Fresh off the heels of ESPN's ten part documentary on Michael Jordan and the last hurrah for his Chicago Bulls, it appears that something similar is on the horizon the GOAT of a different sport. Yesterday, it was announced that Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady (that'll always be weird to read or say) will be getting an ESPN documentary of his own, a 9 part series set to air in 2021. The series, which will be named 'Man in the Arena,' is going to be co-produced by Gotham Chopra and Brady's recently formed company, 199 Productions. According to Tom himself, the doc will offer a first person perspective from his entire career to date, including his nine (9) trips to the Super Bowl as a New England Patriot.
The point of this blog, however, is not to drone on about what the content of this upcoming documentary will be, whether Tom would have been allowed to move forward with this project if he were still a Patriot (the answer to that is an emphatic NO, by the way), etc., but rather to expose a blatant double standard that has become painfully obvious as of late. What's that, you ask? Well allow me to explain:
March 17th, 2020 was the day that a few different things happened:
Brady announced via social media that he would not be returning to the Patriots
Sports media suddenly started becoming EFFUSIVE in their praise of Tom Brady
Mark decided to become a depressed hermit and not leave his home for months
Okay, that last thing may have been caused by something else happening in the world right now, but you get my point. Seriously, though, you'd have to be completely oblivious not to notice the complete 180 in how Tom Brady has been covered by both fans and media ever since he decided to leave the evil, nasty, dreaded New England Patriots. I mean, Adam Schefter has basically become a Tom Brady stan account. The network he works for, which spent virtually all of 2015 basically comparing Brady to Whitey Bulger and has cast aspersions on his employer of 20 years for even longer, is now choosing to...CELEBRATE their accomplishments? There are examples all over the place, and it's absolutely maddening. You don't get to play both sides because the laundry Tom's going to be wearing is now different.
Tom Brady has been called every name under the sun over the past two decades, all while he was winning MVP's and Super Bowls for the New England Patriots. People went as far as to compare him throwing an allegedly underinflated football (alleged because it still has never proven and likely never happened at all) to taking steroids or HGH. He's been called a system Quarterback (another utterly ridiculous term used by people who have zero understanding of the sport), a cheater, overrated, you name it. But now that the Patriots are no longer a perceived threat and the GOAT is over in TOMpa Bay, everyone's lining up to celebrate Brady's legacy. They all want to see this documentary now that they know there won't be any additional Patriots chapters. Completely hypocritical, not to mention sickening.
I guess I'll close with this: yes, I'm obviously excited as hell to get any sort of inside information about Tom Brady's time with the Patriots, because, let's face it, it's easier to extract intel from the Pentagon than from Bill Belichick's football team. But I think it's utterly ridiculous that the same people who spent two decades downplaying Tom Brady's importance in football history now feel that they're free and clear to shower him with affection. Why do we make such an effort to downplay or deny greatness in this day and age? Tearing people down isn't going to somehow improve your own life in any way, so just stop hating and appreciate true excellence before it's gone.
P.S. I love and miss you, Tommy