Hey, Tom Brady…

Tom Brady
Hey Tom Brady.

You’re a Super Bowl champion four times over and a Hall of Famer without needing another snap.

You’re one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game of football.

You’re the billionaire superhero supermodel golden boy who got the ring, got the girl, and who still shows up first at minicamp.

Your work ethic, your attention to detail, and your leadership qualities on and off the field are legendary.

That’s exactly why you need to step up now.

It’s why your arrogance and smugness in response to what’s happening is so disappointing and so darn… deflating.

There’s a lesson I teach my children when I catch them in a seemingly small lie, which I imagine you probably teach your own. I let them know that what they’re actually lying about may be quite minuscule, but the act of lying is itself massive because it almost always eclipses the initial offense.

This isn’t about deflated footballs and air pressure percentage points. That’s all rather silly stuff.

It’s about integrity and accountability and honesty. That’s rather important stuff.

It’s about our response to our own failures.

It’s about not deflecting attention or covering our tracks or pleading ignorance.

It’s about not vilifying others or questioning their character when they call out our missteps.

Sometimes our efforts to conceal our mistakes are worse offenses than the actual mistakes themselves.

We understand that this is a game. No one with any objectivity thinks that your transgressions here are grievous. We just expect you to take a higher road now that they’re exposed. That’s what great leaders do.

This isn’t complicated. Just admit the shenanigans, apologize for the poor judgment, and stop playing the victim.

Teach the millions of kids who rightly look up to you how good people respond when they stumble.

Most of us have a realistic perspective on the situation. No one is calling for your head here, we’re just asking you to show us how champions respond when adversity comes, even when it comes at their own hands.

In a world where professional athletes deny being role models for young fans (and often don’t deserve to be anyway), you can be one here.

You’re the play caller. Make a wise audible.

You’re the quarterback. Run the right play.

You’re the leader. Lead.

0 thoughts on “Hey, Tom Brady…

  1. Pingback: He Who Has Not Sinned, Cast the First Football | overheadlights

  2. Tom is one piece of a system of cheating, of whatever it takes to win, of pushing the envelope. Winning trumps integrity and sportsmanship. To your point, it is just a game right?

    • Since when should any team not take the high road? No matter who did the deed, the team organization cheated. Just because the others do it does not make the honorable way to conduct a team. If they were so sure that they would win, why even subject the team to scandal. Or maybe some don’t think that cheating is a scandal!

  3. I’m choosing to live in denial. I just know there’s some grander scheme involved … saving the planet from aliens? Super-spy for Roger to uncover dastardly deeds within the NFL? Self-sacrifice for the good humanity? It just can’t be what it appears to be. In the end …

    I pledge allegiance to The Tom,
    And the United Patriots of New England,
    And to the Belichick of the cut-off hoodies.
    One nation, under Gronk,
    With Edelman and justice for balls.

  4. As usual – you are spot on! I am printing this article because I want to share it with some people who aren’t on Facebook.

  5. As the official report is quoted “Based on the evidence, it also is our view that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady (the quarterback for the Patriots) was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls.”

    If you do not see the point let me point it out

    “…also is our view that it is more probable than no….t”
    The best they can come up with is that in their opinion – more than likely he was least generally aware…..
    Do you see the double talk – refusing to go out on a limb – saying YES he was aware.

    Maybe he is indeed Guilty of cheating or ordering cheating ….. I do not know. You do not know, even the official report producers do not know. The closes they come is to stammer that in their opinion he should have been aware…. Not that he was aware….

    Your article tells Tom Brady to come clean — but your assuming he was aware.

    You and several others appear to blindly accept he was aware – yet if the official report can only come up with possible / maybe — shouldn’t we at least keep the presumed innocent until proven guilty door open?

  6. I love reading all your posts. Great perspectives. Thanks for sharing your experience, education, and for putting it out there. Wish I could attend your church. Blessings to you and your family.

  7. There’s a lesson I teach my children when I catch them in a seemingly small lie, which I imagine you probably teach your own. I let them know that what they’re actually lying about may be quite minuscule, but the act of lying is itself massive because it almost always eclipses the initial offense.

    More to the point: making a bad judgement call is . . . well . . . an error of judgement. We can all do that.

