McGinley: To Tom Brady, with love
Mannion McGinley | Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Dear Tom Brady,
What the heck, man? I’m hurt. Truly, I’m hurt. I know there are diehard fans, who know more of your stats or who can rattle off every great pass you’ve ever thrown or who can date every heartwrencher out of which you’ve pulled the entire fanbase. But Tom let me ask you this, can they say that their franchise quarterback has been around for their entire lives? And brought them hope the entire time through?
No. No they cannot.
Brady, you have been the only Patriots quarterback that I have ever known. Just before I was born you took over for Drew Bledsoe in the second game of the season against the Jets. Then you had your first NFL start against the Colts and while it was rocky — we’ve all seen the video — you led the Patriots to a Super Bowl in your first season as a starter.
Boy, did it only go up from there. Every Sunday that you and Welker or Gronk or Amendola or Edelman were on television, I ran around in a Patriots t-shirt that was a gift from my dad until I grew out of it and it became a small navy blue jersey that was a gift from my dad, only to sit down and watch every split-second, eye-opening, unbelievable decision you made.
Four years ago, instead of assuming I wanted general Pats gear — which I did — my dad turned to me and said “Do you want a new jersey?” to which I of course said yes.
He followed up with, “OK, whose?”
And only one name popped into my head. “Tom Brady’s.”
Brady, I have been here since day one. I have watched the team get through the Giants, twice, helmet catch and all. I have stayed through “deflategate.” I have stayed through the comeback against the Falcons and the loss against the Eagles. I have watched you win 17 division titles, and play in 14 AFC Championships. I have watched you go to 11 Super Bowls. I have stayed to watch all six franchise Super Bowl banners go up every fall. I have watched you earn MVP in four of them and league MVP three times.
I also have watched this season suck, and so why, after all the ups, leave after just a few down moments? Why end your career somewhere else? Somewhere where fans have not named their twins Tom and Brady. (Yes. That really happened in Pats nation.) Somewhere where you have to build an entirely different name. Why leave?
I don’t mean to say that change is bad and it can’t be good to start new, but we will miss you here Tom. Patriots fans appreciate all you have done and the dynasty that you have led.
Heck, it might even be good to lose for a while.
Enjoy the sun in Tampa.
The girl who defended being your fan, even in New York, and who wore your jersey with pride.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.