By Kevin Flanagan
BSD Senior Staff Writer
Early Wednesday morning ESPN’s NFL insider Adam Schefter reported that Tom Brady has yet to confirm that he will play for the New England Patriots in the upcoming 2018 season. This news comes just three months after the Pats were plastered in the Super Bowl by the Philadelphia Eagles and their backup quarterback Nick Foles, who lit up the Malcolm Butler-less New England defense for 41 points on their way to their first championship in the Super Bowl era.
Of course, Patriots fans know all too well what has transpired since. Butler didn’t play because Bill Belichick’s ego would allow it. Rob Gronkowski is thinking of retiring because he hates where he works. Now the greatest quarterback to ever play the game has turned into a manipulative prima donna just six months after forcing the franchise to trade his successor for a second-round pick.
What was just a year ago the greatest dynasty in modern football history has turned into a self-destructing bunch of drama queens who can agree on only one thing – they all hate their coach.
Neither Brady or Gronkowski attended the team’s voluntary workouts in Foxboro this week. Brady was off riding camels in Qatar and Gronk was presumably playing with his GI Joes while pondering a career in wrestling. Meanwhile, Pats owner Robert Kraft was nowhere to be seen while his once proud franchise has turned into a multi-billion dollar dumpster fire.
Brady’s total dive into the deep end of the self-absorption pool culminated in the “Tom vs. Time” Facebook production where he began by telling the world that if you wanted to compete against him you better be willing to “give up your life” and ended with him wallowing in self-pity and asking if it is all worth it.
I’m just thinking out loud here Tom, but you might have wanted to ask yourself the question before you backdoored your head coach and went crying to the owner begging for him to trade your backup. Instead, and most likely intentionally, you are treating the organization that made you what you are like your private little puppet, while your wife and your trainer are telling you how to pull the strings.
Just last week, in an interview with ESPN’s Mike Reiss, former Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola called – to no one’s surprise – Belichick an a-hole and insisted that none of the Pats players knew why Butler was put in mothballs on the sidelines in the Super Bowl while the secondary was getting shwacked all over the field.
The episode with Butler at the Super Bowl revealed Belichick to be a fraud for refusing to do what was best for the team, a phony mantra that he has used in almost every press conference he has held as the Pats head coach. His once stranglehold grip that he had held on his players has been reduced to empty words that seem to be falling on deaf ears as his team falls apart around him.
Kraft’s kowtowing to the soon to be 41-year-old Brady – who presumably told him he would be playing for several more years – and forcing Belichick to trade the 26-year-old Jimmy Garoppolo will likely prove to be the biggest bungle in his 24-year tenure as the owner of the Patriots. With no long-term plan in place – many believe Belichick might be entering his final season with the team – the 76-year-old Kraft is seemingly letting the inmates run the asylum and turning the franchise into the hot mess it was when he bought it in 1994.
Meanwhile, every day a new rumor or slimy subplot emerges about the infighting and discord taking place in the fractured environment that is surrounding the football team in Foxboro, while the 31 other teams and their fans in the NFL do a victory dance while watching their demise. The 17-year run that turned the nation into Patriot haters is not only coming to an end, it is crashing and burning in a slow but steady maelstrom that everyone can see but the team itself.
Enjoy what – if anything – is left of your once dynastic team, Pats fans. The days of being the Proud Patriots are numbered and the way things are going, the transitioning back to the laughingstock, Patsies is not far behind.