Countdown to 42: The Brady Rules

1200929040Now that the Patriots have landed in Arizona, Tom Brady has addressed the media hordes. (Incidentally, did you catch the footage of them deplaning in a rain storm and wonder if anyone was going to go flailing down the ramp?)

Yes, he will play. No, he doesn’t think it’s a big deal that he was bombing around the Village in a walking boot. Nor did he seem particularly ruffled that he bounced the likes of Britney, Jessica, and the cast of The Hills off TMZ for a few hours.

It is all becoming clear now: The Brady walking boot was one more masterful bit of media spin by Bill Belichick. The man seriously misses nothing.

Don’t get us wrong. We’re sure that Brady did indeed suffer a high ankle sprain. If you pay attention to such things, you know that a high ankle sprain is significantly more painful and annoying to a professional athlete then say, a rolled ankle. It may even hamper some of Brady’s mobility, and that would not be a good thing against the relentless Giant pass rush, but, as the cliche goes, 85 percent of Brady is better than 100 percent of just about everyone else.

Clearly, No. 12 will play.

But here’s what didn’t happen last week. Questions about going undefeated. Questions about spygate. Every out-of-town scribe inhabiting Foxboro last week was there to answer one or both of those questions. Belichick knows that in the Super Bowl bye week reporters are bored beyond description. They have been writing the same stories, about the same people, since late July. That’s not an indictment of the profession, by the way. Just a fact.

Except suddenly there was another angle. One that involved the franchise quarterback, and it just so happened, his supermodel girl friend and the paparazzi. And, just as suddenly, Brady was nowhere to be found.

Without Brady around to answer the questions, a vacuum was created, and the easiest way to get out talking about the bad stuff, the real distracting stuff, was to have Donte Stallworth pretend they were going to run the option and Richard Seymour muse about buying flowers for his wife.

Now that Brady is back to answer for himself, the non-story lasts a few more days and the players are free to study their film and their playbooks with nary a care in the world.

Absolute genius.

Elsewhere as we get closer to XLII:

Bob Ryan thinks Brady didn’t realize the extent of his celebrity: I disagree, for the above reasons. I also think it’s a little silly to think that a man who is one of the most recognizable athletes in the world, who dates actresses and supermodels, who gets invited to the State of the Union for chrissakes, isn’t aware of his celebrity.

Steve Buckley just discovered that everyone hates the Patriots. I think he also just discovered the Internet too. AOL? That’s so cute Steve.

In case you missed it, Chuck Klosterman had an interesting piece on ESPN on Friday. His point was that a Patriots loss would make their place in history secure, and for proof he points to the UCLA teams of the 70’s.

Everyone knows they won a ton of games, but no one remembers the details. What they remember are the losses—to Houston and Elvin Hayes, to Notre Dame, and to North Carolina State. Not sure I agree with him totally, but it’s an interesting piece and above the usual Super Bowl week dreck.