In defense of Gisele

Jason Gay is the sports columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He seems constitutionally incapable of covering sports without giving free rein to his sense of humor. His gentlemanly defense of Gisele Bündchen’s unsportsmanlike comment on the Pats’ loss to the Giants in the Super Bowl this week was no exception. (Ms. Bündchen is of course the supermodel wife of Pats quarterback Tom Brady. She criticized the Pats’ receivers in response to a fan who taunted her after the Pats’ loss.)

Gay opens by mocking himself for coming to Gisele’s defense: “I know: how brave! Tomorrow I will stick up for four-day weekends, vintage Scorsese movies and sun. I will endorse melted cheese over tomato sauce over flattened dough. I will champion Mustang convertibles and cold beer at the end of a 12-hour day. But Gisele is under a blustery siege, and somebody’s got to stand by the world’s most famous supermodel.”

Gay proceeds to make three good and mostly funny points about the Gisele “controversy.” But Gay’s true subject in this column is a bit off the beaten sports track. Here is Gay’s point 4, giving the column a sort of O. Henry ending:

The last thing I thought was this: Wow, Gisele Bündchen really loves Tom Brady. She loves him in the irrational way that people who are in love love each other. She loves him blind.

This is a comforting, uncynical thing. Maybe you’re married, maybe not—maybe you were married once—but one of the things you want in a union is that kind of unconditional, unrestrained, forget-everyone-else support. Everybody should be lucky to have a fierce advocate in their corner, and you should be a fierce advocate in their corner too. Leave the measured consideration and the caveats to the friends and the shrinks. You want your spouse to tell you it’s going to be OK. To defend you when nobody else will.

Even when it’s wrong. Even when it sounds like lashing out. Even when it’s the absolute incorrect thing to say. Because they’ve got your back. Because you’ve got theirs. Because that’s love.

I’m not saying she was right, I’m not saying she shouldn’t regret it. But the supermodel loves the quarterback.

The fairy tale is actually a fairy tale. It’s so unfair, but it’s also pretty sweet.

Thanks to the commenter below for correcting the usage error I originally made confusing “reign” with “rein.”

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