NFL Patriots Packers Jets American Football Tom Brady announced on Tuesday he's leaving the New England Patriots after a 20-season run that included six Super Bowl championships. The other 31 teams might be singing a different tune, but New England fans will be experiencing the emotions that only come along when a Hall of Fame quarterback puts on a different jersey. I'm here to help — I've been there with Brett Favre. I detailed all the abnormal things I did because of Favre during his playing career, and I have experience in dealing with the seven stages of grief that come when your hero leaves for another team. MORE: Why did Tom Brady leave the Patriots? Let's walk through these together.
Tom Brady announced on Tuesday he's leaving the New England Patriots after a 20-season run that included six Super Bowl championships.
The other 31 teams might be singing a different tune, but New England fans will be experiencing the emotions that only come along when a Hall of Fame quarterback puts on a different jersey.
I'm here to help — I've been there with Brett Favre. I detailed all the abnormal things I did because of Favre during his playing career, and I have experience in dealing with the seven stages of grief that come when your hero leaves for another team.
MORE: Why did Tom Brady leave the Patriots?
Let's walk through these together.
Patriots fans will experience that today. You will try to figure out if it's a burner account. Maybe Gisele tweeted It? Maybe it's all part of Bill Belichick's master plan. There's no way Tom Terrific would want to play for Tampa Bay or Los Angeles.
Hey, at least you didn't have to go through Favre waffling about retirement every year. When the retirement rumors sparked after the Packers went 4-12 in 2005, I remember yelling at a news editor that, “Brett wouldn't do that to me.”
Of course, Favre played for the Packers for two more seasons before bolting for New York, and then Minnesota (we'll get to that in a bit).
My advice? Start picturing Brady in another jersey now. It will lessen the pain, which is the second stage.
Oh, that news conference — whether it's in Tampa or Los Angeles or Las Vegas — is going to hurt. You'll feel pain when he holds up another jersey. You're going to blame yourself for that 20-13 loss to Tennessee in the AFC Wild card game. Be prepared for all of that once he leaves.
You'll be trolled, and it will be worse now because of social media. When Favre left for the Jets, most of my coworkers left me alone out of respect. Let's call it fear. My best friends? Not so much. I chose not to watch Jets games and was lucky that Green Bay didn't play them that season.
For Brady fans, it's going to depend on which team he plays for. Look at next year's schedule. The Buccaneers aren't on the schedule. The Chargers and Raiders are. Maybe Brady goes to Vegas, and gets the return to Foxborough over with. If he goes to the Chargers, then that becomes a serious contender.
My advice? Be prepared to get angry. You're going to lash out at Bob Kraft. Maybe even Bill Belichick, too.
At least it's not the freaking Vikings. At least you won't have to watch him light your ass up in the Metrodome on Monday Night Football then come into Lambeau Field and do it again. Favre passed for 515 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions in those two 2009 games against the Packers. Nobody remembers Aaron Rodgers getting even the next season.
Favre fractured the fan base for those two seasons, and that took a long time to get over. Brady won't do that to the Pats. Will he?
Sorry, had to.
MORE: The hit that started Tom Brady era
Listen, there are far more important things to worry about in our country with the spread of coronavirus, and that can have devastating effects on those who deal with depression. That is where our focus is right now.
It's OK to take your mind off that with sports whenever you can. For Patriots fans, it's better to simply reflect on what Brady did for your franchise. The records. The AFC dominance. The Super Bowl wins. It will never be the same. It hasn't been the same for 49ers fans since Joe Montana left.
Favre fans got lucky. Aaron Rodgers picked up where he left off, and it's my rooted-in-faith personal belief that Trevor Lawrence will pick up where Rodgers leaves off. That's the easiest coping mechanism of all.
For Patriots fans, it's putting your trust in Belichick. Hey, Matt Cassel went 10-5 in 2008 when Brady suffered a season-ending knee injury. Former New England quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo just played in a Super Bowl. Belichick has a plan. He always has a plan. Those are the thoughts that should get Patriots fans through.
Rodgers was that for the Packers. I remember people doubting him that first season when Rodgers went 6-10 as a starter. I kept a spreadsheet with names of people who said the Packers made the wrong move. I knew Rodgers would be fine when Green Bay beat Chicago in his first start.
Make no mistake: That first start for whoever is next is a huge tone-setter.
It starts with Brady playing a game in a different uniform. OK, that happened. What do we do now? Keep in mind Brady turns 43 in August. T