Tom Brady tried to channel his inner Rodney Dangerfield this week, but sports reporters weren’t having it.
The New England Patriots find themselves in very familiar territory this weekend as they prepare for their eighth consecutive AFC Championship Game, but are in the slightly unfamiliar position of being the underdog to the Kansas City Chiefs. For Brady and the rest of the Patriots, playing the underdog role feels a lot like disrespect, as Yahoo Sports noted.
After the Patriots made short work of the Los Angeles Chargers in the divisional round, Brady told the media that he feels like the Patriots have become a whipping boy.
“You know, everyone thinks we suck,” Brady said. “You know, can’t win any games. So we’ll see. It’ll be fun.”
That assertion was in contention this week, as reporters called out Brady and asked if he really thinks that the team widely considered one of the greatest dynasties of all time could really be disrespected. When pressed, Brady walked back the disrespect talk a bit.
“I mean, we’re going against a team that’s the No. 1 seed in the league,” Brady said. “I’m sure there’s a lot of people that are thinking they’re going to win. Everyone can have their own opinion. We certainly have an opinion, and we’ve got to go out there and execute our best in order to accomplish that.”
The report noted that the game is actually considered a toss-up, as the Chiefs are 3-point favorites only because home field advantage gives a 3-point swing in betting lines.
USA Today columnist Jarrett Bell thinks there’s something else going on with Brady’s talk of being disrespected. Bell wrote this weekend that the assertion that the Patriots aren’t getting the respect they deserve is really just some competitive fire from the 41-year-old Brady, and a role the Patriots have frequently embraced. The talk this week of being overlooked is reminiscent of Rodney Harrison’s laments in the lead-up to Super Bowl XXXIX in 2004 that his team was not respected (which at the time was over the talk of whether the two-time Super Bowl champions could yet be considered a dynasty).
In his defense of the disrespect talk, Tom Brady said he is looking forward to getting on the field this weekend and seeing what he and the New England Patriots can prove. They will get the chance when the game kicks off at 6:40 p.m. ET from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.