Tripple Overtime: An apology that Tom Brady will never get, for things he never knew I said in the first place

Date Published: 
February 10, 2017

I guess I don’t really have to offer an apology to Tom Brady. That’s not to say he doesn’t deserve one. I just don’t think he needs it.


The guy just won his fifth Super Bowl after orchestrating the greatest comeback since 30 AD, then flew off to Disney World to ride Splash Mountain with Gisele Bündchen. So I’m pretty sure he’s doing alright.

I guess what I’m saying is that this apology is really more for my own sake, and/or the sake of the dozens of New England fans across Delmarva who actually read my column sometimes, when they can’t get the Sox on cable.

The truth is I don’t really know why I’ve been so harsh on Tom Brady over the past few years. Bill Belichick, too.

Maybe it’s because I grew up in Baltimore and, for Ravens fans, the Patriots were always the bad guys but still somehow always got to win in the end anyway. It just didn’t make any sense.

Imagine going to see “D2: The Mighty Ducks,” waiting in line for your $7 soda and sitting through two hours of penalty box-worthy hockey puns, only to see the “Flying V” inevitably flop when the credits inevitably roll and team Iceland skate back into the Scandinavian sunset singing “Við Rrum Meistararnir!” by Queen. The bad guys aren’t supposed to get to be the champions (“meistararnir”).

Or maybe it’s because, between Spygate, Deflategate and all those Uggs commercials, Tom Terrific has become a pretty terrific target for sports writers outside the greater Boston metro area.

It’s how I imagine the writers of “Saturday Night Live” must feel every time Donald Trump signs into Twitter or pretends to know about Black History Month. The fruit is as low as it can possibly go, paving the way for such lazy witticisms as “Make America Deflate Again.”

It wasn’t until last Sunday, during Bill and Tom’s most-likely final adventure, that I finally realized my own personal comedy was of some serious errors.

I was actually up against a deadline for another piece (don’t ask), so, at first, I only had the game on as background noise. I remember looking up at one point, just in time to see Atlanta go up 28-3 and Audi trying to pander luxury sports cars to feminists, and thought to myself, “Yeah, take that, Iceland.”

But when the Boston Tea Party tides began to turn with one revolutionary play after another, my cheering interest did, too.

The deadline got put on hold as Tom Brady brought the New England offense back to life, and eventually, the article became the background noise.

I first chalked up my rooting interest to the unlikely odds of it all, the excitement of the game. But by the final drive, mainly around Julian Edelman’s crazy water-cooler catch, I could have just as easily been on my favorite barstool at Cheers.

For the first time in my life, the New England Patriots were the good guys.

Say what you will about Tom Brady, but it was hard not be genuinely happy for the guy when he took the podium and hoisted up the Lombardi Trophy for the fifth time in his career — something that no other quarterback in NFL history has ever done after overcoming a deficit that no other team in Super Bowl history has overcome.

What I thought was even cooler was that the person next to him up there, interviewing him after claiming his place in the history books, was none other than Terry Bradshaw, who claimed his own place in the same history books as the only quarterback to win four Super Bowl titles way back in 1983.

It was kind of funny to think that a then-tiny Tom was probably watching the whole thing on television, wondering what it would be like to be up there one day himself. I mean, what were the odds?

Seeing Bill Belichick actually smile, and actually wearing sleeves, and actually saying something besides “No more questions, please” on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” didn’t hurt either.

All things considered, I doubt I’ll be purchasing any “TB12” gear or my own personal pair of Uggs anytime soon, but this is my official apology to Bill, Tom and Patriots fans everywhere. Congrats on becoming the best quarterback, coach and dynasty of all time.