The chicken or the egg? For importance, the egg should win in every conversation. It offers a new beginning; a resurrection of a second chance, if one will. Although it has been taught and mentored by the chicken, the egg grows to be their own soul. Separation is needed sometimes to reach one’s full potential. Take, for instance, a football analogy of this age-old question in the form of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
The duo has led the league in Super Bowls overall, Super Bowl victories, Super Bowl appearances, playoff yards, wins, regular-season wins, and broken hearts. Breakups are never easy to handle. Someone will hold a grudge; too much has been emotionally invested. When two champions at their position part ways, pride rises like yeast in an oven.
At the playing age of 43, Tom Brady has felt the luck of an Adam Vinatieri kick (February 3rd, 2002), the error of a John Kasay kick out of bounds in a shootout (32/48, 354 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 int, 32-29 victory) the crumbling relationship of a quarterback/wide receiver duo to benefit his bad day (23/33, 236 yards, 1 touchdown (Mike Vrabel) 1 rushing touchdown, 24-21 victory), a 10 point comeback, a dumb decision from an opposing coach that broke up a legion (37/50, 328 yards, 4 touchdowns, 2 int’s, 28-24 victory), an ultimate meltdown that cemented his legacy (43/62 466 yards, 2 touchdowns 1 int, 34-28 in overtime), and a veteran winner against an opponent that some felt didn’t deserve to be there, but didn’t allow him a touchdown pass (21/35, 262 yards).
The Hoodie’s Creation?
Whether one believes that the “Hoodie” created Tom Brady, or if the sixth-round pick had evolved into the best quarterback ever to play the game, his spot in the Hall of Fame is not in question. What is, however, is whether this Hall of Famer can carry over his previous success without being seen as a Padawan? Whether all the stars align for this aging superstar? Only time will tell. But with that said, he brings something to the table that the Tampa Bay area has been lacking; a winning disposition.
Only One Way to go from Here
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 107-165 since their 2002 Super Bowl victory. Five winning seasons in 17 years. Three of those winning seasons were 9-7. The coach and quarterback carousel has been embarrassing. 13 quarterbacks have played and/or started in these 16 years since winning the Lombardi. Six coaches have come into Tampa Bay attempting to right the ship since, with Arians being the sixth. A winning culture has been desperately lacking not only in the front office but also in the fanbase. Some fans might be happy with just a playoff berth. Some would be happy with just a playoff victory. That is not the proper mentality to have, at least not from Tom Brady’s standpoint.
Tom Brady holds the record for the most playoff wins (30) and for the most playoff games started (41). He has 14 more playoff wins than Joe Montana. Also, add nearly 4,000 more passing yards than Peyton Manning in the postseason (11,179). He has 28 more touchdown passes than Joe Montana in the postseason (73 versus 45), and 356 more completions than the future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning in the postseason (1005-649). Brady didn’t taste defeat in the playoffs until his fifth year as a full-time starter which took place on January 14, 2006, against the Broncos.
Just Do It!
Tampa Bay is in a win-now mode, and who better to steer the path than the tutelage of the quarterback whisperer of Bruce Arians and the majestic presence of Tom Brady. There was a recent tweet that personifies what the signing of Brady means not only to this franchise but to the people who have been suffering for so long to feel the pride of being a winner again. To take a quote from Greg Auman of The Athletic’s article, “when he walks in the huddle, it’s different,” Arians said of the addition of Tom Brady, noting the six rings from his Patriots days and the confidence that goes with that. Of Brady and Gronkowski, “they’ve got a pretty good resume.”
The division has been flipped upside down with the acquisition of Brady. Drew Brees holds a marginal edge against him regarding victories. Although the record is 3-2 in favor of Brees, Brees gained two of those victories as a Charger (2002 and 2005). Brady, while a Patriot, has won the last two meetings. The Atlanta Falcons have never beaten Tom Brady, joining a list that consists of the Bears, Cowboys, and Vikings who have never won against him. Tampa was on this list, but he’s currently the captain.
Newton Vs. Brady
Since Carolina’s inception in 1995, they are the only franchise to have a winning record against New England outside of the division. Cam Newton is the only quarterback to have a flawless record against Tom Brady. Unfortunately, Newton now has Brady’s old job as the current face of the New England quarterback position. Chances of Brady getting some redemption are slim. The teams would have to meet in the Super Bowl.
It’s not as if Tampa Bay doesn’t know how to win. It’s not to say that the Tampa area has never been winners. What is being stated is what better time than now to learn from one of the best winners in the game’s history? Maybe his disposition could yield another egg that could lead to the resurrection of the Tampa Bay franchise. Expect a heavy bombardment of cannon fire this year.