Is it time for Jets fans to accept Tom Brady as the GOAT? Not a chance
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NFL golden boy Tom Brady has been torturing Jets fans for 20 years, covering four presidents and a pandemic.
Diehards thought their pain was over when the aging New England Patriots quarterback went to Florida, like many retirees.
Except his game didn’t go South.
The 6-foot-4 hunky hubby of supermodel Gisele Bundchen has reinvented himself as the swashbuckling leader of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and on Sunday Brady will go for his unfathomable seventh NFL title in his 10th Super Bowl, against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jets fans and New Yorkers everywhere now face a conundrum: Is it time to forgive, forget and finally root for the GOAT?
Jets fans have never made peace with their pigskin pariah — who has compiled a hammer vs. nail 29-7 regular season record against Gang Green.
“He’s a cheater and will always be. He should have an asterisk after his stats,” opined rabid Jets rooter Maureen Donnelly, referring to the infamous deflategate scandal — a damning NFL report that concluded the cunning QB knew footballs were being illegally deflated so he could grip them better during the 2015 AFC Championship game.
Brady’s ethical fumbles aren’t the only thing that grinds Donnelly’s gears. “He looks like a Ken Doll,” said the 47-year-old Staten Island bar manager. “That alone makes you want to punch him.”
Donnelly said she’s skipping the Super Bowl, and hopes Brady “gets sacked four times and throws four picks.”
Bill Dertinger, a legal-services exec from Staten Island and Jets season ticket holder since 1975, said, “All isn’t forgiven because he is still winning. … I was there for his first game and unfortunately I have suffered at his hands for a very long time. What irks me the most is that stupid smirk on his face. Just can’t stand his smug grin.”
Montclair, NJ, resident and season ticket holder Tim Barr will never forgive Brady for spoiling many a Sunday — and Thanksgiving 2012.
“We left my parents’ house in upstate New York so we could get to the Jets-Pats game [at MetLife Stadium]. … Not only did we miss the pumpkin pie, we were treated to a hot steaming mess of Buttfumble! Brady ruined our Thanksgiving, I PO’d my parents and the Jets were out of the game in the second quarter!”
The infamous “Buttfumble” game — when Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez’s face collided with the caboose of his own offensive lineman, forcing a turnover touchdown — was voted the NY sports “debacle of the decade.” The Pats crushed the Jets 49-19.
Ironically, The Jets were responsible for the rise of their most hated rival. During a Sept. 23, 2001 game at the Meadowlands, Jet linebacker Mo Lewis put a bone-crunching hit on Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe, knocking him out of the game. In came a skinny, inexperienced, sixth-round draft pick replacement: Tom freakin’ Brady.
The rest is misery.
“Talk about a Pyrrhic Victory. We won that game [10-3] but then he [Brady] goes 11-3 and wins the Super Bowl and he has haunted us ever since,” lamented Dertinger.
Even Tom Brady is rooting against Tom Brady.
“He’s like a bad rash that keeps coming back,” said Brady, 25, of Point Pleasant. The Jets die-hard — who makes his dough at a pizzeria — would rather ” juggle knives or gulp wasabi” than root for his namesake. “He’s always surrounded by great players and coaches. He doesn’t know what it’s like to struggle.”
There are other reasons for Jet fans to root against the Bucaneers Sunday. They might want to embrace opposing Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who grew up in the NY Mets’ dugout as a kid while his dad pitched for the team. And they wouldn’t wish success upon the Bucs’ defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who ran the Jets into the ground during a putrid, 24-40 four-year tenure as Jets head coach.
But Brady is still the biggest reson to boo the Bucs.
Dr. Jay P. Granat, a psychotherapist who has worked with Olympic athletes, understands why Gang Green fanatics want Brady to fail.
“You have to be either a glutton for punishment or love the color green to be a Jets fan,” he said. “In contrast, Brady has been enormously successful for 20 years. And he’s talking about playing for five more years. The Jets haven’t even had the same quarterback for five years.”
The shrink advises Jet fans to try to mellow out Sunday: “Look, it’s not life or death, it’s sports. Have a little perspective.”
Easy for Granat to say. He’s a Giants fan. They beat Brady twice in the Super Bowl.
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