Should Patriots fans root for Tom Brady in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday?
The early stages of the offseason have included many forgettable weeks for Patriots fans, who probably want nothing more than to fast forward to the start of the new league year so the front office can start renovating their middling roster.
Before that, however, they have to wait and see how Tom Brady’s debut campaign with the Bucs unfolds. To go with another slew of records that will simply take too much time to list, he’s set to become the first quarterback in NFL history to start a conference championship game in three different decades.
Outside of a select few knuckleheads, fans in New England have nothing but respect and admiration for Tom Brady, who played a vital role in what arguably became the most dominant dynasty in sports history as far as duration of success is concerned. However, being that he isn’t on the Patriots anymore, should fans be rooting for him to defeat the Packers this weekend?
Should fans still care?
The answer is yes. We know Brady didn’t cover himself in glory on his way out of town (though that narrative was overblown), but given how the Patriots’ season unraveled, can you really blame him for leaving and joining a team that was literally a competent quarterback away from being able to compete for a championship?
Perhaps the only argument you can make for rooting against Brady is that he helped wideout Antonio Brown weasel his way back into the league after countless disturbing incidents with the law over the last few years. He vouched for him in New England and bafflingly did the same in Tampa Bay…which already had two elite receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin on the roster prior to his arrival.
There’s also the fact that Bruce Arians and Rob Gronkowski have taken multiple shots at the Patriots this season for allegedly not allowing Brady to be himself, but those comments were laughable more than anything. Plus, the 43-year-old never once jumped at the opportunity to slight his former team amid their disastrous campaign.
If you can get past that — as well as Brady and Brown’s puzzling relationship — and realize just how much he meant to the Patriots, who were really a laughingstock and notorious playoff chokers before he and Bill Belichick entered the fold, they can probably find it within themselves to cheer for him this Sunday. It certainly won’t be easy, but it’s nothing less than he deserves.