I haven’t followed sports much since everything shut down, but last weekend, not being busy, I checked in on all four NFL games. Apart from the 60 Minutes commercials, it was a fun experience–excellent games and not much politics.
I have been a Tom Brady fan since 2006 (I think), when I was participating in an event at the Kennedy School and staying at the Charles Hotel, and we got snowed in. For three days we couldn’t go anywhere. One night the Patriots played a playoff game in the snow; it must have been a classic of sorts. We watched it in the hotel bar with a festive group of snowed-in travelers. I have been a Patriots and Brady fan ever since. I am no longer a Patriots fan, since Bill Belichick turned down the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as it was being presented by the icky Donald Trump.
So that left me with Tom Brady and his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Yesterday they beat the New Orleans Saints, a team I have hated since 2010, in a first-ever (I assume) playoff matchup between 40-plus-year-old Hall of Fame quarterbacks. After the game, Brady hung out on the field with Drew Brees, Brees’s wife Brittany and his four children. At one point, Brees’s young son went out for a pass and Brady hit him in the end zone, dumping the ball beautifully over the head of the “defender.” A sportswriter captured the moment, which now has millions of views:
As Tom Brady and Drew Brees hug and say goodbye after a long talk on the field, Brady throws a touchdown pass to Brees’ son. One walks off to play in the NFC championship, the other stays to play with his kids. pic.twitter.com/wdWDro9YD4
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) January 18, 2021
It is a nice vignette that reminds us why we liked sports in the first place. And, I think, a timely reminder to those who run our sports leagues: no sane person watches sports in hopes of being hectored about politics.