Taylor McCloud — Pats Militia
(Disclaimer: If you’re in an irritable mood, or are apt to get extremely pissed off and do something you regret, don’t watch this video. If you want to take pity on yet another Tom Brady naysayer, please do, and then read what I have to say about it.)
On the final track of his 2010 album Thank Me Later, Drake rapped the line “That’s around the time your idols become your rivals. You make friends with Mike but gotta A.I. ’em for your survival.”
If you don’t understand the reference, I’ll explain it to you. In 1997, during Allen Iverson’s first season in the NBA, he hit Michael Jordan with the coldest crossover and buried a jumper right in his face. That’s significant because MJ was greatest basketball player to touch the hardwood, and A.I. was just a rookie. With that play, Iverson became figurative rivals (idols become your rivals) with Jordan, and took him down (A.I. ’em for your survival).
If you haven’t figured it out yet, that’s what I’m about to do to Colin Cowherd. He’s one of my idols, and I’m going to go after him. (Even though this’ll probably end up like it did for Jordan & Iverson. In their two seasons in the league together, A.I. won only 53 games, and MJ won his fifth and sixth NBA championships.)
But before I begin, let me say: I really like Colin Cowherd. He’s a titan in the industry, and I can only aspire to reach the heights that he has.
Now that that’s out of the way, what the hell was Cowherd thinking when he said all of this? The whole idea of this monologue was to say if Tom Brady lays an egg against Pittsburgh, the Patriots will move on from him as their quarterback. Obviously, I’m a homer, and I think that’s wrong, but I can’t believe he actually believes that. Was this a hoax, or am I just missing something? Because a HUGE majority of the things he said were just wrong. There were some correct statements, like father time being undefeated, but there were not many more. Obviously everything was an opinion, I just couldn’t believe he said most of it.
So, without further ado, I’m going to go from top to bottom, and prove him wrong about most, if not everything, he said.
First, he said Tom Brady’s had two bad playoff games in a row. I guess that’s kinda true. Last year, against Denver, and this year, against Houston, he’s completed only 48% of his passes, thrown for four interceptions to three touchdowns, and has posted a passer rating of 61. I’m a Brady stan through and through, but even I can’t say those are good numbers. Both Denver and Houston were sporting the best defense in the league when Brady played them, but as Cowherd said, these are the playoffs, you’re going to play good defenses. For this point, I’ll give him a big, green checkmark. He got this right.
Although, this is where things begin to go downhill.
After declaring the Pats would move on from Brady if he has a ‘clunker’ against Pittsburgh, Cowherd mentioned Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers. Then, he used that as a segway to mention Aaron Rodgers taking over for Brett Favre. The destination he rode such segway to was where we begin to disagree.
“You didn’t know how good Aaron Rodgers was, when Green Bay got rid of Favre.” That’s a direct quote from this video, and it’s wrong. The Packers drafted Rodgers in 2005. Their quarterback at the time, Brett Favre. Yup, even though Favre, their franchise quarterback of fourteen years, was on the roster still, they used a first-rounder to get Rodgers. Then, they sat him down, and let him develop for three years. I don’t know about you, but I think a first-round pick, given three years to learn behind one of the best to do it, has a pretty good shot at being a stellar quarterback, so if you look at it from my point-of-view, Cowherd’s completely wrong. However, if you look at Cowherd’s take as some sort of half measure, like he was saying we couldn’t have predicted that Aaron Rodgers would be this good, I guess he’s half-right. For that, he gets half credit.
(This is where things really go downhill.)
That’s the last time that happens, though, because from here, Cowherd was just wrong with everything.
He said we didn’t know what Andrew Luck would be. Yo, Colin, yeah we did. The guy had an incredible career at Stanford, was the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and was chosen by a playoff-tested team that just needed a quarterback. From the second he was drafted, it was obvious he was going to be successful. The Colts, just two seasons removed from a Super Bowl appearance were ready to get back to dominance, and Andrew Luck fit like a glove. Don’t tell me we didn’t know what he’d be, Cowherd.
(Yes, he’s fallen off since 2012, but his team has crumbled around him, and their ownership has done nothing to fix it.)
And CERTAINLY don’t tell me we weren’t sure how Steve Young would be as the starter in San Fran when he took over for Joe Montana, because that’s a bold-faced lie. In the four seasons (he started just ten games) Young sat on the bench behind Montana, he threw for 2,678YD/23TD. Then, in the two seasons (26 starts) Young played a substantial amount of time because of a Montana elbow injury, he threw for 5,982YD and 42TD. Altogether, that’s 8,660YD & 65 TD, which are incredible numbers for any guy who’s made less than two years worth of starts, nevermind a backup quarterback. Wrong again, Colin.
It was after the Favre/Rodgers, Luck, and Montana/Young talk that Cowherd switched gears.
He talked about how the Pats can’t fear Brady if they move on from him. (Uh, yes the fuck we can.) He said that if Brady left and joined ‘a Houston’, he’d win, but wouldn’t do anything crazy, and he cited Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and Joe Montana as evidence for that. He could have picked any three guys who’ve left their long-tenured cities, but no, he picked those guys. Those guys, the ones who, away from their original teams, racked up 32,722YD, 235TD, 1 MVP Award, 2 Super Bowl appearances, 1 Super Bowl championship, and a single-season touchdown record, as the one to quell our potential fears if Brady left.
In the words of Keyshawn Johnson — C’MON MAN! Brady is coming off of one of the best years of his career. The Pats let him go, he’s pissed. He works even harder, and he propels whatever team he’s on to greatness. That’s just what he does. There’s been no signs of decline, and I don’t know why there would be all of the sudden if he goes elsewhere.
