Whitlock: Fame and pretension destroy Tom Brady
Cameras caught Tom Brady yelling at his offensive linemen in the second quarter of Tampa Bay’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In the last month, the seven-time Super Bowl champion has lost three of his last four games and his supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen. It’s a frustrating time for the most accomplished football player in NFL history. The Bucs don’t look like Super Bowl contenders, and Brady and his wife have hired divorce lawyers.
It’s no surprise Brady is lashing out. It’s also no surprise that the 45-year-old quarterback is suffering from a mid-life identity crisis.
You can argue that Father Time finally caught Tom Brady. I would argue that fame causes Brady’s downfall. Fame is invincible in undermining self-confidence, promoting selfishness and entitlement.
Selfishness, entitlement and a lack of confidence are at the root of Brady’s 2022 failures on and off the field.
On Friday, Brady boarded a private plane to attend Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s surprise wedding. Sometime Saturday, Brady flew to Pittsburgh to meet his teammates for their game with the Steelers. Brady skipped Saturday’s walk-through practice. He didn’t need it. He’s Super Tom Brady.
Brady no longer requires practice. He is also reportedly excused from Wednesday practice. Brady wants to play soccer. He’s not that keen on preparing to play football. His mindset mirrors that of most professional athletes.
The NFL game is sloppy and uneven. It’s no surprise. The league has outright banned contact practices over safety concerns. Everyone gets rich regardless of the quality of the game. Nobody cares, including most of the fans.
The NFL and its network partners cater to casual fans, the folks who watch the Red Zone channel for fantasy football updates and scoreboards to keep track of their gambling choices.
For two decades, Brady excelled on the football field because he had the guts and confidence to stand out from his peers. He bought and cultivated the Patriot Way, the unselfish and team-oriented style of football that Bill Belichick preaches.
Brady embodied old-school values.
That Tom Brady died moving to Tampa Bay.
Tampa Tom covets the spoils of celebrity. Privilege. He practices when it suits him. He retired briefly because he no longer wanted to play for Bruce Arians. He sacrificed his marriage to expand his football legacy which cannot go higher.
Brady made a fool of himself on Sunday when he berated his teammates. He can’t yell and yell at his teammates when they can see so clearly that he’s not fully invested in their success. Brady’s mindset and approach sets him apart from his competitors. The culture he helped Belichick build in New England contributed more to his size on the field than his physical ability.
Brady’s behavior is now undermining Tampa’s culture. Tampa coach Todd Bowles recognizes the problem.
“We didn’t take (Pittsburgh) lightly,” Bowles said after the 20-18 loss. “I think people living off the Super Bowl are living in a fantasy land. You have to get your hands dirty and go to work like everyone else. We’ve worked hard and we have to work even harder. Nobody will give us anything. Nobody will feel sorry. We have to go back as coaches, as players – the time for talking is over. You either have to give up or shut up.”
Of course, the Buccaneers took Pittsburgh lightly. Injuries decimated the Pittsburgh lineup. The Steelers’ top two players — TJ Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick — didn’t play. Pittsburgh went into Sunday’s game on a four-game losing streak. At kickoff, the Buccaneers were favored by 10 points.
Forty-eight hours before the game, Tom Brady decided to attend a wedding in New York. It’s a signal to every player on the Bucs roster that the greatest player of all time didn’t take Pittsburgh too seriously. Brady’s actions are far more powerful and influential than Todd Bowles’ words.
A sense of entitlement currently dominates Tom Brady’s behavior. Fame does. Perpetual admiration does.
It’s great that Brady won a Super Bowl in Tampa. But the reality is that Brady misses Bill Belichick.
Brady should have retired three years ago and focused on his family. He’s not the same person without Belichick.
https://www.theblaze.com/fearless/oped/whitlock-fame-and-entitlement-are-destroying-tom-brady Whitlock: Fame and pretension destroy Tom Brady