Yesterday I was wearing my new Alabama Crimson Tide baseball hat and my thirteen year old called me a "front-runner." I wasn't offended. I'm actually used to being harassed for the teams/colleges I cheer for. As a fan of Notre Dame, Boston Red Sox, Patriots, and the Cleveland Cavs I am accustomed to people calling me bandwagon and all other sorts of harassments. It is pretty easy to take in stride.
It is a fair question though. I am Minnesotan, born and raised, and yet many of my most passionate cheering interests extend outside state lines. Of course I want my local teams to do well. All my life I have been a Minnesota Gopher hockey fan (although to be honest I have cheered for Boston College, Colorado College, and even Wisconsin..eeek....a time or two). I want to see the MN Wild win the Stanley Cup as much as the next Minnesota hockey fan. In the end though, my heart doesn't find it's happiness here in "Loserville USA."
That still doesn't answer the question, "Why Tom Brady? And why the Patriots?" So let me offer you 6 seasons I cheer for Tom Brady.
*In many ways I see Brady as the image of the Patriots in general, so I will refer from now on simply to Brady.
1. His dedication to his success
From diet, to off-season workouts, to weekly preparation, Tom Brady is dedicated to doing everything he can to achieve success. He is always prepared. He workouts out wth his players during the off-season. I have read about Brady's commitment to health and diet and alternative medicine. Brady pushes the envelope and does things other people won't do to achieve success.
2. His mental toughness
It couldn't have been easy for Brady to be suspended the first four games of the 2016-2017 season. But did that detour him or negatively affect his performance? No way! He went on to have a fantastic season and he capped it off by winning his 5th Super Bowl. A lot of guys couldn't have overcome the mental obstacle of what Brady went through. They would have developed a chip on their shoulder. They would have lost focus. Rather than being negative, Brady focused that energy, he prepared hard even though he wasn't playing, and when the time came he stepped right back into his spot without missing a beat.
3. His leadership
The Patriot motto is "Do Your Job" and no one exemplifies this better than Brady. Brady is professional, old school, quinteessintial quarterback. He understand what is means to lead his team. He doesn't seek out the spotlight for himself, he lets his play do the talking. Brady is quick to praise his teammates. You can tell Brady buy-ins to his coach's philosophy and he doesn't do or say things outside the lines of that. Brady represents his ownership, coach and teammates in a professional manner at all time. He is a guy others respect.
4. His ability to make everyone better
No quarterback has done more to elevate his teammates play, year after year, than Brady. It seems like the Patriot roster turns over again and again, with new players coming and old players leaving each season. And yet the one constant is Brady, standing tall in the middle of it all, waiting to welcome the new group of players and mold them into Champions. Brady has won 5 Super Bowls (played in seven) and not one set of offensive personal looks the same. Remarkable.
5. His longevity
Brady has said he wants to play until he's forty-five. Watching him in the Super Bowl this year and seeing the way he led his team to the most dramatic Super Bowl win in history made me think he can. It is amazing to think of the continued success Brady and the Patriots have had. Brady is doing the right things on, and off, the field to take of himself and give himself a chance to prolong his career. I enjoy rooting for a dynasty over an underdog, and Brady has given me that.
6. His happiness in what he does
I love the passion and happiness Brady exhibits when he plays. It is similar to what I loved about watching Brett Favre. You can see on their face how much playing football, and winning, means to them. Seeing Brady pump his first and yell "Let's go!" absolutely fires me up. Give me a set of pads and I'd run out onto the field next to him, believing I could handle any lineman on the field.