“Woah, woah, woah, Taylor. There’s no way he’s going anywhere!”
Yes, to me, that seems to be the case. However, to Colin, it’s not. He said Bill Belichick doesn’t fall in love with anybody, that even though he likes players, none of them are safe. He forgot to mention that, despite being ruthless with great players, (Lawyer Milloy, Ty Law, Deion Branch, Richard Seymour, and Logan Mankins all come to mind.) he SCOFFED at the idea of moving Tom Brady just two years ago. TB12 is on a different level than all of those guys.
But let’s forget that, let’s say BB drops the hammer, and axes Tom Brady. The Patriots will be fine, right? I mean, Colin Cowherd did say Jimmy Garoppolo is ‘the best football can give you’ as a incoming quarterback, after all.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Jimmy, but this is another place where Cowherd is simply incorrect. First, he said Garoppolo is ‘the best football can give you’, which is purely opinion, and I can’t argue with that. (Yes I can, Steve Young comes to mind when thinking of someone better.) However, I can argue with the point he used as evidence. To back-up (pun) his claim that Garoppolo is next to a sure thing, he said Jimmy has played in about thirty moments, meaning he’s been out there for thirty meaningful moments. (He included preseason, which is ridiculous. I’ve watched him in the preseason, and with the exception of one game this August, he’s been run of the mill.) That is wrong. Up until this season, Garoppolo had seen the field in only a couple of games — both Kansas City and Buffalo in 2014 come to mind, but that’s it. And, when we factor in this season, there’s not that large of a sample size, either. He played four quarters against Arizona, but fumbled twice, so we’ll call it three good quarters. Then, he played one good quarter against Miami. So, altogether, that’s four good quarters of football in Garoppolo’s career. Again, I love Jimmy, and I do hope he’s the quarterback of the future, but he’s not a sure thing (yet). There’s only a small sample size, and there’s no thirty moments. All there are, are four good quarters. You know who else played four good quarters of football? Matt Flynn.
Yup, that same Matt Flynn who played a game in place of Aaron Rodgers, threw for five TDs against Detroit, signed a big deal with Seattle, and was swiftly beat out for the starting spot by Russell Wilson.
Wilson, a young quarterback most teams would love to have, was also mentioned by Colin Cowherd. Towards the beginning of the video, Cowherd said Wilson carved the Patriots up in Week 10, and that’s true. If you read my blog from that game, you know how pissed I was. However, I wasn’t as pissed then as I was when Cowherd mentioned Brady alongside Wilson. In that portion of the video, he said the 39 year-old Brady made no dynamic plays against Seattle. That’s true, but his emphasis on ’39 year-old’ insinuated Brady is too old to make dynamic plays. Well, that’s not right. He’s been making dynamic plays all season.
Tom "Sweet Feet" Brady doing Tom Brady things. He's 39, folks. pic.twitter.com/cSHwel6dLo
— Tom Freakin' Brady (@NEPatsFanInCA) December 24, 2016
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) November 20, 2016
These are just two examples, but anyone who’s watched every Pats game for the past two seasons knows Brady’s agility, and ability to move has spiked. He’s moving better now than he ever has. I’m not saying he’s some new ‘dynamic’ guy, but he’s got the ability to make the occasional dynamic play, unlike what Cowherd said.
And, unlike what Cowherd said about Brady’s commercials, they’re not a sign of the imminent end to his career. First, Cowherd said he was doing all of these commercials because he’s getting older. That’s wrong. Brady was suspended for four weeks. He had a ton of time to get advertisements out of the way.
Second, he said Tom Brady would become the face of any franchise if they offered him the position. Again, that’s wrong. There’s no way Brady would become the face of ‘corndog on a stick’ like Cowherd said. Every advertisement he’s done up until this point has been for an expensive product, a luxury product. He’s affiliated with $200 pajamas, $200 slippers, $200+ headphones, and virtual reality technology, among other things. No corndogs there.
Third, he said Brady was packing in commercials because he knew his commercial well would be drying up soon. Hey Colin, I’ve got three guys who say otherwise: Howie Long, Jerry Rice, and Brett Favre. Those three, among others, are in more commercials now than any active player. I don’t know what you were talking about when you said his commercial run would come to an end because a good 50% of ads on television today feature retired football figures. I think Tom Brady would fit in just fine in that market.
(Final Rundown Of Correct v. Incorrect Points: Father Time – correct/Bad Playoff Games – half correct/Rodgers – half correct/Andrew Luck – incorrect/Steve Young – incorrect/Manning/Favre/Montana – incorrect/Belichick would treat Brady like anyone else – incorrect/Jimmy Garoppolo thirty moments – incorrect/Tom Brady no dynamic plays – incorrect/Tom Brady did commercials because he’s old – incorrect/Tom Brady would be the face of any franchise – incorrect/Tom Brady’s commercial well is almost dry – incorrect/Final Count – 2 Correct/9 Incorrect)
To be honest, I didn’t like doing this. I wrote this many words combing through a video proving a guy wrong on minute points. It feels kinda like winning an argument by pointing out someone’s spelling errors, but also kinda necessary. I like Colin Cowherd, but the amount of incorrect statements littered throughout the video was alarming. Almost everything he said was wrong, and I’m always one to come to Tom Brady’s defense. He’s my quarterback, and I’m T.O. He’s going to have a monster game on Sunday, making this irrelevant, but even if he has a ‘clunker’, the Pats aren’t moving on from him. (Unless they do. Then I’ll have to eat my words, all 2,140 of them.)