and instrumental as an advocate for Brown.
 

GeorgeCostanza

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Ordered my Tampa Brady jersey the week he signed. Been a joy rooting for him all season and I echo the sentiments of some other posters in that I don’t get super anxious or angsty watching. Kind of a relief to be honest.
 

lexrageorge

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I'm not confused; I'm rooting for him to succeed. Also won't ruin my day if the Bucs are eliminated at some point.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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I was extremely upset when he left the pats and told myself I wouldn’t root for him (or watch football again). That changed week one when I watched football and found myself rooting for him. He’s my favorite athlete of all time and I would root for him no matter what
 

azsoxpatsfan

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If it had ended up Brady vs Pats it would’ve been brutal and I’m not sure who I would’ve rooted for but I’m 98% sure if I tried to watch I’d stroke out
 

SoxVindaloo

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Agree with the OP to being massively conflicted all season. I have Sunday Ticket so have watched probably 75% of his snaps. When he does well I admire it, when he throws a pick-6 there are sparks of schadenfreude.
I would also prefer his ring collecting ended when he left Foxboro.
Maybe there are some parallels to the Chara situation. At some point he probably needed to go to another team, but no matter who ultimately made the final decision it was sad and terrible that it ended the way it did.
 

pedro1918

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I watched my first non-Pats game of the year last night. I was rooting for Brady, but being a DC local I was also rooting against the Football Team. I’m not sure how much my rooting against the Football Team played into it. Maybe I will find out next week.

I found it easy to root for Tom and I barely noticed Gronk.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I echo those who say watching him is strangely relieving. I want to see him play well and I want the Bucs to win but I don’t lose any sleep if they don’t.
 

terrynever

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Brady made a lot of great throws last night, to a talented corps of receivers. That’s why he chose Tampa. Brady said earlier this season that Chris Godwin has the best hands of anyone he has ever thrown to. Tom just wants to win. That is his main motivation for recruiting AB. And inviting him to live temporarily in his mansion. Tom wants to win as much as his buddy Trump does.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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I wasn’t sure going into the year how I would feel and I’ll admit to being a bit -happy? amused? when the lack of discipline on the Bucs would cost them and was sending Brady into a tizzy. Grass isn’t always greener, huh Tom? I will say I’m rooting for him in the playoffs in part because he’s still TFB bit also one of my college friends is a loud mouthed Packers fan who has whined for the past 20 years about Brady and the Cheatriots and I want Brady to shove it right up Green Bay’s ass when they meet.
 

54thMA

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I'm not mad at him for leaving and I'm also not mad at Belichick that he left, just like I would not be mad at either of my parents if they got divorced (which they almost did when I was about 16).

They reached an impasse; if he had stayed, as bad/void of talent as the Patriots were this year, they would have been worse as they would have had to gut the team to keep him.

If he wanted to keep playing, it was not happening here.

I root for the laundry, been a Patriots fan since 1968; best of luck to him in Tampa.

I really don't give a shit what happens from here on out.
 

Royal Reader

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You're neglecting to mention the part where TB has been massively influential and instrumental as an advocate for Brown.
I think there's a further decision with guys who are not on your team, though. If you root for laundry, as all of us do, then you kind of have to look past what's going on with that team. I didn't root for Haynesworth on the Pats because I thought he was a good guy. I rooted for LGBT and found his stiffing the Steelers hilarious, even though it's a dick move. In that case I rooted for him harder because of an objectively bad thing he did to a franchise I hate. I root against LeBron despite the fact that he's someone I admire. Nobody talks about the Edelman sexual harrassment incident. Maybe there's an event horizon for each of us of the level of despicability relating to an individual athlete that makes us unable to stomach watching our team, and it's probably different for all of us - I can imagine a guy in Philly who owns dogs thinking Michael Vick is beyond the pale but being OK with Riley Cooper so long as his team mates are, etc.

