Villain (noun): a person that does bad things.
There is little doubt that Tom Brady is one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the National Football League (NFL). But he is also one of the game’s greatest villains. This may not be the viewpoint of New England Patriots fans, but to myself and the rest of the NFL, he’s a villain.
Brady, 39, certainly has the numbers to be a hero. In 16 seasons, Brady has compiled an unheard-of 4,953 career completions, 428 passing touchdowns and 172-51 career record. And, until Super Bowl XLIX, he was absolutely considered a hero – like him or not.
But that all changed because of one decisive action: “Deflategate.”
In short, Brady was accused of knowing of a conspiracy to deflate footballs used in Super Bowl XLIX, which enabled him to throw the ball better than normal in the Patriots’ victory. As a result of his actions, the NFL suspended Brady for the first four games of the 2015-16 season.
If Brady accepted the suspension without complaint, he’d still be viewed a hero to fans, the way I see it.
But he didn’t.
Brady carried “Deflategate” all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and got it overturned in time so he could play the entirety of the ’15-16 campaign. And at that moment, the hero Tom Brady shifted to the villain Tom Brady.
If Brady simply took the suspension, he wouldn’t cause ample distraction to the NFL and sporting world, and he would be admitting to something that he did that corrupted the course of football history. That, in my eyes, can still keep a “hero” status.
But Brady didn’t.
And this summer, Brady was proven wrong. The United States Second Court of Appeals ruled against Brady, which caused him to be suspended for his four games originally set forth in 2015. There was sufficient evidence to prove that Brady did indeed know about the deflation of the footballs in the Super Bowl game between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks on Feb. 1, 2015.
He was proved to have done a bad thing. This makes him a villain.
So, on Oct. 9, when Brady returns from his suspension, don’t look at him as an NFL hero.
Look at him as a football villain.