Millions of Americans will be glued to the television Sunday to watch the 52nd Super Bowl. Millions of Americans will not be watching for various reasons. Some are not interested in football. Some will have something else better to do. Others are sick and tired of the National Football League. Others are disappointed in multi-million dollar players kneeling during the National Anthem.
Millions will be watching to see if Tom Brady can win his sixth Super Bowl ring. Millions more will be watching hoping with every play 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 out of a hole and 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 sport's 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.
It is remarkable that he has kept his brain intact. Although with football, traumatic injuries are sometimes revealed years down the road. Brady is a good-looking guy, with a model wife and beautiful little girl. Do we hate this about Brady? Why would we? Often we hate people because they are in a stage or state of life that we can't obtain. Or, at one time we might have envisioned ourselves in such a role or dream-like life and it didn't work out for us.
Brady showed the kind of guy he is with his response on a routine WEEI radio 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 last week. 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 loses. 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 super star 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.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is the author of 12 books. His syndicated column is read in all 50 states.