Human beings are inherently prone to debating issues. Most love a good old disagreement, and that’s cool, as long as in the end, folks learn to agree to disagree with respect and manners. And it doesn’t matter the topic. For instance social media blew up not long ago about whether a dress was gold or blue and whether a pair of shoes was pink or grey (blue and grey respectively, by the way — but that’s just my opinion).
Now the latest, aside from the ongoing major political and military fiascoes, is if in 2020 we are beginning a new decade or ending an old one (beginning — if you want my opinion).
More regionally, New Englanders are known to moan and groan about virtually anything, but especially sports.
Now before those who are non-sports fans sign off, this really isn’t a sports column. So if you choose to hang on for several paragraphs, I’ll get to my main point.
OK, that being said, back to the moaning and groaning issue, of which through the years, I have been a full and active participant.
One of the greatest topics for debate in New England sports over the years has been the exodus of team players who have captured the hearts of the rabid fans here.
As a younger man, I would lament the end of each of the four major sports seasons, knowing full well, one or more of my favorites would seek “respect” in another city.
The worst for me was my all-time favorite athlete, and the best athlete ever in any sport, Bobby Orr. At the end of the 1975-76 season, Orr was a free agent and made it abundantly clear he wanted to remain a Bruin. He was offered a very lucrative contract and 18 percent ownership of the Bs. His agent didn’t tell him and also told him the offer was lousy and Chicago had a better offer. Orr believed him and felt he wasn’t wanted and left. When Orr found out, he was angry and felt robbed by his agent — who later went to prison.
There was Johnny Damon, the Red Sox favorite who went to the Evil Empire, never to be forgiven, and Ray Bourque of the Bruins, who asked to be traded so he could win a championship elsewhere (which he did). Because of that I will never consider Bourque a Bruin. There have been a plethora of great athletes who never won it all, yet never cried to be traded.
Now we have the Tom Brady/New England Patriots debate and moan and groan feast all combined into one.
Tom, a free agent for the first time, still wants to play, but it doesn’t appear the Pats will give him the “respect” he wants.
Fans are biting their nails, talking heads are giving their opinions, and life in New England is in disarray awaiting the March 18 deadline when free agents can go “respect” hunting.
Years ago, I would be very concerned about losing TB12, but I must admit for me with age comes wisdom — most of the time.
I am not worried, I am not concerned. If he goes to another team, don’t let the door hit you on the way out; and leave your Patriots jersey and affiliation at that door.
According to online sources, Tom’s 2019 net worth was $180 million, and his wife, Gisele Bundchen’s was $400 million. In truth, how much more does he need?
That’s $180 million for playing a game. But, there are other big boys out there who have a greater net worth. This is where the “respect” issue comes in.
I really don’t care. And let me tell you of others who really don’t care.
There are myriad children in St. Jude’s Hospital, the Shriner’s Hospital, Dana Farber Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, Woman and Infant’s Hospital and hundreds of other facilities who are fighting for their lives from cancer and other diseases that respect no one.
There are immigrants and migrants and refugees encamped in squalor, surrounded by dangers from disease and human beings, both of which have no respect for others.
There are countless women and children who have been absconded and sold in sex slave markets; victims of human trafficking by mostly men who respect no one, not even each other.
There are hundreds and hundreds of people in Australia running for their lives from raging wildfires that have consumed their homes and everything they owned. Wildfires that don’t respect man or nature.
There are men, women and children who have nowhere to run when bombs fall from the sky dropped by regimes that are fueled by greed, power and total lack of respect for others.
These and thousands if not millions more don’t know what tomorrow brings, if anything. All of these brothers and sisters I have mentioned do not care if Tom Brady gets the respect he’s looking for. And to be fair, I’m not just targeting TB, I’m referring to all those who don’t know just how wonderful they have it.
TB12 is considered by many as the GOAT — the greatest of all time. No, the real GOAT was born in a manger, healed the sick, forgave sins and died for me — and you; and He didn’t ask His Boss for a better lot in life. He respects His Father, and He respects us.
Am I worried about where the player will play next year? No. I’m worried about those who don’t care either — for heart-wrenching reasons — I guess I’m a goat to Patriots fans.