Photo by: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.
By: Dino Bizzarro
Opinion — We are one week away from the 2018 NFL Draft and there is plenty of speculation that the Patriots will trade up to grab one of the top young quarterback talents.
This speculation stems from rumors of Tom Brady’s apparent consideration of retirement. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported yesterday that Brady has not committed to coming back for the upcoming season.
The media, fans, and opposing teams continue to try to push the future Hall-of-Famer to retirement. ESPN has been pushing a narrative that shows the Patriots dynasty falling apart. With loads of content coming out saying there is friction between star Patriot players and Head Coach Bill Belichick, you may forget that they just went to the Super Bowl and won it the year before.
Curiosity leads us to wonder, what is their goal? With how much attention a player like Tom Brady brings to the NFL’s brand, one would wonder why they are pushing him out the door?
Perhaps it’s a business that has learned to profit from hatred. According to a survey conducted by Monmouth University, 39% of fans said they were actively cheering for the Patriots to lose Super Bowl LII- compared to only 12% who wanted nothing more than an Eagles loss.
America hates Tom Brady. Jealousy is an obvious factor. The man has everything the average American wants. He’s the best football player in the world, he’s worth millions, he’s got a super model wife, and enough Super Bowl rings to take up a whole hand.
Brady is the superman of the NFL. As he showed in Super Bowl LI, no matter the situation, you can never count him out.
No one hates Superman. Then why is Brady so hated?
One answer. Media.
Particularly, ESPN has created this vendetta against the Patriots. They have fed off of sports fan’s jealousy and have created a monster. How many memes did you see of Brady’s dropped pass in the Super Bowl? The quarterback threw for over 500 yards, a Super Bowl record. At 40 years old, he had one of the best playoff performances of his storied career. Yet, scroll down comments on ESPN’s Facebook posts and you see most of the comments blaming Brady for the loss. These comments are often vicious. They ridicule him for the way he kisses his son. They say he’s a cheater and would never win if he didn’t deflate balls or spy on the opposition. They attack his wife’s appearance.
These feelings aren’t just shared by a few angry rebels on social media though. Speaking with several of my own family members and friends the day after the big game, I heard even more hatred. One anonymous man told me he didn’t care if the Patriots won or lost, he just wanted Brady to break his neck.
ESPN continually posts content portraying the Patriots as cheaters. Pictures of Brady are posted with shadow on the pictures to make him look sinister. ESPN knows people will tune in to see negative stories about someone they hate- which is why Brady seems to be the most talked about player on the network.
Just hours after ESPN gave reports that Brady is considering retirement, NFL Network reported that Brady is seeking a new contract ahead of the upcoming season. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport seemed puzzled by ESPN’s coverage of Brady.
“Tom Brady is going to play in 2018,” Rapoport said on NFL Network. “He said it. Everyone close to him has said it. Everyone I’ve spoken to has said it. The Patriots are going forward with the very strict and stern belief that he will be playing for 2018.”
Everyone else seems pretty certain #TB12 isn’t done just yet. But certainty doesn’t bring in ratings. ESPN is creating just enough doubt to bring in the Brady hater bunch to watch his demise.
Unfortunately for that sad group of people, Brady will return this season. He will be with Belichick. They will make the playoffs. They will be the favorite to win the Super Bowl once again. And that makes the haters want to spontaneously combust.