Millions of Americans will be glued to the television Sunday to watch the 52nd Super Bowl. Millions will not be watching for various reasons. Some are not interested in football. Some will have something else to do. Others are tired of the National Football League. Others are disappointed in multi-million dollar players kneeling during the National Anthem.
Millions will watch to see if Tom Brady can win his sixth Super Bowl ring. Millions more will hope that the Philadelphia Eagles will eke out a win against Brady and the New England Patriots.
It seems that the majority of American football fans are weary of Brady and the Patriots winning Super Bowls and are more than ready to see someone else walk out with the victory. However, with Brady and the Patriots, you can never count them out of the game until the game is over. Brady knows how to lead a team back to victory.
Last year I was cruising through Super Bowl 51 thinking the Atlanta Falcons had the game won. At one point, the Falcons had a 25-point lead! Midway through the third quarter, Brady and the Patriots trailed 28-3 and looked defeated, but came back and won the game 34-28, stunning the sports world.
Typically, Americans root for the underdogs. We love to see the mighty fall. We often resent and even hate successful people. Thus, the Patriots and Brady won't have the majority of Americans rooting for them Sunday and Brady will probably be the most hated player on the field.
But why would any of us hate Tom Brady? What do we want from this guy? Do we want him to be a loser? He's not a loser. The idea behind playing sports is to do your best and help your team win the game. Tom Brady does his best and leads his team to championships. New England fans love him. Brady is a 40-year-old sports super hero. After all these years, he has seemingly escaped major injuries or brain trauma.
Brady showed the kind of guy he is with his response on a routine WEEI interview on Boston radio to announcer Alex Reiner calling Brady's 5-year-old daughter an "annoying little pissant." Brady responded by saying, "I've tried to come on this show for many years and showed you guys a lot of respect. I've always tried to come on and do a good job for you guys, so it's very disappointing when you hear that, certainly — with my daughter or any child, they certainly don't deserve that."
Brady ended the interview saying, "I'll obviously evaluate whether I want to come on this show again, so I really don't have much to say this morning. So maybe I'll speak with you guys some other time."
Reimer and his radio co-host were discussing "Tom vs. Time," the documentary series about Brady that premiered on Facebook. Reimer said, "All right, I thought the first scene was so staged, where Brady's like in the kitchen, this kid's being an annoying little pissant..."
Reimer has been suspended indefinitely and Brady, taking the high road, said that he hoped the radio personality would not be fired.
Tom Brady has seven Super Bowl starts. His record is five wins and two losses.
His two-year $41 million contract is an annual average of $20.5 million, which makes him the 12th highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. He has thrown for 66,159 yards and 488 touchdowns. He is already considered one of the best to ever play in the National Football League. Winning Sunday will solidify Brady as the best to ever play the game, putting him in the ranks of sports legends such as Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, Mohammed Ali, Jack Nicklaus and others.
Winning will probably gain Brady a few more haters but history won't care much about the stats of how many people rooted against Brady.
If Brady wins his sixth Lombardi Trophy, history will be all about the greatest who ever played the game — and who will be able to argue?
Sources: Recent television reports; Google: Tom Brady's Stats, SBNation.com, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post
Glenn Mollette is an American syndicated columnist and author.
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