I've Been A Tom Brady Fan For My Entire Life
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I'm Too Emotionally Invested In Tom Brady, But He's Been The Best For My Entire Life And That Means Something

If I belonged to one of the other fan bases I'd have learned how to cope and get over it. But here I am.

I'm Too Emotionally Invested In Tom Brady, But He's Been The Best For My Entire Life And That Means Something

When I was in the 8th grade we read "The Outsiders" by S. E. Hinton. There is one line from that book that everyone remembers, and it's a cringy one. "Nothing gold can stay." This line turned into white girl tattoos and Instagram captions, and it's unfortunate because it's one of the most real things I've ever heard.

On January 5, after the New England Patriots lost to the Tennessee Titans, I was bawling like a 6-year-old, driving 45 minutes back to my parent's house just so I could lay in my OG bed. I called out of work in the morning and did not intend to wake up until this feeling of doom had left my body. This feeling, the feeling of anxiety that this whole thing is over, that the gold is gone, this is why I hate gold to begin with. If I never had it I wouldn't be in my car with a runny nose, losing out on 8 hours of overtime tomorrow.

If I belonged to one of the other fan bases, I'd be used to my team losing and I'd have learned how to cope and how to get over it.

Even better than that, if I never had the gold, I'd have felt like I won a little tonight, just knowing the people who had the gold, lost some of it. But all I've ever had was gold. Any Patriot fan in my age range has only experienced the gold. My dad had to sit through a legit 32 years of losing with the team that I have never watched lose. I'm in this crazy spot of really only ever being great, being gold. Gold can't stay, but it made sure to pause when it got to us.

The thing is, for every one time I've driven home crying, there have been 50 times I've had a huge grin on my face. I am not exaggerating or joking when I say there are times I'll be in my car driving to school and without even trying, think back to the Falcons Super Bowl or the Seahawks Super Bowl and look into my review mirror to catch myself smirking uncontrollably.

Countless times, I look back on 2007 to think about how much I hate David Tyree, but also how absolutely amazing it was to get to witness them that year. There are times when I'll get the picture of Brady with his hands on his head in absolute disbelief of what's happening after the 2001 Super Bowl.

It is hard not to smile, no, it's hard not to laugh really, when you think about just how friggin' dominant they've been.

Since I was two years old Tom Brady and the Pats have played 13 division title games and won nine. That means half of those18 years we were in the Super Bowl (yeah I said we — I'm involved here). The most championships by any franchise is six, and guess who was alive for every single one. There is only one group of people in the history of the sport of football that has had it this consistently gold, and I'm in it. 18 years of winning.

So the gold is what's got this girl, who doesn't cry, crying right now. It's the pressing fear that my days of Tom Brady Super Bowls just ended with an interception. You can think it's stupid or dramatic but I've had very few things put fear in me like this fear. I'm not ready for it to be over. I'm not ready for Tom to hang 'em up. People my whole life have told me I'm too invested in him, that I put too much expectation on something I can't control. And they're right. So much of my happiness has rested in those Under Armour gloves my entire life. So many nights of absolute misery because a game didn't go my way. Countless fights with my mother who does not understand how I can love someone I've never met this much. If I never cared when Tommy first laced 'em up then I'd be driving back to my apartment right now to sleep peacefully before work tomorrow. But no. I love Tom Brady more than anyone should love anyone that they don't actually know. This fear is very real.

But as much as I've always hated gold, for making me have expectations, for making me miss something when it isn't there, I wouldn't trade this gold for anything.

And if this is really the end — if that interception was the last ever Brady throw in a Patriots uniform — then I'm just thankful that his career was so great that it's not just the result of one big moment. A lot of guys will be remembered for one play or one game or one season. Most guys are one-hit wonders and that alone is even something to be proud of. But my guy? My guy is a 20-year wonder. And as far as my heart sank into my chest on that interception, one moment in the 20 years of moments is just too small. That one moment doesn't take away the 74k passing yards or the 541 TDS. It can't erase the twelve postseason game-winning drives (double any other QB, mind you). It doesn't touch the 17 AFC East titles (In 20 years, holy crap guy) or the 13 AFC championship games. No one moment is big enough to outweigh the nine Super Bowl games and six Lombardis that that man has collected in this 20-year career.

After the game, Bill was asked if he had anything to say to the fans who stuck it out through thick and thin and his response sums up the whole 20 years pretty well. "I wouldn't say it's been all that thin around here."

So if it's really over and this whole thing is done, then I've really gotta stop being greedy because I've had more than my fair share of gold.

With all this to say, I don't believe it's over. This is simply precautionary. Tommy still has it in him — give him an O-line and another year with these receivers and I'll see you at the Super Bowl.

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