As it is, though, it's Tom Brady who cried on TV, and nobody in New England is finding it very funny.
In case you missed it, Brady was interviewed as part of an ESPN documentary about the 2000 draft, The Brady 6. The quarterback, while reflecting upon draft day, gets emotional when recalling the wait to hear his name.
"I remember taking a walk with my mom and dad around the block," Brady said before pausing and allowing his eyes to well up with tears. "It was just a tough day, you know?"
Outside of the region, of course, fans are having a field day. Fans of just about every other NFL team are getting their kicks, leaving comments and message board posts that call Brady a punk, a baby and a whole lot of other words that we can't print here. He's even been used in an American Idol spoof that's making its way around the web.
And while the first instinct of a New Englander may be to fight back, to say Tom Brady can cry because he's Tom Brady, to rally against the national party at the Patriots' quarterback's expense, it simply isn't the time to fight that fight.
Simply put, if the shoe were on the other foot, you'd almost definitely find it to be hilarious.
Of course, that's not to say that Brady's tears were of the Terrell Owens "That's my quarterback" mold, or and they weren't like those that fell from the faces of the Miami Heat after a regular-season loss, and they weren't the phony tears of Brett Favre at another sham of a retirement announcement.
No, these were the tears of a man who has the kind of drive that we can't even imagine. This is a man who, despite the Super Bowls, the fame and the money, never forgets that there were 198 men selected before him in the 2000 draft. It's a man who is unhappy after victories and demands perfection out of himself and his teammates 100 percent of the time.
Frankly, it's always nice to see an athlete who deep down cares more about the sport and competition than about contracts and his Twitter account. Tom Brady, for all his terrible dancing in Brazil and his jet-setting life with wife Gisele Bundchen, still cares. He knows where he came from, and after 163 NFL games, one devastating knee injury, three Super Bowl titles and several NFL records to his name, he can't ever forget the 22-year-old kid who felt he could be the best quarterback on the planet but had to watch 198 men get picked before him.
In this era of professional athletes, where players tend to care more about landing a reality show or buddying up with celebrities than they do about their jobs, seeing Brady cry is a reminder of what it actually takes to achieve greatness in sports.
But still, at first glance (and second, third and fourth glance), it's a man crying on television, and in this country, people are always going to laugh. You just have to go with it.
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