Hey there and Happy February Patriots fans!
I hope I find you safe and well as we mosey along into 2021.
So, the first topic of conversation here at a Clare Perspective… the great debate….. never mind politics… we need to talk about Tom Brady and Bill Belichick!
I’m unsure if anything has divided the New England Patriots fan base quite as much as which ‘side’ you are on.
The key there is that we don’t need sides. Don’t get me wrong I am fully aware that not every fan has taken a side, all I am saying is there is reasonable amount of controversy out there on this subject.
The one opinion I have to admit, as a Patriots fan, I’m finding most difficult is the idea that if one does not actively support TB12 in his Buccaneers successes then one is ungrateful and does not respect what he gave to the Patriots for 20 years.
I mean, come on, seriously?
The reports on Brady’s departure from Gillette were varied but the key theme from those closest to those in question were it was an amicable split, an agreement could not be reached that suited both parties.
Some believe Brady just wanted out, others that Bill didn’t even like Brady and wanted rid of him, never giving him the respect he deserved. (right now, I really want to repeat myself with the whole come on seriously line…. but I won’t)
I admit I have found the analogy of Brady being the ‘ex’ quite apt. The guy we loved ditched us and moved on with a hot, tanned new piece and has been publicly enjoying himself…hard pill to swallow.
An emotional take? Of course! Football is an emotional sport!
Whichever you chose to believe is your prerogative and whichever you do may colour how you feel about the separation, however…. as Patriots fans surely we must stick together?
For some of us it’s very difficult seeing the love of our lives in the arms of another…. oh sorry we aren’t talking about Gronk are we?
(… my bad…. haha.)
But seriously, Brady was (and still is) idolised, adored and either way. He left, and it stings! But just because a fan is dealing with the loss differently doesn’t mean they are wrong.
Look, I’m not here to tell you how to feel, what to do or how to be, heck no! The purpose of this column today is actually just to highlight all the different perspectives….
Some of us just miss him, feel sad that he’s not here and just want to focus on Patriots players, cheering on our beloved Coach unsure of how we feel about TB12 in the wrong kind of red.
Others feel the loss in a less sharp way and are happy to watch him succeed and cheer for him but are still Patriots fans to the core.
A number of fans do feel animosity towards Brady and blame him for the break up whilst others are furious with Belichick for letting the goat leave.
As for those that are cheering Brady on whilst doing nothing but slating Coach Bill and Patriots players…. I think you may be more a Brady fan than a Patriots fan and that itself is obviously totally awesome. Perhaps, however, you shouldn’t hate on Patriots fans who want to support the team, just saying.
The one thing that brings Patriots fans together in all of this… love for Brady, but we are dealing with him leaving in different ways. There is no right answer, there is no right way to feel. Following a year that is full of loss for many people just having football has been salvation.
Now, Brady verses Belichick…. it isn’t in fact verses at all. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Yes Brady has gone onto succeed and Coach Bill had a bit of a naff year…. that doesn’t even begin to show the abilities of both.
Tom Brady is still a phenomenal quarter back who moved to warmer climates. A new team, a new coach, a new system ……. and a very familiar and exceptional tight end. Don’t forget that little tid bit folks, Brady still has Gronkowski to throw to.
Now before you get very cross with me for putting focus on a tight end, I am not in any way saying that is THE reason Brady is successful in Tampa, I am simply pointing out it’s just another plus in the ‘Tom to succeed in Tampa’ column.
The scene in Foxborough however isn’t quite as rosy. A substantial list of key players opted out due to covid risks, that in itself caused a negative impact on the teams chances of success in 2020. Then the team had to adjust to a new and different style guy at the core. A guy who hadn’t played in almost two seasons and who came with no family support network when the country was locked down due to a pandemic. A former MVP….. another key… the expectations on this guy were significant and although he appeared to mould well into the team personally we can’t ignore his practice and working time in the team was severely limited.
So Coach Bill had a pandemic…. a new quarter back…. a lot less seasoned Patriots players to deal with…. Yes but Brady also had a similar situation, no doubt about it. BUT the difference, Brady had to deal with one thing, himself, but Coach Bill had many more balls in the air.
Something else I haven’t noticed mentioned much was the loss of some of the key coaching staff too. I have absolutely no knowledge to base this upon (and don’t claim to) but I’ll bet the absence of Scarneccia was felt extensively and he wasn’t the only change to the staff.
Bottom line, and I think the key point most agree on is they both made each other great. They both were the constant in each other’s success and wouldn’t be where they are today without each other.
But the success of one and the lack of it for the other, in one year, doesn’t reflect on each party. Basically it’s apples and oranges making a comparison, heck it’s more like chocolate and cheese to be honest!
But hey that’s just my perspective. Still, I am proud to be a Patriots fan, proud to be able to say Tom Brady was my quarterback and I admit as much as I respect and appreciate him, I’m still a little bit sad as I watch him run out onto that field as a Buccaneer….. someone pass me the chocolate…..
I would like to dedicate this edition of a Clare Perspective, the first of 2021 to my Nan who sadly passed away the end of last year. She was my cheerleader and I am honoured that Mike and Ian gave me the opportunity to write for FPC whilst she was still with us and for her to be so proud of me. This one is for you Nan, rest well.
-Clare L. Cooper is a Special Contributor and Columnist for Full Press Coverage. Her New England Patriots insight can be found @FPC_Patriots