By Joe Scibelli, Esq.
Sorry to all my fans and supporters at JDFSports for being away such a long time, but I couldn’t stand the fact that we had another Alabama College Football Championship team. But talking about consistency, like Alabama or Clemson winning a National Title, Tom Brady is back in the Super Bowl, however, as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.
As the best time in sports comes to end, (at least until March Madness) one thing is usually the same, Tom Brady is playing in the Super Bowl. Throughout his 21-season career, he has only missed the playoffs twice, 2002 and 2008, been to 14 conference championship games, and this makes his 10th Super Bowl appearance.
This Super Bowl is probably the most different Super Bowl of all time. This is the first time in NFL history that a team is playing on their home field, the attendance will be substantially limited, major corporations are rumored to be pulling their ads (Coca-Cola, Budweiser, and other major companies) and, of course, COVID-19. The most troubling difference, at least for Patriots fans, is this Super Bowl will feature the GOAT without the Patriots.
Growing up in Massachusetts, I have always been, and will continue to be, a Patriots fan. My father is a Patriots fan, and my father’s father is a Patriots fan. When I was a twinkle in my father’s eye, they experienced blow out Super Bowl losses or just downright ugly seasons. I was born during the season in which the Patriots got stomped by Green Bay, as Brett Favre went on to win his only Super Bowl. However, being born in the Tom Brady era was the greatest privilege any sports fan could ask for. The first time TB12 won a Super Bowl against the Rams back in 2001 was the start of my fandom. I was either 5 or 6 and on a Disney Cruise with my family. I remember the excitement and energy throughout the Disney ESPN Sports Bar/Lounge when the 199th pick and Adam Vinatieri miraculously beat the Greatest Show on Turf. The shock and life I saw in my parents’ eyes made me the football fan I am today.
As time went on, I became accustomed to success. Winning the AFC East was routine, and not reaching the Super Bowl was considered a bad season. I was spoiled, and everyone rooting for the Patriots were spoiled. However, with all good things, they must come to an end.
Now, Tom is back in the Super Bowl. He’s up against the next quarterback to possibly do what he did and is doing. Present versus Future. GOAT versus Baby GOAT. Another triumph during an incredible career for TB12. Tom Brady has brought me more happiness than 99.5% of the human population, but this Sunday my heart is torn. I couldn’t be happier for him as he continues to prove Max Kellerman wrong about the “cliff” Brady will fall off. I couldn’t be happier for him silencing the haters calling Brady a “system quarterback” or “game manager.” I couldn’t be happier that he beat two of the best quarterbacks during this era, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, and has the opportunity to beat maybe the next GOAT, Patrick Mahomes.
Nevertheless, I’m conflicted as a Pats fan. Not with Tom Brady, but with the organization letting him go. TB12 clearly has more in the tank, and the Patriots let him walk. It’s hard to watch a player who did so much for your team, do it again for someone else’s team. I love Tom Brady, but like all break ups it hurts. It hurts more knowing New England came out worse. We replaced the GOAT with an MVP winner, Cam Newton, but it was a mistake. I was optimistic at first, but disappointed in the end. Tom Brady was never a system quarterback, he was the system and culture of a dominant dynasty.
I will be rooting for Brady today. I hope Tampa beats Kansas City. I hope that Tom Brady can add more to his legacy. I will be envious that Tom isn’t leading the Patriots to this Super Bowl. I am upset that the Patriots’ front office has multiple times tried to trade Brady. I am more upset that the Patriots let him go for nothing after seeing the potential of a QB blockbuster trade. All I can hope for is the Patriots fill the biggest shoes ever left by a player.
Now that I am done pouring my heart out, my prediction is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will win the Super Bowl over the Chiefs, 38-33. I’m predicting both coaches will call plays aggressively and take a lot of chances. Brady has had 12 days of isolation and game film prep, so he’s ready. KC has a hurt O-line, while JPP and Shaq Barrett have been all over opposing QBs. This Super Bowl is hard because you’re either betting against Tom Brady or betting against Patrick Mahomes. Either bet is not a wise bet. Nevertheless, this game comes down to the defense that bends but does not breaks. Therefore, Tampa Bay is my pick and Brady will win his 5th Super Bowl MVP.