Five Things We Learned in the Ravens' 23-20 loss
(One thing from "5 things learned from the loss:)
4. Tom Brady is a great quarterback who makes big plays in crucial moments. If I had one game to win, and the fate of the world depended on it, I might pick him to be my quarterback. Now, all that said, let me also point out that he's turned into the one of the game's biggest whiners.
I'll make this brief. I really don't care about Brady's ridiculous haircut.
If he wants to look like David Cassidy on The Partridge Family, or as Bill Simmons pointed out, like he and Gisele are way, waaaay too into HBO's True Blood, that's his business. It would actually be fun to have a long-haired quarterback in a league so rigid about conformity.
But the little tantrums he throws and cheap shots he takes when he doesn't get his way are getting ridiculous. Leave that to Philip Rivers, please.
Neither Jim Nantz nor Phil Simms saw it, so it didn't get much attention on the television broadcast, but in the first half, on the reverse to Brandon Tate, Brady clearly tried to dive at Terrell Suggs' knee when Suggs was well behind the play. I'm not even positive Suggs saw it happen, because Brady mostly missed, but for a guy who had a major knee injury of his own, that was bush league. Yes, I know it's borderline legal, but it's weak. And I'd say the same thing if Peyton Manning or Drew Brees or Joe Flacco did it. He tried to do it again in the second half to Dawan Landry on a similar play, but thought better of it.
Between his intentionally low knee blocks and Brandon Meriweather's blatant spearing of Todd Heap, it was not exactly the Pats' finest hour. (I still can't believe Meriweather wasn't ejected. He should have been. It was reminiscent of some of Chuck Cecil's dirtiest work. He'll likely be heavily fined.) Boston media reports were claiming Michael Oher punched someone at the bottom of a pile and it went unnoticed, and though I didn't see it, I don't have a hard time believing it because he had to be frustrated by how poorly he was playing. But quarterbacks should be above that kind of nonsense. Especially Hall of Fame quarterbacks.
I'm sure if asked about it, Brady would stand there with a bit of a smirk on his face and say it's his job to make sure no one trails the play from behind, and that he's a football player, and his job is to get the guy blocked however he can. But if that's the case, then he shouldn't be flapping his arms like a drowning flamingo, and throwing a complete tantrum when Haloti Ngata hits him in the chest while he's throwing the ball because he wants a flag for a phantom roughing the passer. It's just absurd to beg the referees for special treatment — including pointing at his knee a year ago and asking the referee to throw the flag when Suggs grazed him — but then feeling like it's OK to dive at Suggs knee when he's not looking.
This isn't the Brady I once defended in every debate about him and Peyton Manning and, in general, greatly admired from afar. This version is a weasel.
(Now, perhaps some goof named Sully will read this column and blast me on a Boston radio show this week, but I'll take solace in the fact that, deep down, he — and maybe even Brady — will know I'm telling the truth.)