You’re only as good as your last act: why nobody (even Tom Brady) is ever truly safe in their job.
If you’re born and raised in Massachusetts, you’re a Patriots fan. I’m no different. I’m not the hard-core girl fan who sits with the boys and wears team gear, screaming at the TV. I’m the peripheral fan, who loves pizza and snacks on a Sunday afternoon.
Of course, Tom Brady made it easy for me. Not just because he is tall, dark, and handsome, but because six Super Bowl wins in 17 years, with a total 9 appearances in NFL’s biggest game, gave me and New England bragging rights served on a silver platter.
To keep me humble, I married a Giants fan who reminds me of the 2008 and 2012 Super Bowls EVERY. CHANCE. HE. GETS. But as we tell our children, anyone can have a bad day.
Back to business… This season, Tom Brady took his right arm and the chip on his shoulder to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, eager to prove he doesn’t need the Patriots nor former coach Bill Belichick to be a superstar quarterback.
Both the Brady lovers and haters can’t wait to see what this season brings for him, and for us at Foxborough Stadium.
But what the hell happened? Why did a 20-year dynasty implode? Why would the GOAT leave the only team he has ever known after a storybook career?
Because his boss was looking for the next big thing.
This fascinates me.
We aren’t talking about a 30-year old actress who is considered “old” in Hollywood who was passed up for a role. This is not like the seemingly “perfect” couple who files for divorce, because this love affair wasn’t smoke and mirrors.
Belichick and Brady had one of the most successful partnerships in sports history and their bond was likened to one of father and son. Brady was the franchise golden boy – a Hall of Famer by any standard – who set records and collected accolades that cemented his team’s place in history.
And, still, it wasn’t enough.
According to NBC Sports, animosity had long been brewing for Brady:
“As the 2017 season approached, the Patriots faced a conundrum about what to do with their future at quarterback. Brady was aging, and then-25-year-old Jimmy Garoppolo was waiting in the wings. When would be the right time to move on from the greatest quarterback in history?
According to Miller, the 49ers originally called about Garoppolo, but Belichick instead offered Brady, wanting to keep the young quarterback to extend the Patriots’ dynasty.”
Well, shit…if Tom Brady can’t keep his job, how do any of us stand a chance? Even the Patriots’ owner, Bob Kraft, couldn’t prevent his prized duo from parting ways.
“’Kraft shut that s–t down fast,’ a source close to Belichick told Miller. ‘So, instead, Lynch gets Garoppolo, but Brady, Belichick and Kraft haven’t been the same since Tom learned that Bill was ready to get rid of him. And that lit a fire under his ass.’”
As it should! Patriots fan or not, I’m siding with Tom on this one.
Where’s the love, Bill?
Sports and journalism have nothing in common, but this whole scenario brought me back to a simple fact I learned over a decade in television: I can love the news, but the news will never love me back.
I always felt dispensable. If I wasn’t happy, there were dozens of girls in line behind me who would kill for my job. And it wasn’t just rhetoric, it was the truth. That’s probably why management wasn’t particularly kind.
If I did a great job, I heard nothing. If I messed up, it led to a gut-wrenching conversation. Bottom line, I was only as good as my last show. And even the (arguable) Greatest Player of All Time came face to face with his mortality and jumped at the chance to prove his traitor bestie wrong.
Let me be clear, I don’t feel bad for Tom Brady. The fortune he has amassed in both salary and endorsements will keep him warm at night when he’s having a bad day, not to mention his Super Bowl rings that require two hands to wear.
But the lack of loyalty gets me.
Brady’s story is an epic reminder to all of us not to take anything for granted. Like Brady, I hope I have the moxie to move on, on my own terms, when I learn I’m not appreciated.