It feels different to be rooting for someone on another team. Then, your rooting interest isn't based in where you're from, the fan community you're part of etc. You're saying "I feel like this guy deserves to succeed." Or, possibly, "This guy's success annoys the right people." I didn't want Brady to outright suck in Tampa, because Brady haters can blow me. I'm glad he's an above average QB there, and I don't have to hear the "System QB" narrative. I'm not really bothered whether he wins another Super Bowl - maybe I'd feel different if he'd only won one after twenty years in NE, but then, if he'd only won one this probably would be less of a discussion. As for the fact that he enabled AB, that's true, but having blind spots for douchebag friends is a more common, and forgivable, sin than being the douchebag.

TL/DR: I think it's possible to not want to root directly for TB12 because of AB, and still root against the Steelers because you're a Pats fan. And that's even before we get into who's at QB for Pittsburgh.
 

Jungleland

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I've really enjoyed watching him play well, but I will be upset if the Bucs win it all. I love the Pats a lot more than I love Brady and while it may be irrational, the Bucs winning will feel to me like a small knock on the legacy of the last twenty years. Concussion water also pisses me off and while I don't think Tom is necessarily a bad guy I've taken off the rose colored glasses now that he doesn't play here.
 

wiffleballhero

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I've moved to the point of rooting for him to play well, but I am rooting against them winning. Like others, I just don't want to see him get to a Super Bowl not on the Pats.
 

snowmanny

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I will be happy if Brady gets number 7 this year. I will be happier if Bill gets number 7 next year.
 

Twalk

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I recently moved to Bozeman, MT. Went fishing with a guide that also was a guide for Brady. Nothing but good feedback on what a laid back client he was. My girlfriend is now working as a private chef at the Yellowstone club and has similarly heard nothing but great things about him. Instantly helped me start to pull for Brady the person. How people treat service workers is my #2 measure on people. #1 being dog lovers only. He has 3 rescues so all good there. Starting to sound like i want to date the guy but whatever its Brady and i've sounded like this for 20 years now. 6 Rings w/Pats, 3 rescuers and good tipper. What more could one ask for?
 

pedro1918

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If Tom wins one in Tampa it’s just another reason to laugh at people who think there has been a better quarterback, really player, in the history of football. Just laugh.
 

Euclis20

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If Tom wins one in Tampa it’s just another reason to laugh at people who think there has been a better quarterback, really player, in the history of football. Just laugh.
Yup. My boss is a Jets/Nets/Mets fan who gives the lion's share of the credit to Belichick for the last 20 years, and has Brady as the #3 QB behind Montana and Manning. The next few weeks have the potential to be really satisfying, with little downside.
 

Bowhemian

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Meh. I root for the laundry, not any particular player.
I am absolutely thankful for everything TB12 gave us Patriots fans over the past 20 years. Not even a question. However, I’m not rooting for him, or any other team right now. I really couldn’t care less who wins the SB.
 

8slim

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I’m glad I’m not the only one who can’t figure out his feelings. I love Tom. I’ve been a Pats fan my whole life. I mean, I’m literally from Foxboro (FHS class of ‘91). He’s given me more sports joy than any athlete on Earth. I’m not sure a day goes by where I don’t marvel at what the Pats did from 2001 to 2019.

I know there’s really no one to blame for Tom leaving. The franchise just couldn’t reboot with him on the books, and Tom clearly has more good football I’m him.

And yet, I’m just meh to him being on the Bucs. Seeing Brady in that uni doesn’t look right, and it doesn’t feel right. I can’t root against him, but I’m not really rooting for him. I’m just... meh. I want to feel something but I can’t. I don’t get it, but it is what it is.
 

WheresDewey

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I started the season ambivalent about TB, but I found myself wholeheartedly rooting for him with the Pats out. The fact that he is still doing it at 43 shows what an amazing talent he is.

Let's just hope the Pats can get a competent starting qb next year.
 

streeter88

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Just read through this thread, enjoying all the comments and perspectives as always. What a joy it is compared to some of the V&N threads currently!

On that note, I root for Brady because he is still trying to defy Father Time. His new team has given him a new lease on life, and now that he has learned the offense and his receivers he looks really sharp again. He has had a great season, and he is in his part of the season. Nobody has had more playoff success, or more rings.

Wouldn’t it be something if he retired with more rings than the Steelers? In fact, I hope he wins 8.

I hope he retires with the TD record as well, and clear daylight between him and the field - present and future. BMW? Nope. Aston Martin. One of a kind.
 
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