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Tom Brady Wins Again

On Saturday, January 30th, 2021, the Saturday Night Live (SNL) opening act was a feature starring Kate McKinnon as an interviewer. She poses the question: What still works in America? With interviews with SNL cast playing real-life people from the news cycle, she asks whether government, social media, vaccine roll-outs, and other important institutions are working. Sadly, no, none of these things are working based on these satirical interviews. Finally, Tom Brady (played by John Krasinski) takes a seat to a semi-frazzled McKinnon.

“You might be the only thing that works in America,” McKinnon said, who proceeded to list impressive details of his career along with personal compliments (like how at 43 he looks 27). Brady attempts to interject (“It was a team effort!”), but she chuckles like it’s a joke. “No one believes there is anyone else on the team,” she retorts.

“You’re supposed to win football games and you keep winning football games. You might be the only thing in America that still works. So I guess everyone in America should be rooting for you?” McKinnon said.

“Almost no one,” he replies.

Last night, Tom Brady did it again. Even after joining a new team with a mediocre record (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Brady won his seventh Super Bowl. His previous team, the New England Patriots, didn’t even make it to the playoffs without Brady. Yet, there is a constant running gag in media and sports conversations of people who not only not want to root for Brady, but actively roots for the opposing team just to prevent another win for Brady. This win wasn’t a nail biter. It was a full-fledge shellacking with a final score of 31 (Buccaneers) to 9 (Kansas City Chiefs).

For major competitions, like the Super Bowl, the Olympics, or the World Series, I personally like the game to be nail-biters. I want to sit on the edge of my seat, unsure of who will finally prevail until the final moment when the final score is set, preferably by some dramatic Hail Mary play that could’ve gone either way. There was none of that. By the end of the third quarter, it was pretty clear who won. Could the Kansas City Chiefs turn it around by the fourth quarter? Technically it was possible, but highly improbably given their performance up to that point.

What I find interesting is how much people in society seem to casually oppose or outright demonize Tom Brady for his performance on the football field. Perhaps it goes back to the story of David and Goliath, where David is the perceived underdog and he valiantly defeats Goliath. (Although for an alternate take on that particular story, David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell makes a well-supported argument that Goliath was the underdog).

As a society, we like to cheer for the underdog. Perhaps Tom Brady was an underdog at the start of his career, but today he is a seasoned football veteran with a string of broken records under his belt. As a society, why is there a hesitation to sometimes cheer for whoever is literally the best at their game? I don’t see the negative comments towards someone like Michael Phelps, who has won more Olympic gold medals for swimming than anyone else, period. Is it something about Tom Brady personally? Is it something I’m not getting?

It’s a funny wondering as I scroll through tweets, news reports, and random comments about the results of the Super Bowl. I’m not a betting woman, but if I were, I’d wager that this time next year, Tom Brady will once again grace the Super Bowl with another win, regardless of which team he plays, unless he decides to pull a Peyton Manning and retire. If that happens, I imagine we’ll still see him at the Super Bowl in commercial after commercial, just like Peyton.


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