It’s Valentine’s Day. You’re lounging around, wondering how it all went wrong, wondering how you got here.
One moment, you were watching weird, sexual-tension-filled videos of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski on the Bucs Twitter page, now you’re listening to podcasts about how Kyle Trask is going to be competing with Blaine Gabbert or somebody for the starting quarterback position next season.
Oh, how times have changed. It’s time for some classic, old-fashioned reminiscing about love lost.
But to quote Alfred, Lord Tennyson (I thought it was Shakespeare, too), “‘Tis Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Without further ado, here are 12 things I loved and 12 things I hated about Tom Brady’s time in a Bucs uniform.
I loved how he put together such wonderful fourth quarter comebacks
Whether it was against the Rams, the Jets, or any other team in between, Tom Brady has certainly had his fair share of spectacular final quarter comebacks throughout his career, and his time in Tampa Bay was no different. For whatever else you may say about the guy, he sure as hell could run a two-minute drill.
I hated how rents skyrocketed in Tampa Bay upon his arrival
OK, so maybe his arrival had no actual impact on rents in Tampa, but the fact that it’s gone up so much since he’s arrived seems like a weird coincidence. Hopefully when he leaves it’ll come back down to Earth, because I’m looking for a new apartment, and I would like to not have to sell a kidney in order to afford it.
I loved how he made watching the Bucs fun again
I hate to get so sentimental, but remember when we were having to watch Jameis Winston throw 30 interceptions in a season, or having to sit through game after game of the Mike Glenons, the Josh Freemans, and the Josh McCowns of the world? It was quite a stark difference getting to watch a master of his craft like Tom Brady. OK, enough kissing his ass, moving on.
I hated how immobile he could be
I know he had those fun little scrambles where he picked up a first down and would jump up all full of energy, but Brady was in his 40s, and he wasn’t exactly the most agile fellow from his youth. Not that Kyle Trask is any more of a speedster, but the departure of TB12 at least opens the door to the Bucs bringing in someone else with a bit more of an improvisational spirit.
I loved his post victory videos
Again, say what you will about the individual, but his social media team was on its shit. Those post-victory hype videos it posted were pretty dope, from the music selection to the aura to the overall general energy, it was all really fun. And he was doing it in a Bucs uniform!
I hated watching him throw his signature temper tantrums
Some call it competitive spirit. Some call it a fiery nature. Whatever you call it, the tablets that were thrown over the past few years cost the Bucs a few hundred bucks (no pun intended). And those tablets could be used for a variety of other, much more noble and helpful causes than helping a middle-aged quarterback see why he threw his second interception of the night.
I loved getting to see Rob Gronkowski in a Bucs uniform
Without Brady, we don’t get Gronk. And as goofy and weird and ridiculous as Rob Gronkowski is, it was truly a blast watching him do his stupid little “Gronk Spike” at Raymond James Stadium to the sounds of the crowd going nuts.
I hated how tickets to Bucs games became disgustingly expensive
Another cost of doing business, I suppose. But Bucs tickets were no longer the bargain they used to be, and there’s no argument to be made for the Bucs being able to sell out games with Kyle Trask under center. Brady brought the people, and more people means more expensive tickets.
I loved how he got to shatter the hopes of the Saints and Drew Brees one last time
Ah, memories. Devin White picking off the former Purdue Boilermaker. The Bucs taking a victory on the road from a division rival after going 0-2 against them in the regular season. Brady playing with Brees’ children after the game. It’s all such great fun.
I hated watching his press conferences while he was going through the divorce from the mother of his children
Talk about a sad thing. Brady looked like a ghost of his usual self towards the beginning of the year. He looked skinny, unhealthy, and tired. Not saying I felt bad for him; when given the choice between retiring and making close to $400 million for sitting around and talking about football while getting to spend more time with his family and getting railed by 300-plus pound defensive linemen on a weekly basis, he chose the latter—and that’s on him.
I loved watching him get confused about what down was just played
Ah, the source of many memes throughout that season, Brady thought it was third down in a mid-season matchup with the Chicago Bears that ended up a confusing loss. Luckily, that was the year the Bucs won the Super Bowl, so it didn’t end up mattering that much.
