A very Brady Christmas

Published On December 21, 2012 | By Alice Cook

With the clock winding down to half time, I almost did it. I was ready to turn off the TV. The Patriots were trailing the 49ers, 17-3, but somehow it seemed much worse. My husband was at the game, and I felt sorry for him and everyone else standing in a December rain in Foxboro. But my inner sports voice whispered, “Don’t do it. Stay up and watch, you wimp.” And so I did.

It only got worse. Down 31-3 in the third quarter, the game appeared over.

And along came Tom Brady.

Hey, that Danny Woodhead touchdown sure looked easy. Boom.

The Patriots score again. Brady on a one-yard run. Ok, at least they’re making it interesting. Bang.

Brady to Aaron Hernandez on a drive that took a little more than a minute. Woohoo! I’m wide awake now. Brady and the boys staged a 28-point comeback to tie the game at 31. The win was there.

Then it wasn’t.

The Patriots lost 41-34, and by now we have all memorized the playoff implications and scenarios.

Take heart New England. We may not have a first-round bye and a top seed, but what we do have is Tom Brady. We saw what he did in the fourth quarter last Sunday, and we’ve seen what he’s done over the last 13 seasons. He is 35 years old and wants another ring. Badly.

My Christmas wish is that Patriots fans everywhere appreciate what they have in No. 12. Here are my personal reasons why.

Beyond his accomplishments on the field, he has stayed out of trouble off it. In all the years I covered the Patriots, I never heard Brady “put down” a reporter for an inane question, and he gets plenty of them. I have told my own children this about Tom Brady: “You can tell he was raised right. He has manners and is courteous.”

It’s not like I know Tom Brady on any kind of personal level. My observations are those of any reporter covering the Patriots. I was in the locker room the day he replaced Drew Bledsoe. Nobody even knew what he looked like back then.

After the Patriots won their last Super Bowl a million years ago (2005), I sought out Brady at the team’s after party. If you’re curious, he wasn’t going crazy on the dance floor. He was laying low in the shadows with a small group of friends. It was the first and only time I had ever talked to him in a social setting, which was strange in itself. I shook his hand and said, “ I just wanted to say congratulations on a great season.”

Brady looked me straight in the eye and said, “Thanks for all your help this year Alice.”

Please. First of all, he did not have to say that. Secondly, I, of course, had nothing to do with any part of the team’s success. I think it was Tom Brady’s way of saying that reporters work hard at their jobs too.

We have seen Brady go from a fresh-faced kid out of the University of Michigan to a father of three. One day we see him screaming on the sidelines, the next day there’s a photo of him pushing a baby stroller on the Esplanade. He is a superstar married to a supermodel doing an everyday thing in his Boston neighborhood. I bet he changes diapers too.

We are lucky to have him. Let’s count our blessings and count on Brady to make it happen again in the same city where it all started.

New Orleans.

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About The Author

is a veteran television sports reporter and Olympian. Her experience includes 25 years of sports reporting for WBZ-TV, the CBS and former NBC affiliate in Boston. Cook has worked for ESPN, Turner Sports, and WTBS. Cook is a feature writer for She's Game Sports and Boston.com. She is also President and Founder of She's Game Sports LLC.