After a bad performance, Tom Brady listens to his doubters. Then he promptly tells them to [expletive] off.
Brady took some lumps in 2021 after his worst performance of the season. He needed 52 dropbacks to throw for just 214 yards, and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers failed to score a single point in a 9-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
But the 44-year-old quarterback didn’t run from the criticism that comes with losing a football game when the opposing team’s quarterback is Taysom Hill. He soaked it up, then quickly expelled it.
In a clip that surfaced back before the 2022 NFL Draft but is picking up steam in a slow month for football coverage, Brady laid out his post-game ritual following a disappointing performance.
Tom Brady discussed the media criticism he faced after the Buccaneers lost to the Saints in Week 15.
“I just look at the T.V. and I go like this,” Brady said, holding up two middle fingers. “‘F— you guys, f— you, T.V.’”
“You block out the noise, because none of it matters.” pic.twitter.com/ot1wpNyND4
— Kinnu Singh (@ByKinnuSingh) April 22, 2022
“What we do is get back to what we did all year,” Brady went on to explain. “[It’s] still not perfect, but football’s not a game of perfect. We always expect to be at our best.
“We had a tough loss. You ignore what they think and just move on, man. Fight for another day.”
Brady’s strategy paid off. He dusted off the NFC South’s other underwhelming quarterbacks by throwing for 968 yards and seven touchdowns in games against the Carolina Panthers (twice) and Atlanta Falcons to wrap up the 2021 regular season. He then nearly led a miracle comeback against the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
The legendary quarterback has spun criticism into gold throughout his career. He languished until the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. John Madden famously doubted his passing so thoroughly in Brady’s first Super Bowl that he advised the New England Patriots to kneel out the final 97 seconds of regulation rather than risk it with a young quarterback. He turned the Patriots’ decision to move on from him into the Buccaneers’ first championship in two decades.
So it’s no surprise he listens to his doubters. And it’s even less surprising he ignores them.