So Tom Brady has yet another new haircut. Do you really care? Yes, he’s gone from a ‘Justin Bieber’ cut to sporting a ponytail – and we can all have a good laugh about it. But some commentators have pilloried the New England Patriots quarterback while the online sports forums have been burning red-hot with abuse as well as ridicule.
Is there so little to write about with the NFL talks hitting yet another snag over money. Remember, with no extension in place, tomorrow is the final day of negotiations.
Let’s be honest. Doesn’t everyone have photographs stashed away somewhere safe – most likely the loft – that cause shudders of shame and embarrassment after allowing some hairdresser to actually do ‘that’ to your hair?
However, all that matters to anyone from Boston and thereabouts is how well he throws for their favorite team. Look, he’s a 33-year-old man married to a beautiful Brazilian supermodel, Gisele Bundchen, so is letting his hair down, literally. What of it? They are only two years into married life. Let them enjoy it.
Brady has missed several mini-camps, but they are not compulsory, while he enjoyed most of the off-season in 2010 globe-trotting with Bundchen. Again, no foul. He returned the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough to produce possibly his best season in 11 years as a pro footballer.
Really, the Californian was outstanding as New England posted a 14-2 regular-season record while at the same time averaging 32.4 points per game – the best of all 32 teams.
Sure, it was a massive disappointment to all Pats fans that the New York Jets won the divisional play-off in mid-January, but that seven-point loss doesn’t detract from Brady’s incredible season, when he rarely turned the ball over, created a new NFL record by throwing 335 passes without an interception, ultimately gave up just four interceptions, and threw for 36 touchdowns. That’s impressive by any standards.
If that’s what traveling the world does for Brady’s stats, every Patriots fanatic will be hoping his recent stop off in Rio for the annual carnival produces similar results.
There are a couple problems, however – that play-off loss and, more importantly, no Super Bowl success since 2005. He needs to lead the Pats to a Vince Lombardi Trophy soon or face even greater – and extremely harsh – ridicule as a failure.
Staying in Massachusetts, Pats running back Kevin Faulk still won’t give any substantial clues over whether he is poised to retire after 12 years as a pro footballer.
He’s 34-years-old now and recovering from a knee injury collected in a loss to the Jets on September 19, but says he “honestly” doesn’t know if he’ll line up next season. Interestingly, if he does decide to continue playing, he’ll have to sign a new contract with the Pats when a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.
For now, he’s still working his knee back in, but does wonder if, after “playing a long time…is it time to let it go?” But, sounding more confident, he added that his knee is “getting better each and every day”.
He has had to show great discipline to avoid overextending himself, however. As a running back, that’s what he wants to do, but, although he has “started running” and wants to “run more and explode, it’s like, ‘Calm down. Take your time, it’s going to come’.”
Head coach Bill Belichick will hope so, too, as Faulk was his go-to guy when requiring a safe pair of hands in the backfield, a punt returner to make a good catch and carry the ball forward, a back to secure a third down or gain some extra yards on a screen pass. The Pats will need all of that – and more –if Brady is to lead his team to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis on February 5 next year.