Brady Hears the Catcalls

DATELINE: Super Insult

Suppose you went to the Super Bowl to be honored with 50 years’ worth of great players—and your hometown crowd of San Francisco gave you a round of boos.

Suppose you were the only one to receive the razz. Most of the aging, doddering former players were names coming out of some mist of familiarity. The crowd sat on their hands for those.

Tom Brady was the only player given an unwanted welcome.

You may begin to wonder whether you made a good decision to drag your wife across the country to see old friends in your childhood stomping grounds. How did they react to the boo birds?

All of this is strangely unsettling because Tom Brady is one of the good guys, hardly deserving of animosity. He does not shoot people, beat children, or assault girlfriends. Yet, the odd world of football fans despises him.

He can take some solace in the fact that he was the youngest looking player there.

We were amused to see Jim Plunkett after all these years—but so many were faces we see weekly: Terry Bradshaw, Troy Aikman, John Elway, Eli Manning, Phil Simms, Ray Lewis, among the MVP names.

It was a large crowd of ex-players and Roger Goodell was not there to shake hands with some—and ignore one other.

If Tom didn’t have friends in the Bay area, he probably would have had recriminations over his attendance. His old friend Deion Branch was there—and Tom and Deion seemed to chat only with each other in the mass gang of stars.

Brady did right by attending. He’s a better man, right up there with Gunga Din.