It is simply, Inevitable

American Football is my favorite sport. To be more precise, the NFL is my favorite sports league to watch. I first truly got into the game around 1997 or so. In my first two seasons of watching football, the Denver Broncos, led by John Elway and Terrell Davis won back to back Lombardi trophies. The Broncos instantly became my team and I’ve never really looked back.

Shortly after this a QB stumbled into the league and found himself as a starting QB job after his team’s starter went down with an injury and went on to win a Super Bowl – and then a few more. This QB was Tom Brady. My hate didn’t start as immediately as my love for the Broncos did, but it sure caught up quickly and it burns bright to this day. For clarity, I’ve always appreciated Bill Belichick, my issues were never as much with the Patriots as it was with Brady,

Being a fan of an AFC team, I’ve come to live with the feeling of inevitability that Brady brings. I watched Brady lay waste to all of his contemporaries in the AFC – time and again. Phil Rivers, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, all of the other elite QBs of their generation fell at the feet of Brady. And as much as my team seemed to remain mostly competitive against Brady and the Pats over the years, outside of the Manning years I knew we weren’t in the same league.

So for as much as I have savored these moments over the years (sorry, not sorry False god) …

February 3rd, 2008 – “Helmet Catch”
Giants 17 – Patriots 14
February 5th, 2012 – “Manningham Catch”
Giants 21 – Patriots 17
February 4th 2018 – “Philly Special”
Eagles 41 – Patriots 33
January 4th, 2020 – “End of an Era”
Titans 20 – Patriots 13

As much as I have savored these moments over the years, a Brady rebound almost always seemed inevitable. After losing to the Giants, the Patriots lost in the AFC Championship game to the eventual Super Bowl winners (Ravens, Broncos) in the next two seasons. In the ensuing five year stretch Brady and co went to the Super Bowl four more times and came away with three more trophies.

In the ensuing two seasons Brady tossed a pick-six in his final game as a Patriot then went on to lead his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the NFC title game and the brink of another Brady Super Bowl berth. Tom Brady is like death and taxes, inevitable.

I mean seriously, won’t this dude just retire already

So here we are just a few days before Brady has a chance to beat out Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in order to get back to the Super Bowl where he will face either a former division rival in the Buffalo Bills or the potentially concussed possible future GOAT in Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. So if he can bypass the Pack, Brady has the chance to either face a team that his Pats dominated for two decades in the Bills or the Kansas City Chiefs whose QB may or not be freshly out of concussion protocols. Doesn’t it just feel like everything is lining up perfectly for Tampa Tom.

While I came into this postseason hoping for a final game between Kansas City and either Seattle or Green Bay, I am left staring down the possibility of Brady waltzing in and out of the Super Bowl as champion once again…

Ahh, but there is one small glimmer of hope. For as inevitable as Brady has been over his two decades in the NFL there is one foe that remains unbeaten by all – Time. While I would have gladly enjoyed Brady’s last competitive season to be last year with the pick six in Tennessee (coached by a former teammate in Mike Vrabel no less), perhaps a more fitting end would be a lame duck performance against Rodgers in the NFC title game. Or a blowout loss in the Super Bowl to the heir apparent in Kansas City. Or a Super Bowl beatdown from a former division foe led by a quickly rising smartmouth QB in Josh Allen?

We will soon see who wins in the battle between the irresistible force and the immovable object. No matter how you look at it, the outcome is… inevitable.