From the ingenious e-card collection at someecards.com.
Tom Brady showed up to practice yesterday for the Patriots after missing two days with his mysterious boot ailment, and Patriots fans breathed a sigh of relief, including myself. As I wrote over at MVN:
I don’t know quite how to explain the way people feel and act about “Tommy” around here, but a story my friend Ryan told me recently is a pretty good example. Ryan is a typical Massachusetts guy and has a pretty noticeable Boston accent. Recently he said he met a friend of a friend who immediately struck him as looking a lot like Brady. Ryan confessed to me last weekend that he was unable to resist pointing this out to the stranger, despite how he knew it made him look. “It’s a good thing,” he reassured the startled lookalike, knowing he was digging himself a deeper hole.
“I just couldn’t help it,” he told me later. “I knew how it made me look. I knew how this other kid would be telling his friends, ‘I had this random kid from Mass. in my face about Tom Brady’. But I couldn’t not say anything.”
Many people in Boston are crazy about the Red Sox, but it’s hardly ever focused on just one player. Just because of the nature of his sport, however, Tom Brady stands out, and his role in the game he plays gets him individual recognition more like Larry Bird in the heyday of the Celtics. Except Larry Bird never modelled.
Admittedly, the guy’s ridiculous. Even as a female I can understand the jealousy sometimes; even I sometimes think, how much further can the guy go? He’s dating the world’s top model, he’s filthy rich, he’s doing modeling himself when he’s not winning Super Bowls…if I wasn’t a fan of the Patriots, if his accomplishments weren’t benefiting my hometown team, I could understand why all that would make him hate-able. I understand that much of the scrutiny surrounding his injury right now is not from people wishing him well.
But to be a fan of this team right now, and to know that he’s ours…it’s enough to make otherwise heterosexual male football fans a little giddy. It’s enough to inspire frequent, random, affectionate discussions about “Tommy”. He is the face of the team and its essential ingredient, at times seemingly a collaborator with Belichick in authoring the franchise’s dominance, and at other times seemingly just a carrier of uncanny good fortune, a 6′ 4″, 220-pound rabbit’s foot and security blanket in one. But even that doesn’t quite seem to encapsulate what Brady means to Patriots fans–like Ryan, I know how goofy this is making me sound, and yet I still don’t feel like I’ve found the words.
Sappy? Yes. True? Also yes. Observe the exchange that occurred between me and Kristen when I forwarded her an email, attached to which were these pictures:
Kristen: /short circuits computer keyboard with drool
/has some trouble explaining that to tech dudes
/tech dudes completely understand
Me: I've posted an incredible piece of sapitude about Tommy on MVN about that very concept.
Kristen: Off to read...
*a short time later*
Kristen: Okay, excellent. And this totally reminds me of something that happened last Thursday.
Amy and I were at the bar (as happens more than is strictly healthy) and we got to talking to this guy who totally looks like Matt Hasselbeck. Turns out his name is Chris and he actually gets that a lot so he's Chris Hasselbeck to us now. Anyway, he was mentioning that Amy and I seemed to be communicating without words and he was all, "What are you saying?" Amy goes, "Oh, it's nothing major. It's just that Drew Brees was on the TV and Kristen was saying that she'd totally hit it." And he goes, "Dude, you banged Drew Brees?" And I said, "No, but I would." And he stops for a second and gets all serious faced and looks at the replay of the Pats/Giants game that was on the NFL Network and he goes, "I'd bang Tom Brady. No doubt." "Yeah?" I said, "Yeah," he goes, "Wouldn't even have to think about it."
Then we fist bumped and he bought us beers. Heh.
Me: Most guys would do it just out of respect, I think.
Kristen: The way I figure it, Tom Brady's done so much for us, if he wants something in return, who are we to say no?