After 10 months I'm ready for the Super Bowl. I'm not as excited about it as I thought I would be, though. Despite not having pre-season games, this season felt a lot longer than normal. Perhaps it's because games got moved around each week. Or maybe it's because I never knew who was actually going to play for my team.
Nonetheless here we are at Super Bowl Sunday.
I love football and I love the Pittsburgh Steelers. I'm heart broken that my team lost steam at the end of the season and didn't advance. For our family, Super Bowl Sunday is an opportunity to get together with friends and family. We eat good food and socialize and the game just happens to be on in the background. Unless the Steelers are in it, then that's the main attraction. But it's been awhile, unfortunately.
There's no Lemon family Super Bowl party this year. That's OK. Covid has taught us patience, and I'm OK not celebrating this Super Bowl. It's another Tom Brady year and I'm kind of sick of watching him play in the big game.
Don't get me wrong, Tom is without a doubt the greatest quarterback of my life time and likely of all time. As much as it pains me, he is the GOAT. If there was any doubt, he proved the naysayers wrong this year when he got to the big game without Belichek. Nonetheless, it's time for the NFL to move on from Tom Brady.
Football is a great game. I love that on any given Sunday every team has a shot at victory. The equity of the NFL sets it apart from other sports like MLB. In MLB money wins games. If you have enough you can buy your way to a championship. Talent and coaching are important, but the point is you can buy those things. In the NFL, if you break the bank on the best running back in the league you have, at best, a third of a game plan. You also won't have any money to buy the rest of that game plan. The salary cap forces teams to make smart decisions or suffer the consequences.
Tom Brady is an existential threat to the NFL's equity. His talent tilts the scales unfairly to whatever team he plays on. His salary undervalues his skill. It kills me to say that, it really does, but it's true. If there are any doubts, ask the Buffalo Bills what they think. For the first time in a generation they won their division!
I will probably watch the Super Bowl, but I won't promise to like it. I will root against Tom Brady as I have the last 9 times he's been in this game. If he does happen to win I hope he hangs up the cleats for good. Tom winning would be the kind of normal we had before 2020. But the NFL needs a new normal. (Don't we all?) Tom needs to step away to make the game less predictable and more interesting for fans. In 2022 the Super Bowl should have less Tom Brady and more black and yellow.
Anyhow, good luck Patrick! Make ‘em eat turf.