What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
I know at best this sounds far-fetched, but what if I told you the greatest quarterback of his era was heading for a start-up league? Before you dismiss that thought out of hand, ponder the three following facts.
This all starts with the self-apparent nature of that first fact. “Unrestricted” means exactly that; Brady can do whatever the hell he wants, and nobody in the National Football League can do thing #1 about it. That fact becomes even more tantalizing when you think about it not in terms of where Brady would want to go…but where he wouldn’t want to go. Through the process of elimination and simple logic, we can safely deduce places Brady won’t be going.
First, there’s no way he’s going to a team which already has a quarterback. That just makes sense; the salary cap alone dictates that. There’s also no way he’s going to spend his “golden” football years on a team that really has no chance to bask in the silver of the Lombardi trophy. Once you start rattling off teams in those two categories, it doesn’t take long to realize we’ve just eliminated at least two-thirds of the NFL.
Picking off the remaining teams isn’t much harder. Forget about teams with salary cap problems. Not only can they not afford Brady, they certainly couldn’t buy anybody to go with him. Team with rookie head coaches aren’t likely; they are usually train-wrecks and there aren’t many first-year coaches who want that kind of ego “tug-of-war” right off the bat. Guys running out the clock until retirement usually don’t do that in “bad weather” cities. It’s one thing to go to Cleveland or Chicago once; it’s completely another to play all your home games there.
Ironically, checking-down through those progressions really only leaves one team…The New England Patriots. Personally, I would have knocked them off with the whole “chance to win” thing, but even if we leave that open to debate, there’s no arguing the weather in Foxboro sucks. That brings us right back to Fact #2. If Brady isn’t willing to work with the Patriots on the money, that essentially guarantees New England won’t have the cash to fix any of the offensive problems which were plainly apparent this past season.
So, if we’ve used the process of elimination to determine there’s really no NFL team which makes a good fit for Tom Brady, and he’s made it clear he’s not likely to hang ’em up, what’s left?
The weather thing alone eliminates the Canadian Football League; that’s probably why nobody retires to the Great White North. The Alliance of American Football (AAF) already went belly-up. That leaves the re-boot of the XFL…which is only little over a month away.
Before you start asking about which medications I’m currently taking or should be, consider the following. What if I told you that “Tom Brady to the XFL” move could be more than just the dribblings of a blogger off his anti-psychotics? What if I told you such a move could be more than just a public-relations stunt between two multi-millionaires like Brady and XFL owner Vince McMahon?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not necessarily talking about Brady as a player, although I wouldn’t entirely rule that out. I think the possibility of Brady as a coach, general manager, or even (gasp) commissioner is far too tantalizing to just dismiss out of hand. Yeah, I know the league already has guys in those roles, but six months ago, nobody though Brady would be available this far in advance of the XFL’s first game. Not to mention, players can always get released, and coaches, general managers, and commissioners all get fired.
Think about it. Tom Brady as a brand becoming part of this new league instantly gives it “star power” the dear-departed AAF never had. Putting Brady in a role where every week come February his becomes the face of the XFL couldn’t possibly be bad for business. People either love Brady or they hate him, and as a wrestling promoter, McMahon sure as shit knows how to work both sides of that street.
The upsides here are obvious. The question is where does the cash come from to make this happen? First of all, Vince McMahon’s house is plumbed with hot and cold running money; he could pull this off out of pocket. But the trick is there’s no need to do it that way. That’s because there’s one magic word.
Another downfall of the AAF was it’s swag was ridiculously expensive. I was a fan of that league, but even I wasn’t ponying up 90 bucks for a golf shirt with an Orlando Apollos logo on it. That begs the question; what would happen once there’s a marriage between Brady’s “TB12” brand with a brand-new league resplendent with new marketing channels, and you hit that new market with reasonably-priced merchandise backed by arguably the biggest sports star of his generation? If that weren’t an interesting enough proposition, imagine the opportunities for the “TB12” brand to cross-over into McMahon’s wrestling empire, not to mention the possibility a Gisele Bundchen-backed line of women’s clothing across this enterprise.
You can’t tell me that if some dipshit blogger can pry himself of his microwave burritos long enough to come up with this idea that there isn’t some big business brain out there who couldn’t make the mechanics of this work. Or maybe they already have, and I’m about to “kill myself” just like Jeffrey Epstein for shining a light on their plan. It may be as likely as a Super Bowl win by the Cincinnati Bengals, but maybe…just maybe…in the case of Tom Brady, you won’t be able spell “XFL” with out “ex-NFL.”
You’ll know I was right if I mysteriously “hang myself” between now and February.
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