An Open Love Letter To Tom Brady

An Open Love Letter To Tom Brady

#12 is number one in my heart.

On August 5, 2015, I attended Patriots training camp at Gillette Stadium.

I remember this date not because it was two days after Tom Brady's birthday, but because I found myself within 300 feet of him. When the practice concluded and he strolled along the sideline to sign autographs, mostly for young children, I found myself standing on a stadium chair, snapping as many photographs as I could and screaming at the top of my lungs. Needless to say, that was one of the best days of my life thus far - I felt as though I had met him, although I did not even come within reach of a high-five or signature for my poster. That just comes to show how much fun I had that night, and I vividly remember how excited I was to be up close to Brady.

For anyone who knows me, they are at least somewhat aware of my slight obsession with Tom Brady. OK, maybe 'slight' is an understatement. I have a giant TB12 poster and lots of Patriots decor in my room, not to mention a jersey and a couple of t-shirts that I rotate through on game days. I even have a 24-inch cut-out of him in my room that I received as a graduation present. Though this all may sound a bit excessive, I actually do admire Tom Brady for several reasons.

Tom Brady is quite possibly the best NFL quarterback of all time. He may not have earned that title yet, but he is well on his way in my opinion (as well as for the rest of New England). However, Brady was a rookie at one point, and he had to earn his reputation for being a true all-star. Although he played for Michigan in his college days, and worked his way up to the top, I think it is important to remember that Tom Brady sets an example for aspiring professional athletes, as well as anyone who is trying to make it big in this world. His journey has proved to be a long one, but his seemingly endless list of records and accomplishments is proof that he deserves every bit of it.

I am not even going to pretend like I don’t find Tom Brady extremely good-looking; in fact, if I am ever in a not-so-great mood, just mentioning him will make me smile. I know he’s 39 and not 19, but Tom Brady is the epitome of a charming, yet humble, human being (aside from being an insane athlete). He may not be getting any younger, but Tom Brady has a charisma about him that is so contagious. I love watching the Patriots press conferences on Monday morning, because Brady always does a stellar job of recapping what went well that game and what didn’t work out. His flawless composure and relaxed, yet authoritative, attitude compliments head coach Bill Belichick’s emotionless persona quite well. Tom Brady never has to put up a front; his positive attitude and constructive criticism are both quite obvious throughout.

I could go on for days about this, but Tom Brady truly sets an example for the rest of us. While he works endlessly to become a better athlete, he is human, too. He knows how to gracefully present himself to the world, which is why I will always wear a #12 jersey on game days.

Go Patriots!

Cover Image Credit: Daily Snark

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5 People You Didn't Know Went to Cal Poly Pomona

Bronco Alumni who made it BIG

1. Jim Zorn

Jim Zorn first went to Cerritos College and transferred to CPP where he played football for 2 seasons. While he was attending CPP, he set 44 school records and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1997. Since then he has played with the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After his retirement, he moved onto coaching in the NFL where he has been for 16 seasons. He is currently a quarterback coach for the Kansas City Chiefs.

2. Forest Whittaker

Whittaker attended Cal Poly Pomona on a football scholarship (yes, we had a football team), but an injury left him unable to play. He changed his major to music where he was a part of the Cal Poly Chamber Singers. He ended up transferring to University of Southern California to finish up his degree, but got his start at CPP. He is now a famous actor who stared in Platoon, Bird, The Shield, The Color Money, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, and many more productions. He was also the 4th African American male to win Best Actor at the Academy Awards.

3. Hilda Solis

Solis was accepted into the Equal Opportunity Program at Cal Poly Pomona and graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. While getting her Master of Public Administration at USC, she worked for the Carter and Reagan administration. Under the Obama administration, Solis became the first Latina to serve in the US Cabinet. Currently she serves on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

4. Kevin Lyman

Lyman became well known by creating Vans Warped Tour, but before this he graduated Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Recreation Administration in 1984. He discovered his love of music while in college and worked with on campus bands to find places to play. He took his love to the LA music scene which led to the creation of Vans Warped Tour, Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, and Down From the Mountain Tour.

5. Michael Steger

Steger graduated CPP with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and a minor in Spanish. After graduating with honors, he went on to appear in NCIS, Criminal Minds, Covert Affairs, True Blood, and several Disney Channel productions. He is best known for his role as Navid Shirazi on 90210.

Cover Image Credit: Hahn-Khayat-Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT

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The Supreme Court Legalized Sports Betting But This Doesn't Help Shoeless Joe Or Pete Rose

They still won't get in on integrity issues.

In 1992, Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which made gambling on sports illegal outside of the state of Nevada. The major sports leagues (the NFL, NHL, NBA, NCAA, and Major League Baseball) all stood by this law for 20 years. However, New Jersey governor Chris Christie set out to allow sports gambling in state casinos.

The leagues would start legal proceedings against Christie and the state in 2012. They would win every step of the way until the United States Supreme Court took over in June 2017. The trial ended on Monday with a 6-3 decision in favor of the state. Now the precedent has been set for other states to establish legal sports betting, and New Jersey, along with a handful of other states, plan on doing so.

With PASPA being deemed unconstitutional, what does it mean for players who may or may not have been implicated, and then banned, from their sport for gambling?

There are, of course, two names that come to mind. The first is Shoeless Joe Jackson, an outfielder with the Chicago White Sox who was one of the eight players indicted by the Cook County Court system for throwing the 1919 World Series. The other is Pete Rose, the all-time hits leader who was accused of throwing games when he was the manager of the Cincinnati Reds.

It isn't a question of whether or not they are Hall of Fame worthy players. They both are: Jackson was kicked out with the third highest career batting average ever at .356, while Rose knocked over 4000 hits in his career. Now the question is whether or not the Court ruling will be enough to have the writers overlook this.

Let's start with Jackson. It is hard-pressed to believe that Jackson actually knew what was going on: he was an illiterate "rube" from South Carolina. On top of that, none of the players knew what was going on half the time. In the Series, he hit .375. He slugged the only homer of the whole series. He did not commit in error out in left field. Suffice to say, if he was actually trying to lose, he would have been trying a lot harder than that.

On the other hand, he did take the money. He wanted $20,000 but only got $5,000. He then told the Grand Jury everything that he knew, even if he was liquored up at the time. Even when he tried to do right, he threw the integrity of the game right out the window.

Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, the game's first commissioner, banned Jackson and the other players for life for being involved with gambling.

Let's look at Rose now, who was investigated for gambling activities in the 1980s. It came out that he did, in fact, bet on games during the 1987 season. If he were to cover bets for the whole season, he would have betted on 98 games during the season (with the other 64 that he didn't bet on them being when either Mario Soto or Bill Gullickson were starting on the mound).

The law may not have been in place at the time, but that doesn't matter. They were active participants in the games. They were also active participants in the gambling. They wrecked the integrity of the game, and should not be in the Hall of Fame. The voting committees for the Hall of Fame have it right: that players on the ineligible list should not be in.

In the words of Pete Grathoff for the Kansas City Star:

"While sports gambling will be legal in states other than Nevada, none of the professional leagues will allow players, managers, coaches or executives to wager on their games. That's what Rose did and why he won't have his ban overturned"

Cover Image Credit: Ghost Presenter via Unsplash

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