    Lying is something different. It is an indication of a character flaw. Young children in the early stages of moral development understand right and wrong in terms of “what can I get away with”, or weighing the “benefit” of the transgression against the downside of the potential punishment. Good parents help them move to a higher level of morality by recognizing the behavior and applying (hopefully) appropriate correction.

    Teenagers have typically progressed to a moral code based on peer acceptance – whatever is okay with my buddies is okay for me. This is one of the key reasons teenagers are not treated as fully responsible adults. This is also one of the traits we so often see in professional athletes and other celebrities who never progressed beyond the moral development of a 16 year-old.

    As adults we hopefully have evolved to see right and wrong in terms of a higher standard . . . understanding that our behavior has an impact on others and acting in a manner that advances the greater good. A man in Mr. Brady’s situation is in the position to raise the bar for everybody. Will he? Will his handlers on the Patriots staff allow him to do so?

    I hold out faint hope.

    Regardless of Mr. Brady’s decision there is a lesson for all of us in this little morality play we see acted out on ESPN – and Mr. Brady can be our teacher by either positive or not-so-positive example.

    Honestly . . . if you were in his shoes, what would you do?

    Honestly.

    It’s a question worth asking ourselves – and the only one who knows the answer is . . . you.

    And if being called to answer the question hypothetically helps any of us the next time we are faced with a moral dilemma than Mr. Brady’s deflating behavior has at least done some good.

    Live in blessing.

  8. Peyton Manning would shoot straight on this issue and openly admit that he knew the balls were deflated. He is just that kind of guy. Brady had a chance and has failed so far. It will hurt his career and his legacy, and there is a good reason for it. The American people are almost always immediately forgiving if you confess a wrong doing, and they soon forget about it. If you refuse to fess up within a reasonable period of time, you will never be forgiven, and it will haunt you the rest of your life. The American people are just that way for some reason.

    Personally, if the balls were deflated, he knew it, said nothing to the referees, and I was the Commissioner of the NFL, I would declare a game forfeit in favor of the other team in the 2014 Super Bowl. That is the right thing to do here.

  9. Come On Tom, you are a hero to many, many young children who play the game. You have the ability to be a SuperHero to those who are loosing faith in you and want to see you continue to be their Hero, but not like this. Forgiveness will be abundant as honesty supercides arrogance.

  10. Hey Pastor,
    The lessons you speak of do highlight great leadership. And I bet everyone that knows of the Superbowl has an opinion on this Tom Brady and what he has been suspected of doing (I just had a quick read of an article). I did not know who he was. But what stood out for me throughout the post was your finger pointing and now my finger pointing at you. This guy is a celebrity; so I guess – public opinion counts. I was just a little surprised that you were singling out someone and using them as an example rather than the style I have become accustomed to reading from you. I greedily read your posts because of the antidotes you regularly come up with to smash home your point. It is a style so agreeable to me and I just admire it. (Still to this day I call you Pastor because the novelty of speaking with my first ever religious man like this – fascinates me). Then I questioned why do I feel a little rocked by this, and I suppose from what I have read in the past – it has been outstanding. But I have never ever really gone out for the pinpointing of someone – not because they don’t need it, but because everyone else is doing it and if I wanted to finger point I would do it to them personally. I get this guy is a super star, all I am saying is I was surprised by your style this time. And I promised myself, that when I responded to any post I would do it with the honesty and integrity you speak of.

  11. Accuse, accuse, deny. the way of the modern world. As a huge Brady, Patriots fan the fact that he lied about knowing the ball attendants bothers me and breaks my heart. Whether his actions guilty of cheating or gamesmanship is neither here nor there.

  12. Great message, but it occurs to me that often, open letters, such as this, are written with the total expectation that the person it is written to will never see it or read it. And while the message is to us, as well, Brady needs to hear this. Why not go one step further and make sure Tom Brady actually receives it? Send a hard copy to the Patriots and see what happens.

  13. Pingback: Bloggerhood Etc. 5/11/15 | Fatherhood Etc.

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  15. As to whether Tom Brady knew or not – Hah! He has has thousands of footballs in his hands and knows the right feel when one is or is not inflated correctly. No excuses for him.

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