Editor’s Note: This is an updated version of an article first published ahead of last year’s Super Bowl.
If the lead-up to the last two Super Bowls has taught us anything, it’s that people hate Tom Brady.
In fact, Brady’s current pursuit of a sixth Super Bowl ring has solidified his place as one of the most polarizing figures in sports — he is both hated and loved, and there are numbers to prove it.
In a Public Policy Polling survey published in January 2017, Brady was voted most liked and most disliked as 22 per cent of respondents said he was their favourite quarterback and 24 per cent said he was their least favourite.
How does that happen? Normally the best of the best are beloved. The masses didn’t hate Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzky to this degree. So why such disdain for the Great Dimple? Here is the hate for Brady explained via tweets.
13. Mic Drop
Brady had the usual “Let’s go!” scream at the Patriots rally in Boston before departing to Minnesota for the Super Bowl. He even added a super corny “Patriots out” to his repertoire of bad pump-up sayings. But Brady may be the first person to make the mic drop look weak.
12. MVP Presumption
It seems Brady will be named MVP yet again when there were a bunch of interesting alternatives like Todd Gurley, Antonio Brown, Carson Wentz and Case Keenum. What is worse is that it became apparent Brady was privileged enough to be made aware of this fact well before the award is announced.
Brady has won the award twice before, so I assume he has a template of the speech saved in his “My Documents” folder. If part of the speech is Brady waxing poetic about the fact he was surprised to win, we’ll know that’s disingenuous.
11. Tom vs. Time
Now we know why Brady has been so bland with the press: He’s saving his content for his own projects.
Although the first episode of “Tom vs. Time” had nine million views in the first 24 hours after it premiered on Facebook, many viewers were left wanting more. The bulk of the doc-series, directed by Gotham Chopra and executive produced by Michael Strahan, is Brady telling you how dedicated Brady is and why his training regime is the best.
Is the week before the Super Bowl the time you want to premiere a Kardashian-QB style infomercial?
Reporter: "Did you get a chance to see Tom Brady's documentary, Tom vs Time?"
Bill: "No I don't have snapface" pic.twitter.com/i8FuaCG2QW
— Patriots Militia (@PatsMilitia) January 30, 2018
10. TB12 vs. Jimmy G
One of the fallouts of Seth Whickersham’s scathing report on the tension surrounding the Patriots dynasty was the reputation of Brady. In the piece, the quarterback he’s painted as a villain who was internally pushing and prioritizing his “TB12” health and wellness business and relationship with trainer Alex Guerrero to the detriment of the team culture.
One hilarious anecdote describes a scene in which QB-in-waiting Jimmy Garoppolo was locked out of the TB12 facility when he was looking to rehab.
The story reinforces the belief Brady benefits from great privilege as Robert Kraft demands Garoppolo to be traded to appease Brady’s insecurity surrounding Jimmy GQ. Depending on your perspective Brady is either incredibly jealous or competitive.
9. Tom Brady Sr.
It’s one thing to fight, but people don’t like when you don’t fight your own battles. When Brady’s father, Tom Brady Sr., told the media his son has been unfairly treated it came across as whining. It doesn’t help the public’s opinion on the issue or Brady himself.
This one feels a bit unfair because the campaign was intended to be humourous, but still: Brady is a spokesperson for what has become the official shoe of university sophomore girls everywhere. The hate is partially out of disgust for the product itself — they were initially made for surfers in Australia and all of a sudden they became a winter boot in North America? They aren’t even waterproof!
Also, the commercial with him and Jeff Bridges alone will make you want to scream.
In a nutshell: Every time Brady haters see salt stains on a pair of old Uggs, they think of the fact he sold his sponsorship sole to the highest bidder.
7. He Can’t Dance
The issue here is he doesn’t know his limitations the way he seems to on the field. So he keeps trying. Also, the fact that he could have so little rhythm yet be a professional athlete is dumbfounding.
6. Bridget Moynahan
This is the sports equivalent of Brad and Angelina. Brady lost some of his “Mr. Perfect” image when he broke up with actress Bridget Moynahan to immediately date supermodel Gisele Bundchen, only to find out his ex was pregnant with his child.
The New York tabloid backlash was even stronger when it was revealed Brady was not in the delivery room for the birth of the child. Even though it’s clear Moynahan has moved on, that doesn’t mean her supporters and his detractors have.
5. Gisele Bundchen
But when that support manifests itself into talking bad about his teammates publicly, the public discourse turns negative. When she stated the obvious that her husband couldn’t throw the ball to himself in relation to Wes Welker dropping a key pass in the Super Bowl she reinforced the entitled stereotype about the celebrity couple.
4. Donald Trump
Brady had a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker, yet has refused in recent years to answer any inquiries about the U.S. President.
“I’m not talking about politics at all” has been his go-to answer.
Part of the criticism is about his link to the divisive political figure; the other part is that he hasn’t clarified his stance.
Brady has neither confirmed nor denied his support for the President or his policies, which has made him guilty by association.
3. System Quarterback
Some fans will forever be convinced he’s a beneficiary of Bill Belichick’s greatness and not a contributor to it. People often posit that if you swapped someone like Aaron Rodgers or even Jimmy Garoppolo in for him that the Patriots would be even more successful.
Brady isn’t a pure quarterback specimen the way Rodgers or Cam Newton are. He’s not fast or elusive, and he doesn’t have a big arm. So it defies logic that he alone can be this good. So we find another reason for the sustained success.
First it was Spygate that cast a shadow on all of the Patriots’ accomplishments. Then it was the Deflategate controversy, and even though no hard evidence was ever found Brady was suspended four games anyway. Then it was supposed headset tampering.
If you’re inclined to believe there is an asterisk beside the Patriots’ domination you most likely hold Brady in contempt under the “cheaters never prosper” creed.
He has a beautiful wife and family. Brady has played more playoff games than anyone in history and has more Super Bowl experience than the entire Philadelphia Eagles team, yet he is still so maniacal about winning he’s helped develop pajamas that aid in recovery time. He claims he has never had coffee or strawberries because each is against his diet.
He has it all. He’s great at what he does. His work ethic and self-control are both fantastic. And it’s a little bit nauseating.