At halftime with the Atlanta Falcons apparently large and in charge at Sunday’s Super Bowl, it was all about Lady Gaga, but by the end of the game, going ga-ga was reserved for Tom Brady, who had just directed a magnificent comeback in the New England Patriots’ 34-28 overtime win.
It was justifiable too as Brady was every bit the show-stopper that Lady Gaga was in winning his fifth Super Bowl, the fourth in which he was named MVP. In both cases, he was the first quarterback to accomplish both.
Clearly, Brady has earned the rumored contract extension that he will apparently receive in the off-season with the Pats buying in to the claim that he can play another three to five years and if he goes the distance, that would make him 44 by the time he played the final year of that contract that has yet to be signed.
Whether a guy going into his 40s can withstand the brutal punishment of the NFL for five years is open for debate, but one would think that Brady will be slowly phased out over that period, while the Pats groom his replacement with Brady’s help.
Phasing Brady out is unthinkable at this point in time, so the debates will rage. After all, he’s the best ever in many people’s minds, so the debate will rage on for some time, but then it will become one of many from around the NFL, which seems to have a never-ending supply of stories to enthrall its fans.
When you’re talking impact on the game, Tom Brady is the Tiger Woods of football, but unlike Tiger, the media and fans have diversions away from him, even if Brady usually isn’t far from centre stage at any given time.
Golf has a cast of characters in Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and many others who at times do draw attention from the latest saga surrounding Tiger, who is the guy who is the guy who moves the needle for golf to use the popular cliche.
Tiger is most certainly the Tom Brady of golf when it comes to his all-time place at the top of his game, but where the two differ is that Woods immediate and long-term future in the game in his early 40s is much more questionable than Brady’s.
The latest concern came on the weekend when Woods withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic with back spasms and the theories I’ve heard put forward is that the spasms had nothing to do with his back surgeries to his comeback is over to questions about whether he even wants to play anymore, but does so at the request of sponsors, the tour, etc.
No matter which of these Tiger theories you believe or want to believe, they are one of countless theories that have been prodded, debated and discussed over and over, but for the better part of 10 years now, there have been no definitive answers on his future.
Of course, we’re not soothsayers, but the media likes to think it is due to the 24/7 news cycle and increased competition these days and in the case of television, the fact that Tiger drives the ratings. The fact is that Tiger’s success or lack of success will depend upon unpredictable health issues and what’s going on in his head and the talking heads have no access to any of that.
Yet, the gums keep flapping and the theories keep being written about what’s going on with Tiger and the majority of those venturing these opinions might see Tiger in a scrum or news conference after a round.
That’s not to suggest a news blackout of all things Tiger. Of course, fans want to hear how his back is doing or how he’s hitting the ball, but if he is to succeed, there are going to be many unpredictable events, some good and some bad, that will cause the speculators to go off again.
The thing about making a prediction now is that if Tiger wins a major in a couple of years, the person who made that prediction can brag about it if that happens. If it doesn’t come true, however, that prediction will fade into obscurity with no harm, no foul on the person who ventured it.
In the meantime, there are a million theories and debates for fans to sift through when the media should be providing clear perspective on the subject instead of clutter.
In golf, we like to say fairways and greens, so when it comes to Tiger, we’ll see what the next shot brings.
If anybody says he or she saw Brady guiding the Patriots back in the second half on Sunday, that person is either lying, guilty of wishful thinking or had too many wobblies to remember what actually happened.
Bit by bit, Brady and his teammates who bought in slowly started making believers out of disbelievers and did what some thought was impossible just an hour earlier. It will be bit by bit if Tiger succeeds as well.
The good news for him is that Brady proved it could be done on the field.