Brady's Bunch Back In Big One
January 22, 2018

Oh no. Not again. Do we really need this? Of course we weren't expecting anything less, and goodness knows the Jacksonville Jaguars gave it their all. The Pittsburgh Steelers couldn't win a home game, so yes, we get this. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are back in the Super Bowl.

I guess we have to accept the fact that the Pats are good. This is the eighth time that Brady, his coach Bill Belichick, owner Robert Kraft, and all of the guys have gotten to the big game. Eight times in 18 years, which is pretty good. Of those eight times, the 'Golden Boy' has won five of them (hence the nickname). They even had that unbelievable comeback from a 28-3 deficit to Atlanta last year. Yeah, the Patriots are good, but that doesn't mean we have to like it.

Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr. is beloved in Boston. They marvel in Michigan where he went to school, and he's sacred in San Mateo where he grew up, but the rest of the sports world is tired of him. Not because he's one of these athletes who always has to have the spotlight and talk about himself all the time. It almost seems like we wish that were true. We need a reason to dislike him. Peyton Manning could win a Super Bowl every year and we'd still love all of those Nationwide and Papa John's commercials he does, but for some reason we can't be like that with Brady.

Sure, he married a supermodel, but what guy doesn't dream about that? He went to the same high school as Barry Bonds. That's has to score some major 'I don't like you' points. And how about this? Yeah, he's gotten to eight Super Bowls and won five of them, but did you know he's never won (or lost) any of them by more than a touchdown? He can't blow out his opponents. That should be worth something.

He did deflate some footballs. Remember that? He was suspended for four games, and even that was appealed and overturned and reinstated. Ten years ago, the team was caught videotaping the New York Jets, which isn't allowed. After the Patriots were caught, the league somehow “lost” all the tapes. There was supposedly evidence that the team had been doing that for years, but somehow the league 'lost' all the tapes before there could be an outside investigation. That was ten years ago, and it would be seven years before the Patriots would win another Super Bowl, 28-24 over Seattle in 2014. Pete Carroll coaches Seattle, and we don't like him either, so that was all good.

The Philadelphia Eagles provide the opposition this year. They already know what it's like to lose to New England. They did it in 2004, by a score of 24-21. They are six-point underdogs this time, but they've also grown to relish the underdog role. Even Angels outfielder Mike Trout (a nearby New Jersey native) was at the NFC Championship game and wore a dog mask. Philly has been winning with a backup quarterback, but is he any match for the Golden Boy?

If New England wins, it's ho hum, and another ring for Brady. If Philly wins, it's the greatest game of all time. It might be foolish to bet against Brady, although history may suggest at least taking Philly and the points. The smart bet, though, is ho hum.

Unwatchable: If you are looking for a really bad television program, there's one on lately that runs for two hours at a time, twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays. It's called UCLA basketball. The Bruins have dropped three straight Pac-12 games and have looked pretty lackluster doing it, falling to Colorado at home, and then on the road against Oregon State and Oregon this past week. UCLA was on the verge of the Top 25 before they lost to the Buffaloes, and now they are considered 'on the bubble' for the NCAA tournament (even though it's only January (Even the entertaining but often confusing Bill Walton couldn't make the broadcast better. Please.).The Bruins are home to Cal and Stanford this week.

Your government (not) at work: Saturday's college basketball game between Fresno State and the Air Force Academy was postponed because of the government shutdown. In a statement released by the school, the academy is canceling all sporting events, home and away, until further notice. According to the release, "In the event a solution is reached, the Academy will work to reschedule as many missed events as possible."

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