Every billion-dollar pro sports league has its “chosen ones.” The NBA had MJ.The NHL had Gretzky. Both leagues were accused of protecting these guys because they were the most marketable, identifiable and profit-driving players in the league.
Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs has always felt that way about Tom Brady, often belittling Brady’s NFL accomplishments and poking jabs at his heartthrob, WASP-y image, in an attempt to discredit Brady’s football bona fides.
He was at it again as a guest on “The Big Show” on WEEI, 93.7 FM in Boston.
“There was the whole invention of the Brady rule,” Suggs said, before referencing QBs, like Mike Vick, who get battered by defenses and never receive extra concern from the league. “But (when Brady) got hit, it changed the whole rule for the NFL?”
Subliminally, that sounds sort of like an angry black man rant, judging how Suggs used Vick (the quintessential “black quarterback”) as context. But, it’s probably just a Hatorade bath. Sorry, Sizzle, the American business model believes that it’s always better if the face of your corporation has movie star looks, killer game and is matrimonially crushing one of the world’s leading supermodels.
The best corporations are the ones that protect its investments. The fact is, Suggs doesn’t sell jerseys like Brady, hasn’t led the Ravens to five Super Bowl appearances, he’s never been an MVP and his black book ain’t messing with Tinsletown Tom’s.
This is the reality TV, social media age. All-American, underdog stories like Brady’s—rising from the doldrums of the 6th round to the best QB of his era and all the while doing it with the coolness of the Fonz—is the kind of stuff that Middle America devours. But when a person starts to become mythical and when it appears that the lines of reality become blurred, someone is always going to throw hate.
The Pats have been killing dudes and Brady’s been so lucky and good and arrogant and unrelenting that dudes are probably fed up with the whole Patriots scene. Suggs guaranteeing that, “the other 31 teams hate” New England too, also makes sense. What MLB teams like the Yankees? I get it.
Having to, annually, look up at Brady’s ass atop the check-cutting and media-sucking pile, has got to be annoying. Suggs is probably thinking, “Damn, we crushed them in the AFC chip and dudes are still singing this guy’s praises.”
If Suggs, Bart Scott and other loud-talking, skill-diminished cats want the same preferential treatment, then they better switch positions and embrace the QB hot seat.
A QB can’t mask injuries and deficiencies with upgraded bravado. It’s never on the third linebacker when the game is lost and bloodthirsty media swarms the locker room. When bullets start flying, the target is the signal caller. Similarly, when the financial and social accolades are on deck, the QBs get to eat first. That’s always been the NFL chain of command. And it won’t change; nor should it, really. Deal with it.