I hated the fact that he brought a bunch of Boston people to the Bucs fan base (even temporarily)
To (kind of) quote Nigel Powers from the third Austin Powers movie, “There are only two things I can’t stand in this world: People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures, and people from Boston.” OK, so I changed the last part of the quote, but the point rings true. Boston people suck. They’re rude, they’re obnoxious, and they’re probably reading this beaming with pride. No one likes you, I don’t care if Matt Damon and Ben Affleck made some awful movie about how being from Boston can be “cool.” They’re douchebags too.
I loved that plenty of ring-chasing veterans wanted to join (and stick around) the Bucs because of him
Leonard Fournette, Gronk, Logan Ryan, Keanu Neal, Akiem Hicks, Shaq Mason, Ryan Jensen (re-signing), and many others came to play in Tampa Bay because of that man Tom Brady. And thank goodness, because the Bucs certainly could have used the help.
I hated how he only brought the Bucs the single Super Bowl
This has less to do with Tom Brady and more to do with the Bucs organization as a whole, because one player doesn’t win or lose rings (no matter how much it sounds like I believe that), but it still is a bummer the Bucs couldn’t have brought it home last season. This season was a lost cause, I get it, but it would’ve been fun to see a pair of rings come out of this era.
I loved that he brought the Bucs a Super Bowl at all
Many people were comparing the 2020 Bucs to many other teams in the history of sport who bring in veterans way past their prime in a well-meaning, but ultimately ill-advised, attempt to win a ring. Nope. The Bucs actually did it.
I hated the fact that he seemed so tired of it all by the end
It can happen in any relationship; the fights become more frequent and longer, the passion just isn’t there, and in this past season for the Bucs, it seemed like Brady was just lacking in investment at some points. Granted, he was dealt some tough hands with injuries and such, but it was still really difficult to watch a Tom Brady-led offense put up the low scoring numbers that it did.
I loved how dominant he was despite his age
To have one of your best seasons at the crisp age of 44 is nothing short of remarkable and something we don’t see very often (if at all). The only other person showing the same signs of longevity is LeBron James in the NBA, and even he is doing it on a crappy team that is outside playoff contention at the moment. Brady was doing it with a Super Bowl contender.
I hated when he lost his head coach
Much has been discussed about whether or not the breakup with Bruce Arians was truly on Arians, if it was Brady expressing displeasure with BA, or a combination of all that. Regardless, it was clear that Arians’ impact on the team in the head coaching role was far greater than I think anyone anticipated.
I loved when he proved that it wasn’t all Bill Belichick
I understand no one really thinks that Bill Belichick was the sole reason for New England’s success all those years, but it was still nice to see Brady solidify that line of thinking. Belichick still has yet to win a playoff game without Brady, and TB12 has a ring in the same timeframe. So, there ya go.
I hate that his contract creates such cap problems moving forward
This isn’t his fault; the Bucs are the ones who made the cap decisions with the voidable years and such. It just really sucks paying someone who isn’t on the roster anymore, and Brady will be one of many, but it hurts a bit more after a guy who brought a team so much is no longer in uniform. Just a tough reminder of what was, and now what is.
I loved his Super Bowl parade celebration
I mean, who didn’t? It’s going to be something that is spoken about in Tampa Bay lore for quite some time. Throwing the Lombardi Trophy across the Hillsborough River? Sheesh, what a guy.
I hated the fact that he went out on such a sour note
Losing to the Cowboys in such embarrassing fashion at home in the playoffs might be the worst way to end your career. I get the Cowboys aren’t an awful team; on paper, they’re actually really good. But they’re the fucking Cowboys. They suck. They shouldn’t be doing that. It’s a huge bummer that it ended like that.
I loved that he got to be himself as a Buc
Look, I get Belichick’s methods. You show up, you do your job, you don’t create any distractions. But you’ve gotta have some kind of fun while playing a stupid game, right? I mean, this isn’t rocket science, it’s not a medical profession, we all have to deal with boring, tight-ass shit all the time. Sports are a way to release from that. Luckily, Brady was able to show that far more in a Bucs uniform.
I hate that he left
It sucks that now the Bucs have to go back to the dark ages (and believe me, they’re going to be dark). I loved the fact that the Bucs were getting constant media coverage, nationally televised games, and TMZ thirst. That was all because of the GOAT. It’s an unfortunate thing that he had to retire, but hey, he’s only human. Some people need a break to go make close to $400 million working as a broadcaster.
Now someone find me $60,000 a month so I can rent his house on Davis Islands.
This article originally appeared on CLTAMPA.COM and is used with permission.
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