Tomorrow at 8:00 am ESPN is Dropping a Hit Piece About a Rift Over The Power Struggle Between Brady, Belichick, and Kraft
As Patriots fan you can either take this with a grain of salt and pound the "they hate us cause they ain't us" drum...that ESPN is just using the Patriots for clicks during a rather uneventful lead up to the wild-card weekend, oooooooooooooooor you can use a little logic think it's a cause for concern.
While I used to bang that drum harder than Keith Moon, I can't help but be a little worried about this news.
Now do I think this will be the last run for the Brady-Belichick regime?
No, but honestly it wouldn't totally shock me if it was. I'd say like 25% chance they break up, which considering how it's usually hovering around .94% is enough to move the needle. Something could totally happen this off-season, while I don't think Brady will retire, I wouldn't be completed shocked if Bill stepped down due to his anger over having to trade Garoppolo.
While I think the idea of a legitimate power struggle in sense of who is more important for the Patriots nearly 20 years of dominance is kind of stupid. The idea that Kraft fighting saying he's #1 is idiotic and laughable. I'd think even he'd agree Brady and Belichick are more vital towards the team's success. Kraft saved the team, but Brady and Belichick turned them into (five-time) champions. Who's more important for McDonalds success: it's owner or the Big Mac? Belichick and Brady are a million times more important towards the success on the field than Kraft. Obviously Kraft plays a huge role in the success and turnaround of this franchise, but no owner is more important than its coach and quarterback (when they're good). I find it hard to believe they're fighting about who is more responsible for the team's success. Like Matt, Eli and Klitz (thanks wikipedia!) in The Girl Next Store, they're a fucking tripod. They're all needed.
However, what I'm more worried is the relationship between Belichick with Brady/Kraft moving forward. I'm sure Tommy can't be too pleased with Belichick terminating Alex Guerrero's relationship with the team. It's been quite clear that Belichick was not happy about trading Jimmy Garoppolo. Now rumors are coming out that Brady forced Kraft to make them trade Jimmy. I've also heard Robert Kraft say multiple times that this team will not team Tom Brady. This could all be fake news, and let's hope it is, but shit is getting messy. I do wholeheartedly believe Belichick didn't want move on with Jimmy G which could be causing some serious drama at One Patriot Place.
It has been a great run, and with Brady now 40 years old you do have to start planning for future even though he's probably going to be the league MVP. One of my favorite writers in all of sports, Tom E. Curran already wrote about this very topic of a potential dynasty end last week:
We know given his history Bill would rather move on from guy a year too early than a year too late, there's countless examples over the course of this run: Mike Vrabel, Richard Seymour, Wes Welker, Logan Mankins, Chandler Jones, Jamie Collins, blah, blah, blah. Given his robotic demeanor why would Tom Brady be any different?
With his track record, I wouldn't be shocked if Bill was upset with Kraft for overruling him. Belichick would rather have Garoppolo for the next 10 years, than Brady for maybe two more. Honestly I probably would too. I was at the Jet game Sunday and TBH Tommy looked horrible. I'm already panicking that they fucked up getting rid of Jimmy G. The idea of Brady not spending his entire career in New England breaks my little heart, but I mean that's what happens in the NFL. Joe Montana went to Kansas City, Peyton played in Denver, Farve whipped his dick out in NY and nearly brought the Vikings to the Super Bowl. It's hard to be a one team guy. The idea of seeing him in another uniform makes my skin crawl, but for the long term success of this team moving on for Jimmy G may have been the right move.
Do I think that ESPN may be exaggerating a story about the Patriots to create news? Yes I do. But, at the same time I think if you don't at least consider this story to be a cause for concern you're more naive than the girl in The Kooks 2006 hit song "Naïve" was. From my background in history I do know this, when dynasty's end it's usually not pretty. S/o the fall of Rome and the Byzantine Empire. The Patriots have survived spygate, deflategate, the loss of a star due to a murder charge, the epic mistake of cutting Tim Tebow, and a 25 point Super Bowl deficit, so I understand optimism in thinking they'll beat this too. Hell, the story hasn't even been published yet, we'll know a lot more tomorrow. But if you're a Patriots fan and are completely writing this story off I think you're making a mistake. One thing those mother fuckers at ESPN did was rile up some buzz around this story. I might even wake up early just to read it (no I won't).
That being said, talk about bulletin board material. Especially if by the grace of God everything is cool between these guys. But even if it's not it's not like they aren't out here trying to win another ring. Patriots are still going to the Super Bowl. But if it does in fact end after a 6th Super Bowl ring, it'll definitely sting, but there could be a lot worse ways for it to end.
If you wanna rank importance during the dynasty
Bill and Brady are interchangeable. People will make the argument that Patriots went 11-5 without Brady in 2008, so it's all Belichick and his system, but I think that line of thought is a little skewed. Let's not forget the Patriots were coming off an 18-1 campaign in which 99.93% of their season they were the greatest team of all time. Then without Brady they were 5 games worse, and with Bledsoe in 2000 the Patriots went 5-11. Belichick is obviously a mastermind, his game plan for beating the Bills in Super Bowl XXV is in the Hall of Fame and that has nothing to do with Tom Brady. Brady and Belichick needed each other, and together they became the greatest coach and quarterback combo in the history of football. I'd argue the great player-coach combo in the history of sport.
I can't reference that song and not include it. So good.