By Lenn Robbins
Back when he was still a young man in a young man’s game, Tom Brady was starting to gain a reputation for trash talking. According to many reports throughout his 20-year career, Brady hasn’t been very good at it.
No one has it all, right?
Brady has the golden arm, the 5G communication skills, the 8.4 processing speed of a football mind, the model wife. It’s a damn fine life.
He just didn’t talk smack with the best. Until Super Bowl VL.
Brady walked the walk leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs and he talked the talk, getting so deep under the skin of Tyrann Mathieu you’d think the Chiefs safety had a G.O.A.T tattoo.
Brady and Mathieu had engaged in a couple of charged exchanges early in the first and second quarters. On second and goal from the nine with 13 seconds left in the half, Mathieu was called for pass interference. On the next play Brady hit Antonio Brown for a one-yard touchdown and a 21-6 lead.
Mathieu, enraged by the call and engaged with Brady, waved a gloved hand in the quarterback’s face. The 43-year-old Brady, who has rushed for a grand total of 1,043 yards, gained 20 on a sprint to get into Mathieu’s face.
Mathieu was called for a personal foul penalty. He flung his helmet to the Raymond James turf when he reached the Kansas City sideline. Meanwhile, cornerback Bashaud Breeland was having a meltdown of his own.
“I think it raises everybody’s game as long as it doesn’t get to the point where you do something stupid,” Brady said once of trash talking. “I mean, I think emotion in football is critical, and I think you have to have the energy and emotion.
“Because, I mean, it’s a game of poise certainly, but it’s also a game of just cutting it loose, and that’s got to be a lot of confidence, a lot of trust in the people that are next to you so you can go be really free of what you’re doing to go play a very anticipatory sport.”
The Chiefs had lost their poise by halftime.
There are no doubts now, no debate. Brady, who completed 21-of-29 passes for 201 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, laser etched his name in NFL history as the greatest quarterback of all time, only the second to lead two franchises to Super Bowl wins.
The former Patriot truly has it all. A ring without the help of Bill Belichick, a seventh championship, a fifth Super Bowl MVP trophy, and he proved you can teach an old G.O.A.T. new tricks:
Brady has improved as a trash talker.
Brady is known for his uber competitiveness. We’ve seen him have sideline shouting matches with offensive coordinators (Bill O’Brien). We’ve heard countless anecdotes of Brady dressing down linemen and receivers.
Back in 2010, Detroit Lions cornerback Alphonso Smith decided to give Brady a finger wag after breaking up a pass. Brady posted a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3 that day in a 45-24 win.
“I was one of those young guys that didn’t know anything,” said Smith. “Chose to get in a gunfight with John Wayne and some other famous old Western guy.”
The old guy has a new trick. Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr is a super trash talker.