October 3, 2021.
Get used to seeing that date over and over again. In school textbooks, in sports history books and all over your television screens. Week 4 of this upcoming NFL season is the week that vendettas get settled. It’s Lebron vs Jordan. Ali vs Tyson. Darkseid vs Thanos. Sting vs Undertaker. It’s the matchup we never thought we’d get to see.
And it’s gonna to cause a goddamn civil war.
I have no idea how this bout is going to go. First of all, how will the crowd react? I don’t even know what to guess. I don’t even know how I’d act! I’d obviously cheer for my team and pull for them to win, but…actually…I know exactly how I’d act. I’d boo the hell out of the Bucs. And if Brady happens to catch some chirps? So be it. But I don’t think that’s going to be the popular approach inside Foxboro..
On one hand, you have the greatest quarterback of all time. Seven rings. A list of accolades that reads longer than a Game of Thrones book. His own personal section in the Hall of Fame just waiting for him the day he lets Father Time catch up to him. And on the other hand you have the Hooded One. Darth Vader himself. Hated by many and feared by all. More rings than he can fit on his hands. A Hall of Fame resume that’s only rivaled by his opponent he’ll see that night.
The crux of it is this: neither of them could have done it without the other. And we normally never get to see both sides go against each other in a situation like this when they’re success has been so severely intertwined. But with Brady winning a Super Bowl in his first year without Belichick, some say the debate has ended. It was Brady, not Belichick, who was responsible for the most unprecedented run of dominance any professional sport has ever seen. But Belichick has a chance to rebuttal that, not only Week 4, but in the years to follow. Winning a Super Bowl on his own would tip the scales back in his favor and a win against Tom will be a good starting point.
So somethings gotta give. Someone has to win. And while we normally get Manning vs Brady, Mahomes vs Rodgers or something of the sort, what makes this battle great is it’s a direct competition. Brady runs his offense and Belichick runs his defense. It won’t lead to a convoluted argument of “My quarterback beat yours!……even though they didn’t play directly against each other….” There will be a definitive winner and loser. Brady will overcome Belichick’s defense or Bill will throttle the GOAT.
Belichick’s bag is deep. We’re talking Hermoine’s bag from Harry Potter deep. But does he have enough tricks to take down the guy who’s seen it all? And does that guy who’s seen it all have enough inside knowledge to defeat a coach who has mind-bended the best of the best?
If you ask me (which I know you aren’t), I think the game ends with Belichick and Brady shaking hands and embracing in the middle of the field, with the former whispering in his ear: “I taught you all you know Tom, but I haven’t taught you all I know…”
This game can’t come soon enough. LFG.