While Tom Brady's legacy is being celebrated this week by fans, media and leaders of the free world alike, there are some who feel like the former sixth-round pick would have remained that way had it not been for a fortuitous call back on January 19, 2002.
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"I tell people all the time, if Tom Brady would just start out every interview saying 'I wanna thank the Oakland Raiders,' I'd be happy and I'd let it go," legendary wide receiver Tim Brown said on Good Morning Football on Wednesday. "But until that day happens, I'm not gonna let it go. Because think about this -- if he loses that game, he's a kid who lost a home game to a West Coast team in the snow. So he's not starting the next year. Because we were the Raiders, any other team, that game is over. Because it was the Raiders, it took them 12 minutes to come up with an answer."
It would be easy to sit back and poke all the holes in Brown's theory, but I think he was partially joking to make good television. Anyone who would harbor that sort of resentment for 15 years probably wouldn't have much else going on in his or her life, and Brown, an NFL and NCAA football Hall of Fame inductee, seems to have plenty going on. Since retirement, he's been involved in Arena football, NASCAR, broadcasting and a horde of other post-career hobbies that most of us would love to pursue given the time and means.
Brady has gone on to stomp out most of the NFL's remaining Drew Bledsoe/Matt Cassel truthers and he's using this weekend to essentially fortify some of the all-time Super Bowl records he's already set while with the Patriots. But if you'd like, go ahead and keep believing that one horrendous call launched his career to unfathomable heights. I'm not going to try to stop you.