Tom Brady‘s resume says he’s the greatest quarterback in NFL history. But who can trust a resume these days?
The Americans who trusted Donald Trump‘s resume were fooled into believing The Donald is one of the greatest business minds in American history; That he would boldly sprinkle his secrets of success onto America’s many problems and help return the states to their great Native-killing, African-enslaving, woman-beating days of glory. But alas, Trump is failing miserably before the world’s eyes. And those who chose him as their champion are now doing everything they can to avoid facing the monster they fed and freed.
Politics are usually more subtle than sports. The brave few who attempt to follow politicians and their many tricks know that you can’t always tell who’s winning, what the end goal is or even who is on whose team. But the game tape of Donald Trump’s first few snaps as President exposed his full intentions and every detail of his incompetence, plain as day. Those who still stand with him, as he fumbles with America’s future and risks world war to affirm his ego, are just as guilty as Trump’s flunkies and handlers of helping carry out his hate crimes.
So why don’t Sage Steele, Tom Brady and the other Trump supporters of the sports world care that they’re so clearly standing on the wrong side of history’s line of scrimmage? Because they know, deep down, that the same privileges responsible for Donald Trump’s success are responsible for their own. They can’t fathom questioning the system that is currently killing their fellow humans because it is the primary source of their own self-worth.
Tom Brady is definitely better at being quarterback of the New England Patriots than Donald Trump is at being President of the United States. But that’s not saying much.
To be fair to the president, Brady’s NFL career actually played out more like Trump’s 40-plus years in business than his first 11 days in office. Through long and storied runs, both men have racked up the most valued measures of success that exist in their respective games—Brady’s four Super Bowl rings put him on the short list of the greatest QBs of all-time no matter who you’re debating, just as Trump’s reportedly-massive fortune has kept him in the mix of Forbes’ power rankings for the better part of three decades. But at what point do our traditional markers of success stop being reliable indicators of greatness?
Both Trump and Brady accumulated their titles and statistics while playing with every conceivable advantage, both on and off the field. Trump’s father, Fred, and Brady’s coach, Bill Belichick, both created and ran systems that launched their golden boys’ enchanted careers without the struggle or strife that builds character in most of us. Systems that cover up and excuse bankruptcies and cheating scandals.
It wasn’t until The Donald lost his handicap of corporate privilege that the full extent of his incompetence was exposed under the Washington D.C. microscope. Would Brady’s short-comings show just as clearly if he were traded to a mediocre team with an apathetic coach?
In 2001, Tom Brady inherited a Super Bowl-ready team after veteran quarterback Drew Bledsoe was injured. Brady’s first ever championship game was extended by a blown call that ruled his fumble an incomplete pass. The still controversial call is now remembered as the “Tuck Rule,” and ever since, the sixth-round draft pick has parlayed his unparalleled privilege into one of the most impressive NFL resumes of all time. But when will we learn to stop measuring greatness without considering context?
Just as Fred Trump’s experience and resources immediately boosted his son Donald’s career in real estate, Belichick and his Patriots’ established system nurtured Brady and protected him from the ups and downs that shorten most QBs careers. But by allowing Trump and Brady to stuff their resumes full of numbers that don’t accurately reflect their worth in the field of competition, the patriarchs behind these two patriots have set them up for a rude awakening.
Trump’s awakening has been unfolding before our eyes since he was first elected in November. Will Brady’s follow in this Sunday’s big game?
Brady told reporters covering the upcoming Super Bowl that he hasn’t been paying attention to the current events his friend has been cooking up in Washington. “What’s going on in the world? I haven’t paid much attention,” he admitted to Jim Chair. “I’m just a positive person.”
But by refusing to take a look around at what’s going on in the world around him, Brady has shown the same lack of self-awareness that convinced Donald J. Trump he was capable of leading a sovereign nation. Brady’s explanation that he is simply “a positive person” who doesn’t focus on the world’s ills is bullshit. But his willful ignorance to world issues that affect his teammates and fans is proof that he is no more fit to lead than his friend Donald.
Tom Brady and the “positive” Americans who so easily turn a blind eye to the suffering of others are greater threats to America than any immigrant, terrorist or criminal. Their privileged patriotism is driven by their own lack of identity. Tom, Sage and the rest of Team Trump are afraid to look at what’s going on around them because of what they’re afraid they’ll discover about themselves. Afraid that, like their country and its president, they’re not truly the greatest. They’re just regular humans who’ve been blessed with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
I don’t have much time to watch football these days, but I’m hoping the Atlanta Falcons show Tom Brady and the rest of America how human he is, and has always been, this Sunday. Maybe then he’ll understand why “what’s going on” with his fellow humans around the world is so important.