Saturday, November 14, 2015

Tom Brady. A class act

I don't want to hear about allegedly ever-so-slightly under inflated footballs during the course of a blow-out game. Especially when the so-called star conspirator was eventually exonerated of any and all wrong doing by an unbiased arbitrator after having examined all the evidence -- or lack thereof.

And spare me the Spygate whining. Whatever happened -- or not -- it's over -- a long time ago. Justice was supposedly done, so let's move on.

Some recent stories have insinuated Tom Brady and his wife Gisele Bundchen hit a rough patch once she heard of the Deflategate gambit. Question. Do you really think a woman that is otherwise madly in love with her husband would start to have doubts about their marriage over the exact PSI levels in the footballs her husband played with in a game? Please. Then again, if something else under the sheets remained constantly under inflated.......  but there's been no allegations of that. Besides, there's pills for such things these days. OK, enough with the hot air. Ahem.

Regardless, yours truly would submit Tom Brady is a class act in more ways than one. Is it because he rose from an original 6th round draft pick -- almost an afterthought -- to become one of the best QBs of all time? That's part of it.

Winning multiple Super Bowls and MVP awards along the way? Sure. Add that in.

A handsome rascal that married the above-mentioned gorgeous model? Can't hurt. Lots of people are jealous of all those things. It's just human nature. Nothing wrong with that either -- to a point.

Lots of jocks have become rich, have arm candy, and a trophy room full of hardware. But that doesn't define class. And endorsing various products on moronic/shameless TV commercials for money they obviously don't need is classy alright -- but it's all of the low variety.

To have true class means doing something you don't have to for the benefit of others, because you're in a position to do so. And this is what sets Brady apart.

Sure, he still makes a lot of money playing football for the New England Patriots -- an obscene amount when compared to your average John or Jane Doe citizen. But they don't have the job skills to be a top-flight QB in the NFL either. A difference.

But that's the thing. While Brady is widely currently considered to be among the top QBs in the league -- if not of all time -- he accepted a much lesser salary so the Pats would have cap room to sign other good players for the overall benefit of the team.

True, most of us can't even fathom what it would be like to make multi-millions every year, but it's all relative in the NFL. Consider Brady is making $14 million this year. Next year up to 15M. In 2017, 16M. That's a ton of money.

But further consider other NFL QB salaries. Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger is making $35 million. Do you think he's worth two and a half times more than Brady? Carolina's Cam Newton checks in at $31M. Matt Ryan of the Falcons at 23. Believe it or not Jay Cutler of the Bears get 20. The aging Drew Brees of the Saints 19. Eli 17. Tony Romo can't stay healthy, Philips Rivers has never won anything, and the quickly fading Peyton all make more than Brady. And don't get me started on having no shame when it comes to the elder Manning and his never-ending moronic commercials. Hell, the royalties alone are probably enough for him to make a serious down payment on buying Canada. Or at least a decent haircut.

Yet Brady has gone above and beyond the "show me the money" so typical of other jockish riffraff.

#12 got involved with the Make a Wish Foundation. He came upon a young child suffering from cancer that wanted to meet him. The boy was thrilled when Brady made it happen. Sure, a few jocks make such appearances for public relations, then walk away. But Brady kept in touch. Miraculously, after years of treatment, the young lad is now cancer free. So he composed a thank you note and also sent along 10 dollars to Brady to show his appreciation.

To a guy making $14 million, ten bucks isn't even a drop in the very large barrel. One would think a class guy like Brady would return the money of course, along with a thank you note of his own.

But that's where Brady set himself apart. He kept the money. Obviously not because he needed it, but because returning it could be perceived as a show of rejection by the young man from his hero.

Smart. Very smart.

Or perhaps it was just class showing itself once again.

Some people have it and some people don't. To the ones that do, it's never been about the money, whether they have it or not. A billionaire donating a measly few hundred grand to have a building named after him somewhere isn't class. He'll write it off on his taxes anyway.

Some jocks even have the audacity to have "pay for sign" autograph sessions. It's hard to determine which is lower on the class scale. The jocks that are whoring themselves or the idiots that actually stand in line to cough up the money. A sorry state of affairs indeed.

Here's to Tom Brady. You won't see him making an idiot of himself on TV hawking this or that product like so many others. Totally classless.

Love him or hate him, Brady has long had a knack of doing the right thing at the right time -- whether on the gridiron in games or away from it in the real world.

THAT defines class.

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