If You Want To Hate Tom Brady And Bill Belichick, At Least Respect Them Too
by 4 February 2016, 10:00 AM
I know you hate Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, but do you at least respect them?
From Hate to Respect
As an Indianapolis Colts fan and proud member of ColtsNation since the Peyton Manning-Marvin Harrison days, like many of my fellow fans, there were parts of my life in which I absolutely despised Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots. Since the year 2000, the Patriots lead the series against the Colts 15-6, and since 2010 they categorically own the series to the tune of seven wins and zero losses. Looking at these records, you would think that my hatred of the Patriots would have grown in the past five years, but you would be mistaken. In fact, though I may feel some animosity towards the Patriots, I have garnered a great level of respect for the organization, especially Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
Ole Bill (The Emperor, Palpatine)
To the casual fan, Bill Belichick is the grumpy old guy who:
doesn’t like to talk at press conferences,
doesn’t show emotion,
and sometimes gets accused of cheating.
The combination of these things do not give the casual fan a particularly positive image of Belichick. And perhaps one of the best things about Bill is that he doesn’t care. He doesn’t care if everyone in the league thinks he cheated. He doesn’t care if fans see him as being emotionless. He doesn’t care if the press and public perceive him to be rude.
He keeps chugging along, coaching his team, and winning football games. Beneath the thick and cold skin that Bill Belichick shows to the public there exists (arguably), the greatest football mind to have ever existed and a burning passion for the game. Belichick not only has this passion himself, but he understands that passion is at the core of what will make a team great.
Belichick’s great football mind regarding every facet of the game is not what makes him the greatest in my book, but rather, it is his complete and utter dedication to the game. People berate the Patriots for running weird and cheesy plays:
…to win games, but they are able to do so because Belichick knows the rulebook better than every coach and perhaps even the referees themselves.
The Patriots have won their division 13 times in the last 15 years because Bill Belichick, no matter what personnel he has, is able to always teach his team the fundamentals, like blocking, tackling, hold lanes, etc. Whether or not they are the less talented team, regardless of the weather conditions, no matter what the circumstance, football lovers can be rest assured that Bill Belichick will bring a well-coached team to the game.
Though the Patriots and Belichick have defeated my beloved Colts again and again over the years, I can’t help but respect everything Belichick has brought and given to the game. His ability to coach, dedication to studying, knowing and loving the game, and his “I don’t care what anyone thinks about me” attitude makes Bill Belichick the best football coach ever in my book.
Tommy (Darth Vader)
The apprentice and forever-loyal partner-in-crime of Ole Bill, Tom Brady became the starter for Belichick’s Patriots in his sophomore season when Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury, and Brady has never looked back. In his fourth and fifth years, Brady and Belichick led their team to back-to-back titles, and since then the two have become the winningest coach-quarterback combination in NFL history.
From a seventh-stringer at Michigan and sixth round pick in the 2000 NFL draft, Brady rose to become an unequivocal top-five quarterback in NFL history. However, similar to his coach, with his great success has come a boatload of hate. He’s been called a crybaby, made fun of because of Deflategate, labeled an idiot, and most recently accused of being a whiner.
Now, I don’t want to be a hypocrite and call people out for making fun of Brady this way, because I’ll be honest, I’ve done it plenty. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve called Brady a crybaby or sore loser. BUT, I no longer say it out of hate or disgust. Rather, I say it as I would tease a friend.
I would argue that Brady hasn’t necessarily changed and developed the game in the same way as Belichick, but he shows an insane amount of drive, motivation, and love for the game. The 2015-16 season epitomizes this.
Despite 16 years of playing in the NFL, this year Tom Brady had one of his best seasons, posting his fourth-highest passer rating of 102.2, threw for the third most yards in his career, and boasted an excellent 36-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
If Cam Newton’s Panthers had not gone 15-1 in the regular season, Brady could have easily claimed his third MVP. Brady produced at this level behind one of the worst offensive lines he’s ever had (largely because of injuries) during his career. Even more impressive, is the fact that Brady’s arm and body as a whole looked even more fit than last season, even with his poor line and a 19-game season the year before.
When the time comes for Brady to hang up his cleats and call it a career it will be a sad day for all football fans. And by football fans I mean fans of the game, not just a team. Because if you truly are a fan of the game, the end of a legend’s career should be a sad event. Regardless of the number of times Tom Brady beat your team or knocked them out of the playoffs, Brady’s commitment and his consequent excellence in performance deserves the utmost respect from football fans.
The Bottom Line
I realize that convincing someone to no longer hate Bill Belichick and/or Tom Brady is no easy task. Further, the purpose of this article is not to ask you to stop hating either of these men. However, I believe that it is your duty as a football fan to at least begrudgingly respect the two legends highlighted in this article for their passion, dedication, and accomplishments in the NFL.
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