The Tom Brady Concussion Caper …

It is always incorrect to assert that some entity in the sports world had an infinite capacity for something.  In fact, the word “infinite” is almost always a dead give-away for hyperbole.  We saw an example last week how a simple comment can set off a firestorm in the sports cosmos which has a huge capacity for such happenings.  Notwithstanding the sports world’s tendency to overreact to things, last week’s firestorm should never have happened if only folks had taken a longer view.  Here is the deal…

Giselle Bundchen – super-model and wife of Tom Brady who needs no introduction in a rant focused on sports – announced/asserted last week that Brady had suffered “concussions” in the previous season.  Within a millisecond of the escape of those words from her mouth, the extensive network of “Patriot haters” were in full throat demanding to know how this information had escaped the NFL and its “concussion protocol” and its “expert observers”.  Brady’s agent issued a statement saying that his client had never suffered such an injury in the 2016 season.  This is the type of story that has legs; it has all the elements necessary to become an Internet trope for something like “the fix is in” for the next decade or so.

Sports radio and the ESPN commentary programs were on this story like pancakes are on a griddle.  If you hate the Pats, then Giselle had just let the cat out of the bag and it showed that the entire organization is as evil as Nazi Germany and its “Final Solution”.  If you are a Pats’ fan, this showed the level of concern that this devoted mother has to her family as she worried about the current and future health of her beloved spouse.  In either case, what else could it be …?

I am not privy to what happens in the Brady/Bundchen household – nor do I have any burning desire to be.  Therefore, I have no idea if Tom Brady was concussed or not during the 2016 season – and if he does not care, then neither do I.

Having said that, here is a concocted domestic scene that I would wonder about if I were to worry about the future mental health of Tom Brady”

  • It is a Tuesday night in the midst of the 2016 NFL season.  Tom Brady returns to his home in Brookline having done a day’s worth of film study on last week’s game and the defensive prowess of the upcoming opponent.  He is at home, dinner is finished; the kids are in bed.  Here are Tom Brady’s words to his wife …
  • “Not tonight Giselle.  I have a headache.”

Each and every NFL fan of the male persuasion would wish that he could have the opportunity to say those words to Giselle Bundchen confident in his own mind that no headache would cause him to utter those words.  Too bad …  Maybe Tom Brady said that – or maybe he never did.  It is not for us to know for the simple reason that it is none of “our” damned business.

Oh, by the way, to those who say that all of this “proves” that the entirety of the “NFL concussion protocol” is nothing more than a PR stunt; this sort of “proves” just the opposite.  The NFL concussion protocol is there as a potential legal defense against lawsuits from current players akin to the ones pending from former players.  This is not about PR; this is all about CYA…

Sticking with the NFL for a moment, the Bucs signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to a 1-year deal for $3M to be the backup QB to Jameis Winston.  Let me be clear here; Fitzpatrick had an abysmal year in 2016 with the Jets throwing 17 INTs and only 12 TDs.  Nonetheless, this was a good signing decision by the Bucs.

In the NFC South, the Bucs are serious contenders; they should be looking at ways to be part of the playoffs in Jan 2018.  This signing says to me that they are looking at that end-point as a measure of success for the 2017 season.  I doubt they believe that Ryan Fitzpatrick will take them to the playoffs if he has to start a dozen games in 2017; but if Jameis Winston suffers an injury and has to miss 2 or 3 games, Ryan Fitzpatrick is a credible stand-in.  Just so you know who are the QBs on the Bucs’ roster as of this morning behind Winston and Fitzpatrick:

  • Ryan Griffen –   4th year from Tulane
  • Sefo Liufau – rookie from Colorado

I think the Bucs took out a reasonably priced insurance policy here at 1-year and $3M…

The Grey Cup is the equivalent of the Super Bowl for the Canadian Football League.  This year, the game will be played in Ottawa – Canada’s capital – where the Ottawa Redblacks are the home team.  The Redblacks play in a stadium called TD Place Stadium; it normally seats 24,000 but for the Grey Cup seating will expand to 35,000.  According to reports, only about 5,000 tickets remain on the market.  The game will be played on 26 November – – the Sunday after Thanksgiving in the US.

Back in the days when the Olympic Games had just been resuscitated, one of the events in the Summer Games was a tug-of-war.  In terms of compelling television, this ranks at or near the level of competitive poker on TV; I am not repelled by it nor am I attracted to it in any meaningful way.

The IOC keeps looking for new events allowing the host nation to insert something into the games in each of the 4-year spans and by recognizing international oversight bodies for events/sports that can be on the fringes of fans’ interests.  Let me say this to the IOC on the off chance that someone at IOC HQs might run across this screed:

  1. If you can tolerate rhythmic gymnastics as a sport as pixies prance around on a mat waving ribbons in their wake, why can you not go back to the Olympic roots and include tug-of-war in the Summer Games?
  2. The IOC could actually save money here and thus increase its profits.  It takes a bunch of judges to do a rhythmic gymnastics competition – whether or not their decisions are scripted.  For tug-of-war, a video replay would likely be sufficient.

Finally, speaking of the Summer Games, here is an item from Brad Rock in the Deseret News:

“Los Angeles wants to host the 2024 Olympics, and if that fails, it expects to go for 2028.

“Sources say the four-year window will allow just enough time for officials to get home, repack, and drive back to LAX in time to make the next bid.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “The Tom Brady Concussion Caper …”

  1. ..should point out the agent said Brady was not DIAGNOSED with a concussion … if he tried to hide symptoms etc at work that he didn’t at home… or sought a diagnosis outside the team system … well, if the team doctor did not see him to diagnose one, both sides can be telling the truth.

    1. Ed:

      My point is that until I hear from a doctor, I shall not be concerned about Tom Brady’s mental health nor shall I make any pronouncements about the efficacy of the NFL’s concussion protocols. If Tom Brady sought to hide the fact of a concussion from team/league doctors, he is not the first player to do so nor will he be the last. This is a story only because it is Tom Brady and the Pats as the subjects. If this story was about one of the Browns’ myriad QBs from last season, the story would have been in the agate type section of the paper.

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